From sand surfing and hot air ballooning to camel rides and Bedouin camps, visitors have so many exciting experiences at their disposal that fitting them all in might require a second (or third) visit.
Faint-hearted? Oman offers gentle excursions aplenty, too, from bartering for silks scarves at a traditional souk to drinking local coffee with a kick.
Camp under the stars
With a mind-boggling 82% of Oman’s terrain made up of desert, it’s little surprise to see accommodation providers setting up camp here. Away from the bright lights and bustle of Muscat, golden sunsets, star-splattered skies and gentle desert dawns await visitors to Sharqiyah, a region with ochre-hued sand as far as the eye can see. Camping here doesn’t mean roughing it; ensuite Bedouin-style tents are air-conditioned, and feature queen beds, antique furniture, decorative carpets, sunken tubs and piping-hot outdoor showers.
Discover wondrous Wadis
After a day of dune bashing, sand boarding, quad biking or camel riding, evenings can be spent relaxing around the campfire with a shuwa, a traditional lamb barbecue, under the stars. West of Muscat, Al Batin is a fascinating region of desert forts and bubbling Wadis home to Bahla, Oman’s only UNESCO-listed fort – while Nizwa, a small town to the South-West – is stuffed with seductive souks where visitors can buy anything from frankincense to folk art.
Top tip: Stall holders at souks won’t expect you to pay the full asking price for their wares – barter for the best price before making a purchase.
Go zip lining
Nothing screams adventure like whizzing across a 1,800 metre-long zip line over a large stretch of water. Starting at a lofty 220 metres, and reaching speeds of 80 kilometres per hour, The Musandam Oman Zipline — the brainchild of the Oman Adventure Centre and so called because it stretches across the Musandam mountains — entered the Guiness Book of Records in 2023 for being the longest of its kind in the world.
Take flight in a hot air balloon
For a gentler thrill, visitors can take a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the desert; a memorable experience that’s worth the early alarm (although sunset flights are available). Each journey sees the balloon climb to 600 metres to guarantee unrivalled views of the rising (or setting) sun over the staggering dunes – visitors might even spot the odd camel train. Flights often end with a celebratory glass of champagne.
Head to the beach
Salalah, the third largest city in Oman, is known for its sparkling Arabian Sea and abundant sea life, where turtles and whales can be spotted outside of Khareef (monsoon season between mid-June and mid-September). With its creamy sand dotted with colourful beach huts and flanked by large white cliffs, Mughsail Beach wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Despite its popularity with visitors and tourists, the white sands of Ad Dahariz Beach remain quiet even during the high season. Al Haffa Beach, meanwhile, allows visitors a rare opportunity to cool off during a day of sightseeing.
Saddle up on a horse
Visitors wishing to horse ride across the sand, a particularly magical experience as the sun sets, can do so at Marine Beach with its swaying coconut trees. Those wishing to sail should make a beeline for Salalah, with its calm seas offering opportunities for all ages and abilities.
Top tip: Not a beach bum? Salalah is dotted with gushing waterfalls and rock pools perfect for a quick dip on a hot day.
Become an Oman Ambassador
To learn more about Oman, take the online training course Oman Ambassadors at omanambassadors.com