The Jewel of Arabia

 

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How do I put Oman into words. Our whirlwind trip to this otherworldly GCC was none other than awe-inspiring. Originating from diverse terrain, a rich heritage and an embracing society, this independent state boasts much more than oil revenues. Shorelines, sand dunes and a strong sense of identity makes Oman a country that has it all and quite literally, myrrh.

Having been based in Dubai for the past 9 months we weren’t sure how similar, or as it turns out, dissimilar Oman would be. Welcomed by our host / guide for the weekend and without a single high-rise building in sight(!), we were eager to explore.

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Our three day stay was spent being expertly navigated around the most spectacular sites in Oman. Beginning in Muscat visiting the daily fish market, interestingly fishing is the second biggest income for Oman after oil. We were fortunate enough to visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Al Hajar mountains before heading to our camp for the night.

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We stayed at Stargazing Private Camp in Wahiba Sands, close to Bidiyah. If you ever get the chance to visit Oman be sure to stay in the desert, spending just 1 night under the stars truly transports you to another world. The highly desired location of Stargazing Private Camp celebrates the natural beauty and dramatic vistas of the unblemished Wahiba Sands. 

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Our second day was spent enjoying Wadi Bani Khalid, a wadi close by to Bidiyah. These wonders of Oman are truly something quite surreal. Entering through the valley floor and walking over fallen rocks to find deep pools of crystal clear azure waters is hard to put into words. We had seen and heard about these Wadi’s before visiting Oman however seeing first hand such beautiful nature, raw and pure was truly a privilege.

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To reach Private Desert House Camp, a optional 1 hour camel ride is recommended. Departing in time to capture the sun beginning to set is a memory that will last us a lifetime. Spending our second night in a traditional Ayeesh (palm tree) house just as the local Bedouin’s reside felt extremely special to us. Our time spent with Jacqueline and Hamad, owners of both camps, not only allowed us to sleep under the stars and experience luxury in the desert but extended further into understanding more about Oman, its people and their generosity.

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Day three and before our trip came to an end Hamad, our driver/ tour guide and hospitable host, managed to squeeze in visits to Wadi Tiwi, Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole all whilst showing us the breathtaking Sur to Muscat coastal drive. More to tick off our bucket list! 

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Oh Man! We simply can’t rave about this country enough. From the people, the landscape and the natural wonders to our time spent at both luxurious Private Stargazing and Private Desert House camps. It was probably the most whirlwind 3 days we’ve ever spent but boy! Would we do it over and again. Until next time Oman!