Oman: Land of adventure

The Sultanate of Oman offers year-round action for families, friends and couples alike.

The Sultanate of Oman offers year-round action for families, friends and couples alike.

Holiday season is around the corner and we’ll be booking our trips away. Hopefully to an exotic destination that will bait our sights and recharge our batteries for the year ahead. This year, with Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates offering tempting Early Bird Airfare specials, have you considered travelling to the Sultanate of Oman?

With its year round sun and fun activity calendar, there is always something interesting happening in Oman. The exotic atmosphere is perfect for a couple’s anniversary celebration, a school holiday treat or a solo adventure.

So what does Oman provide that is so alluring?

Muscat Festival

Oman_advertorial_KarryOn

The biggest event in Muscat (if not Oman) is the annual Muscat Festival. The spectacular is held for a month from mid January to mid February in several outdoor venues around the city. Since its inception in 1998, the event has grown to include and incorporate the Festival of Arts, Oman Food Festival, Light Festival and lastly the glamorous Muscat Fashion Week.

Muscat Festival provides the perfect opportunity to become familiar with the Emirates as it showcases Omani and neighbouring Arabic cultures through poetry recitals, traditional dancing and craft displays.

It is also a must-go destination for action-adventurists. It highlights Oman’s sportsmanship via the international cycling event, the Tour of Oman, and the Royal Equestrian race events in Seeb and Nassem Park.

For those in love with the world of dance, the festival attracts dance and acrobatic acts from around the globe and includes evening fireworks displays and market stalls from the subcontinent and Far East.

Muscat Fashion Week

Oman_Fashion_KarryOn

Razzan Alazzouni gracing the runway of Muscat Fashion Week. Image Source; Telegraph UK.

Launched in 2011, Muscat Fashion Week is a much-anticipated three-day event that takes pride of place on the global style circuit. Twelve exclusive regional designers are selected each year to share the spotlight with their Arabic couture counterparts. Last year designers came from as far afield as Tunisia, the UAE, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

See the Ahmed Talfit showing at Muscat Fashion Week 2013 here:

The Extras

From December through to March, the Sultan arranges a Theatre Festival that showcases international and local performances in the striking  Royal Opera House Muscat.

From May to September a popular activity is going turtle watching. Thousands of turtles return to the shores of Oman to lay their eggs.

From June to September many choose to visit the southern city of Salalah during the Khareef Festival (monsoon) to escape from the heat and appreciate the blanket of greenery that carpets its valleys, replicating scenery out of Ireland as opposed to the Middle East.

Or why not enjoy the Pro AM Golf Tour at Muscat Hills Golf Club at the end of October.

Race Days

Oman_Fashion_KarryOn

Motor rally enthusiasts can appreciate the Wahiba Sands Challenge in October.

Or, for those who really wish to push their boundaries, two international desert marathons take place in Oman in November, ranging from 42km to 195km: Desert Marathon and the Oman Raid.  

Year round activities include Camel Races in Seeb and the prestigious Oman Sail sailing series.

Oman Sail was established in 2008 and offers adults and children the opportunity to actively compete in international races or the more leisurely option of hiring a catamaran to sail around the Damaniyat Archipelago. You’ll have the chance to explore the many corals reefs and islands of Oman which are perfect for snorkelling and diving.

Tips for travelling

Oman_Fashion_KarryOn

Official Name: The Sultanate of Oman

Capital: Muscat

Population: 3.8 million

Language: Arabic is the official language but English is widely spoken.

Religion: Islam is the official religion. However, other religions are also respected.

Climate: Summer is between May to September 25-35oC. Milder weather is experienced in the mountains and in the Dhofar region in the south. The Dhofar enjoys regular monsoon between June to October. Winter is between October to April with temperatures averaging from 15-25oC.

Travel: Oman is easily accessible by air with many connecting flights out of Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the neighbouring UAE. Hotels range from the 3-star Ibis Hotel, the 4-star Crowne Plaza to the 5-star Shangri-La Resort & Spa.

For more information on Oman, or for your chance to have some fun in the sun, speak to your travel agent.  To see the best current packages available, visit:  www.sidetripofalifetime.com.au

What would you first visit in Oman?