In summer, the area turns into the green lung of Arabia. Because the mountains of Dhofar cause the clouds to get stuck there, to spread fog and rain. An attraction for the Arab guests in the area, who are looking for this humid climate as opposed to the heat of their home countries and flooding the hotels. Not for sun-hungry Europeans … they prefer to stay in their latitudes.
Fjords in “Norway Arabia”
Oman’s borders are strangely broken: On the way north, you suddenly come to the Emirate of Fujairah, behind which begins Musandam, Oman’s northernmost tip on the Strait of Hormuz. The area is also called Norway of Arabia because of its fjords that dig into high mountain ranges. If you want to cruise there with a dhow (traditional wooden ship) or climb in the mountains, you should fly from Muscat to the provincial town of Khasab. Dhow cruises to Musandam also start from Dubai.
Traditional wooden boats can be used to sail across the waters in northeastern Oman
Photo: Getty Images
Off to the desert!
The country’s “house desert” is called Wahiba Sand. If you want to spend the night there like a Bedouin, go to Al Wasil on the edge of the dunes and ask about the team at the Nomadic Desert Camp. It is the only desert camp still organized by Bedouins – with traditional huts made from palm leaf and palm wood and romantic petroleum lighting. And of course with water for a refreshing shower in the open air. After sunset on a dune, there is a round of coffee in the hot sand with delicious figs – then you can end the day under the sparkling starry sky around the campfire.
The best time to travel
The Omanis do not have any distinct seasons. There is only the summer when the mercury column can climb to 50 degrees, and the winter with moderate temperatures of around 25 to 30 degrees. At the end of October, the weather swings to these tolerable values - then the best travel season begins, which ends around early April with rising temperatures.
Be careful when it rains: The water does not run down canals, but can suddenly develop into tidal waves in wadis and lower-lying streets, which even pulls cars with them. Rainy days are still joyful days for everyone who lives in a dry country. All palm trees and the dusty, shrub-like trees immediately get a fresh, green shimmer even after a little shower.
E-Visa and arrival
Before you travel to Oman, you have recently applied for an e-visa, it costs around 25 euros for everyone who wants to stay 30 days. International guests either land at the airport in the capital Muscat, which opened in spring 2018 (and was inaugurated in November), or to the south in Salalah, the almost two-year-old airport in the province of Dhofar. The flight time from Germany is only about 7 hours, which is why the country is perfect for escaping the cold German winter.
For all who are traveling in the country as guests, the following applies: wear long trousers or skirts, please cover knees and shoulders. In the mosque, women also have to cover their hair with a cloth. Out of courtesy, Omanis wouldn’t say anything when they see tourists walking around in shorts and spaghetti-strap tops – but they feel this is silent and don’t understand why Europeans don’t dress appropriately. In the hotel complex, however, skimpy clothes and swimwear are beautiful – but not in the restaurant.
Omani men wear the dishdasha, a long robe with a tassel that is dipped in an intensely fragrant perfume, and the kumma – a kind of cap, hand-decorated with patterns that do not exist twice. The women usually throw the black abaya (overdress with scarf) over their colored, glittering dresses, which is, however, often elegantly dressed. This is how you meet couples and families – for example, in the Souq of Matrah, where Omanis buy the incense scent for home and enormous pots for the next family meal. There they are happy about reserved tourists, who do not rumble loudly in groups and should of course also buy a cashmere scarf. You should check whether it is real, however.