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A scent of adventure in Arabia

What, I wonder on my first morning in Muscat, would devotees of showy Dubai make of a holiday here in neighbouring Oman? Might they bemoan the lack of indoor ski resorts and shiny towers competing to be the world’s tallest? Or the absence of footballers’ villas on artificial islands shaped as palm trees? The Sultanate of Oman, alas, does not much go in for glitz. Instead it serves up sunshine with a dash of old Arabia and exhilarating desert scenery rooted in an astonishingly rich history. Easy-going Emirate: Oman is not at all like its neighbour Dubai In Muscat, the mountain-encircled capital overlooking the sea, I make my way along spotless new highways, past the gleaming Royal Opera House and Sultan’s Palace and down to the fortress-guarded dhow harbour at...
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Oman an overview

Stretching from the lunar-like Hajar Mountains in the north to lush and temperate city of Salalah in the south, the Sultanate of Oman — with its year-round sunshine and a stable economy — is one of the lesser-known treasures of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman is hollowed out with incredible natural underground playgrounds, including the second largest underground chamber in the world, called Majlis Al Jinn, or ‘spirits’ meeting place’.  Although currently shut indefinitely to the public  for redevelopment, there are plenty of others that are suitable for beginners and experienced spelunkers. Al Hoota Cave, located at near Jabal Shams mountain near the northeastern town of Al Hamra, is the only cave that has daily organised tours which are suitable for all adults...
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Food and Drinks in OMAN

Food in Oman is mainly a question of eating to live, rather than living to eat. The country’s culinary traditions offer an interesting blend of Arabian and Indian influences, although the stuff served up in most local cafés and restaurants generally consists of a predictable selection of shwarmas and biryanis, with maybe a few other Middle Eastern meze and grills or Indian curries. Honourable exceptions exist, of course, but outside Muscat, good places to eat are few and far between. Where to eat There are plenty of places to eat in Oman, although few have any airs and graces. The basic eating venue is the café. At their simplest, these can be nothing more than a functional little room with plastic furniture and a strictly limited range of food and drink – perhaps one type of shwarma...
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Common Tips about OMAN

What is the commonly spoken language in Oman? Can I get by using only English? Most locals are able to understand English atleast in the Muscat area. In the interiors it is best to use the services of a guide/ interpreter. Ensure that you purchase a good guidebook, available in most bookshops in the city. Is there a strictly enforced dress code? Oman is among the liberal countries in the Middle East where it is alright to dress as you please. Still, please be conservative in your style of dressing especially when you visit the interiors. It is best for women to cover their arms and legs. Dress codes are mentioned and strictly enforced in public functions. Is it easy to travel with small children? Oman is well provided with all facilities to make your stay with your child most...
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