“Where is this Oman?” I am asked this quite often and the first reactions to my answer are quite surprising, if not a little horrified. The country, from which according to legend the famous seafarer Sinbad originated, is located together with Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula directly on the Arabian Sea.
Oman for women – more than just “possible
“And you want to move there alone as a woman for the next few months? Isn’t that too dangerous?” Well, the answer is short and sweet: NO! Oman is one of the safest countries in the world. As a woman, I can move freely here and travel alone without any problems. When I first visited the country, I knew that this was the place I had been longing for for a very long time. Was it the people, culture, landscape? Probably a little bit of everything. I was particularly impressed by the respect for women and openness to all religions.
Now I am here for the next few months, learning the local language in a private college and want to get to know as much as possible of this wonderful and above all inspiring culture.
What I can already confirm – Oman is the ideal travel destination for women who would also like to be on their own for a while in order to find inner peace. This is not difficult in Oman, because there are many places where you can recharge your batteries.
Best time to travel
October to early April, after which it gets pretty hot in the land of incense. More travel information about Oman.
Nothing goes without a car
You don’t have to pay much attention here – you quickly realize that everyday life is not so different from ours. But what is different than in Germany: here you are lost without a car! That is why it is practical to rent a 4×4 SUV right away. The transport infrastructure is modern and safe.
Even the highways are illuminated in the evening. Also, great attention is paid to traffic rules. Some places are only allowed with a 4×4 SUV due to safety, although the roads are wide enough and tarred.
This time with extra class on the road – Maserati Lavente
This time I was on the road with the SUV Lavente from Maserati. For the most part, of course, I drove myself, but sometimes I let my travel companions take the wheel.
Oman’s impressive sights
Oman has a lot to offer. Although the country is not too big, so everyone will find what he wants from his Oman trip. My personal selection of great places and sights I present here.
Al Bustan Palace – A guest of Sultan Qaboos
When you step through the gate of this palace, you leave everyday life behind. The scent of Omani incense, known worldwide since ancient times and coveted even by the pharaohs, and the imposing yet understated in style entrance hall with its crystal fountain and beautiful chandelier reflect the nature of Oman – built from the most precious materials yet understated and stylish.
In Oman, wealth is not flaunted. The architecture also adapts to nature – one remains faithful to the traditional construction without sacrificing the most modern comforts.
The luxury hotel is located about a good hour from the airport, right on a remote beach. Like a shell in which the pearl is hidden, the octagonal building nestles perfectly into its surroundings.
On one side there is a beautifully landscaped garden right by the sea and on the other side there is a view of the Al Hajar Mountains. The Six Senses Spa offers a variety of sports activities in addition to luxurious treatments. And there is a private beach only for ladies, which can be rented incl. private lounge overlooking the sea. For me, Al Bustan Palace is one of the most beautiful hotels not only in Oman, but in the world.
If you are in Muscat, of course you visit a local bazaar! Probably the best known is Soukh Muttrah. If you have ever been to a bazaar in Egypt or Turkey, you know that it can be very loud and hectic. In Oman? The absolute opposite. It’s quiet and no one is trying to lure guests into their store. Prices are fair and trading is very quiet. Here, too, respect and restraint are paramount. I like to buy cloths, incense and clothes here. Or you can buy fabrics and have your dream dress sewn. Total cost approx. 10 – 20 € depending on the effort. It is best to visit in the morning from about 9:00 am – then there is not much going on and you can find a parking space.
Opposite the souk is the Corniche. The promenade for walks runs along the shore and you have a wonderful view of the harbor, countless small stores and historic houses on the other side of the street. Especially in the evening it is wonderful here. My tip: get a freshly squeezed juice from the Juice bar right next to the Souk Mutrah and treat yourself to a walk towards the fortress. You should also marvel at the cleanliness of the floor you walk on – it shines in the lantern light as if freshly polished!
The museum is not only what history buffs – also the building and its interior design will delight. Modernity perfectly paired with tradition, which draws the guest under the spell of 1001 nights!
Royal Opera House
Opened in 2011, the Royal Opera House was the first and for a long time the only opera house in the Gulf States. Surrounded by a garden, the regal-looking building blends in with nature. In addition to operas, international concerts and ballet are performed. But the house is not only interesting for guests who want to visit an event – the museum store and several restaurants are worth a visit.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque was considered the largest in the world until the mosque in Abu Dhabi overtook it. The chandelier in the center of the prayer room was built by Swarovski and weighs eight tons. On the Persian prayer rug, 600 women spent four years tying 1.7 million knots. The mosque can accommodate 20000 worshippers.
Tolerance plays a very important role in Oman. The state religion is Islam; other religions are respected. No one asks me what religion I am, because this is considered rude in Oman. Here, no person is judged by his religion, nor should he be.
Of course there are several shopping malls in Muscat. Among the most famous are Oman Avenues Mall, Muscat Grand Mall, Mall of Muscat and City Centre. The parking spaces are spacious and free of charge. And the opening hours are inspiring: in the evening, the gates in these shopping meccas are open until 24.00!
Omanis, both men and women, like to go out to cafes. Especially smoothies and shakes are popular. There are many and also international chains. But I love the local cafes, which are lovingly decorated.
Mint & Coco has just been named the best newcomer restaurant in Oman. I like to drink matcha latte here and the national drink Chai Karak – black tea with full fat milk, spices and sometimes saffron.
Amouage – 50% discount!
One of the most valuable perfumes in the world comes from Oman. Made from pure essential oils, a 100ml bottle costs “floppy” 380 € on average with us. Cost point in Oman: about half. Best to schedule a visit to the Amouage Manufacture directly. It is also a kind of showroom and you can watch how it is made. In the store there are all perfumes and also a leather goods collection, which is rarely found here in Germany.
If you’re out and about and fancy this incredibly delicious tea variety in Oman, you can get it almost anywhere along the road in Tea Corner for about the equivalent of 50 cents.
Roselle Oman enchants with its interior design characterized by thousands of roses! And there are so many latte varieties, all lushly decorated with edible flowers! Here really eats the eye with!
Best fresh juices to go are available at Mango Talaat. Great fresh juices and cakes overlooking the marina are available at Café Bateel in the new in district of Al Mouj (The Wave). Here it is especially nice by night – café and restaurant after restaurant line the walk to the marina.
I love henna! And while you’re here, don’t miss a visit to a henna studio. There are studios for tourists, of course, but you miss the Omani feeling there. At the Royal Princesses Palace, you sit next to local ladies with whom you quickly strike up a conversation while your feet and hands are artfully decorated.
I Especially for the wedding and Eid studios are full, but also for everyday life woman likes to wear henna. It’s best to go early Sunday through Wednesday, there’s no wait. Cost about. 25 € and a lot of fun guaranteed.
Long beaches without end
Since Oman is located directly on the Gulf in its entire length, the country is blessed with wonderful beaches! Omanis take advantage of every free minute and spend a lot of time there – walking, playing sports, picnicking, barbecuing or just reading and sitting. Even by car can be driven on the beach. I like to be on the beach in As-Sib, where there are many locals. In the morning you can enjoy an incredibly beautiful sunrise from here and in the evening the sun does not set over the sea, but behind a beautiful mosque and bathes the city in a magical light.
Anantara Jabal Akhdar
Speaking of unforgettable sunsets and sunrises. These are available at the luxury hotel Anantara Jabal Akhdar. Only about two hours drive from Muscat, the hotel is located on a canyon at 2000 meters above sea level. The trip there also remains unforgettable. It goes far up on a serpentine road. With the SUV, it is also easy to use the off-road roads to drive into pure nature.
One is rewarded with incredibly beautiful viewpoints. The luxury resort seems to float between heaven and earth and is built on the very spot from which Lady Diana once fell in love with the country. At the very spot where she stood gazing over the endless canyons is the lookout point, where yoga classes are also held in the morning.
Jabal Akhdar – Green Mountain
Translated, Jabal Akhdar means “Green Mountain”. It got its name from the garden terraces planted by villagers, where the famous pomegranates, apricots or almonds grow. And quite famous is the rose water of Jabal Akhdar! From the end of March to the end of April, the Damascus rose blooms, turning the mountains into a fine sea of pink. If you stay there at this time, then be sure to take the fresh rose water! And the stay is sweetened in the spa with a rose treatment!
Although it is so alone in the mountains, the hotel is never boring: a wide range of activities is available incl. Hiking in the mountains. I recommend all brave ladies who are not afraid of heights to do the Activity Wall – a mixture of hiking and adventure.
The hotel’s garden, whose architecture is reminiscent of an Omani village, is also a highlight both during the day and at night. Here you can find only native trees, flowers and, of course, the famous varieties of roses. At night, the paths are only slightly lit to see the starry sky very well. And it is guaranteed not to be forgotten!
Oman is full of forts and castles. The Omanis were already settled in ancient times and were not a nomadic people. One of the most beautiful and largest castles is located in Nizwa. And how convenient that it is on the way from the hotel back to Muscat!
Today the city is considered a city of artists, in the Middle Ages it was the headquarters of the Imams. The castle is completely renovated. The view over the city is phenomenal: white house roofs jutting out between the palm trees, rock formations in the background rising endlessly into the horizon.
The castle is surrounded by bazaars and artists’ studios. Old crafts as far as the eye can see. But be careful! The artist market is very expensive! You can get the local pottery, hand woven baskets, incense burners etc. in the Mutrah souk in Muscat at much cheaper prices! In the souk I recommend a visit to the brothers with the blue eyes. Spices, nuts, dried fruit, rose water and natural soaps from incense and roses I buy here regularly.
The nature of Oman with its mountains, wadis, and oases is a perfect place to connect one’s soul with nature and the universe. One of my favorite places is Hawiyat Najm Park. In the middle of this desert landscape is a sinkhole with turquoise green water. The water is so clear that you can see the bottom from the height! The Bimmah depression was formed due to a meteorite impact, the inhabitants tell each other. But this has already been refuted. The water, a mixture of salt and fresh water, is fresh and very clean. Those who wish can take a bath in it.
Swimming in the wadis is really great. One of the most famous is Wadi Shab. It is about an hour walk over large rocks and natural paths through a gorge between two mountains.
One really feels like in the fairy tale of Aladdin or Alibaba and the 40 robbers. There are hardly any people on the road and you are overwhelmed by the natural images. Even the natural paths, some of which are not without danger, do not keep you from going further. The curiosity about what else might be hidden behind the rock is too great.
Sometimes there are small waterfalls, sometimes banana gardens, which are supplied with water according to the millennium-old irrigation system. The hike is eventually rewarded with natural pools of bright green water! There you master even the exhausting way back with a smile!
The journey continues…
If things do get too quiet in Oman – Dubai is only an hour away by plane or about five hours by car. But that’s another story.
Most often, the most beautiful places in nature have no address – as in the case of Oman. But now there is what3words. Simply enter the three terms in the app or online at map.what3words.com and you will be navigated directly and exactly to that point.
Exploring with Maserati
We visited the favorite places with the SUV of the luxury brand Maserati Levante. Thanks go to Maserati Oman and Middle East.