Oman is the ideal destination for anyone looking for an authentic Arabian experience since it is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. The Sultanate has also embraced modernity and progress, while preserving the fundamental elements of its culture and tradition.
Though most tourists head to the chic areas of the capital Muscat and the lush green Salalah region to experience the country, Oman has a lot more to offer and its heritage and history of seafaring, trading, and discovery are ingrained in its culture. Here are some offbeat destinations worth exploring in the country :
Majlis Al Jinn
Oman is home of one of the world’s biggest underground caverns, the Majlis Al Jinn. Located in the centre of Mount Hajar on the northern plateau of Salma, the cavern is enormous. It is 340 m long, 128 m broad, and more than 120 m high. The Al Hajar Mountains, also known as The Stone Mountains, are one of Oman’s most breathtaking areas, while Jabal Al Akhdar, also called Green Mountain, is a climb away at 2,000 m above sea level and overlooks a magnificent gorge, surrounded by the Hajar Mountains.
Muttrah Souk is among the oldest marketplaces in Oman. For centuries it has been at the centre of the country’s trading past for goods coming from the Middle East, Europe, China, and other countries. It remains as bustling as ever, selling traditional fabrics, apparel, jewellery, incense, pipes, pottery, handicrafts, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.
Dhofar, Ẓufār in Arabic, enjoys extraordinary climatic conditions, which effects the southwest coast and hilly terrain. To the northeast of Dhofar is a large desert of stony plains and sand dunes that contribute to the region’s isolation from northern Oman. Salalah, a port city, is at the base of Jabal Al-Qarah, also known as al-Shaba’an Mountain. Deserts and sand dunes make two-thirds of the Omani area. Dhows are traditional Arabian sailboats that have over a 1,000-year history and are commonly seen in the Red Sea.
Misfat Al Abriyeen
Misfat Al Abriyeen or an oasis village is located in Ad Dhakhiliyah Governate’s Al Hamra district. The place derives its name from the Al Abri tribe, who hail from Misfat Al Abriyeen and Al Hamra. Presently, the villagers plant their crops at height of 1,000 m above sea level on the Oman Mountain. According to an estimate, the construction of the first homes in Misfat Al Abriyeen began more than 200 years.