Move Over Dubai, Oman is Hot!

Travel to Oman is on the rise with more than one million visitors in 2006. Be among the first to experience 'trophy travel'.

By TTM on 24 January 2007 in Travel Articles

Move over Dubai, Oman is fast emerging as the hot, exotic destination of choice for well-heeled travellers wanting a unique five star getaway. Travel to Oman is on the rise with more than one million visitors in 2006 with approximately 40% of inbound tourism from Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy. Savvy European travellers have been gravitating to Oman, enticed to experience its stunning 1,000-mile coastline and extraordinary desert adventures most people only see in National Geographic.

Many people probably would struggle to pinpoint on a map exactly where Oman is, that alone making it a strong candidate for trophy destination status. Situated on the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is bordered by Saudi Arabia and close neighbors of the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, yet a million smiles from conflicted Middle Eastern regions. The capital is cosmopolitan Muscat, boasting five star, top tier hotels, gourmet fusion cuisine and convenient air service from major gateways around the world. From New York, the journey takes about 14 hours, which is comparable to a flight to Europe from Los Angeles. Best time to visit is October through April when Muscat enjoys average temperatures of 30C/86F, dropping to around 18C/64F at night.

What’s it got? A lot. Oman is exceptionally diverse offering breathtaking mountain ranges, majestic desert sands, lush, emerald wadis (riverbeds) and gorgeous, stunning coastline playgrounds fronting the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. Plus the shopping is something to write home about.

You could opt for a luxury desert safaris, creating the same type of swank camping perfected in Africa, but without the posh price tag, and with inimitable Bedouin desert style. Camel rides, dune buggies, mosques, castles, coastline exploration for dolphin watching, diving or snorkeling, Green Back Turtle sightings and more culture than you can shake a stick at, all adding up to an authentic Arabian experience never to be forgotten.

While Dubai is the glamour neighbour, raking in untold millions in tourism revenue, relaxed, laid back Oman is only just emerging to capture the elite market segmentation who want to experience the next big destination before everyone else does. Good luck finding a slew of guidebooks at the bookstore. But that’s just the point of a trophy destination; the road is not well travelled. You can have an authentic Arabian desert adventure without tour buses crammed full of camera toting tourists pulling up alongside you.

So, when thinking of something special, whether it’s a honeymoon or yes, a trophy vacation, head for Oman for a desert less trampled, at least for now.

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