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- Dhofar, Sultanate - Oman
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A land blessed with natural wonders, a proud and friendly people with a rich cultural heritage, and a beautifully preserved Arabian environment, yet with all the modern amenities you would expect from one of the world's most sophisticated holiday destinations.
Today's Oman is descended from an extraordinary civilization that dates from 5,000 years ago. Throughout Oman you will experience strands of that civilization in the country's history, culture, physical landscape, and its traditions. One of those traditions is the care and attention that the Omani people invest in preserving the past for future generations. This is only equaled by the continuous work being done to present the country's treasures in an ever-more accessible, enjoyable and engaging interpretation. They have captured their own true essence of Arabia, and opened the eyes of the world to its enchanting magic.
Like many modern states in the Gulf region, Oman has a sophisticated, professional, well-educated, creative and committed society. In particular, the commitment to friendship, hospitality and the value of the family is the solid foundation for a lifetyle that is a pleasure to behold. And yet, added to this is that curious and fascinating insight into a way of life that is uniquely Arabic and invites the visitor to take an imaginative leap into another world. A memorable and exciting journey.
Oman is a relatively small and largely unspoilt country. Yet, despite its size, it has a surprisingly diverse climate - and therefore, a varied natural landscape - as you move from the North of the country to the South. It can be humid in certain areas. However, there is then the remarkable Khareef Season to confound expectations: this is the period from July to September when the Dhofar region in the South glories in the relief of life-giving rain and cooler temperatures, and in a spectacular landscape which is lush, green, easy on the eye, and forever throwing up a variety of flora and fauna to delight in. The Omani winter runs from October through March with the average temperature at about 25º C, cool and clear nights, and all kinds of temptations to be outdoors as much as possible.
Muscat is just 7 1/2 hours away from the major European cities. Most major airlines serve Muscat. Oman Air maintains flight connections to the major cities in Oman, and in the Gulf region.
Shopping in Oman is actually a cultural experience as much as anything else. The country is full of wonderful old Souqs, or markets, where all the traditional Arabian crafts and jewelry can be seen. As you wander through the narrow streets and alleys, you will be pleasantly assailed by the aromas of herbs and countless spices, of frankincense and myrrh, of hundreds of perfumes and special oils, and your eyes will take in the rainbow colours on swathes of fabric all around you. Traditional brass, copper, clay and wooden pots, pans, bowls and boxes abound and there is a terrific range of colourful glassware. The modern shopping centres in all the main cities offer a very broad range of products from all over the world, as well as traditional Omani or Arabian products- everything you will need for your holiday.