Popular tourist hotspots and hotel resorts across the Sultanate are bracing for a holiday rush this weekend as citizens and residents seek to make the most of a three-day break to enjoy some of Oman’s diverse and splendid tourist attractions. Thanks to the Islamic New Year falling alongside the weekend, eager holidaymakers now have a back-to-back three-day break that opens up opportunities for, among other things, camping trips, excursions, overnighters and all types of holidays at key locations around the Sultanate.
A list of charming places highly recommended by the Observer includes: Castles and Forts (Khasab Castle, Al Hazim Castle, Rustaq Fort, Nizwa Fort, Nakhal Fort, Bahla Fort), wadis and aflaj (Wadi Shab, Wadi Al Arbyeen, Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Ghool, Aiyn Al Kasfa, Aiyn Al Thawarah); and varied tourist attractions such as Raz Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, Khasab, Al Jabal Al Akhdhar, Jabal Shams, Masirah Island and Wakan Village. Of course, a lot of these locations will likely be inundated with tourists – local and international – during the holiday.
Indeed, domestic tourism is in for a strong boost. The tourism sector has been thriving on the back of a sustained inflow of foreign tourists, boosted by travellers from around Oman. As a key industry identified as one of pillars with the potential to fuel Oman’s economic diversification, the tourism sector has also benefited from strong international and local investment. This is evident from the proliferation of luxury hotels, resorts, apart-hotels, leisure spots, and so on.
Adding to Oman’s tourist appeal is the diversity of natural attractions distributed across the nation’s mountain landscapes, delightful beachfronts, and offshore as well.
For nationals and residents alike, the three-day holiday is also an opportunity to take a short break from work, having perhaps been denied that chance during the last Eid Al Adha holiday, which was relatively brief to squeeze in a holiday.
Sultan al Zaidi, a native of Saham, said he was already making plans to step out with friends this weekend. “The three-day holiday couldn’t have come at a better time. With the weather generally improving, and recent rains having replenished pools near campsites, there are loads of places that appeal to us this weekend. But we have decided to go on a journey of adventure into the wadis and mountains around Saham.”
Omar al Badi, also from Saham, said he has decided to take his family to Masirah Island. “Although Masirah Island is quite a drive from home, we are eagerly looking to enjoying the delightful weather that awaits us there,” he commented.
Hammam al badi