KABEER YOUSUF –
Muscat, June 21 –
With an array of tourist spots to choose from, the Sultanate is a hotspot for visitors during the extended Eid holidays starting on Saturday.
From the balmy Dhofar which offers a pleasant tropical climate to the wilderness of Wahiba Sands and from the archaeological sites of Sharqiyah to the cruises of Muttrah and sea sports of Musannah or dolphin watching in Marina Bandar, Oman is all set to welcome both local and international tourists during the holidays.
Travel agents and tour operators say there have been several enquiries for information on various
destinations. Bookings have already begun.
“Out of a plethora of destinations, Salalah and Jabal Al Akhdhar top the list, while Wakan village, Misfat Al Abriyeen, Wadi Shab, Wadi Tiwi, Wahiba Sands, Wadi Darbat, Ain Garziz in Salalah are among other favourites,” says Astrin DSilva, Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications at Travel City and Travel Point Group.
The renowned Al Hoota Cave and Fins beach have been the other major crowd-pullers, she said.
“I would strongly suggest a visit to Salalah and Wadi Bani Khalid along with Wadi Shab,” says Mohammed bin Salim al Hadhrami, Executive Holidays, Bahwan Tourism.
“From my experience, I would say more international tourists will be sharing space with the local tourists at Jabal Al Akhdar, Jabal Shams, Nakhal and Rustaq,” he added.
Mohammed Ameen, Manager of Sidab Sea Tours based in Marina Bandar, says watching the beauty of Oman from the sea is a “romantic experience”. “Sunset on one side and moon rising on the other is an experience that one cannot get anywhere.”
“We receive four times more visitors during the Eid holidays compared with the rest of the year. All our eight boats run full through the day. We sail more number of times instead of the two regular trips a day,” says Ameen.
The traditional dhow belonging to Sidab Sea Tours carries 50 people onboard to sail along Muttrah for two hours. A majority of them are visitors from other countries.
“I would recommend Wadi Shab, Wadi Tiwi, Bidiya Sands and Balad Seet,” says Saif, travel and tourism expert.
According to him, Jabal Shams and Jabal Al Akhdar are a “must-watch” in Oman if one wants to have an unforgettable Eid holiday.
Muthu Naik, a holiday consultant at Sahara Tours, shared a different idea of a perfect holiday in Oman, combining spiritual as well as the shopping aspect of it.
“For me, a visit to the Grand Mosque, Sur, Muttrah Souq and Muttrah Corniche is a must. At the same time, one should not leave out Jabal Al Akhdar, Nizwa Fort, Bimmqh Sink Hole, Jabal Shams, Salalah and Wadi Dayqa Dam,” he added.