Oman is a middle economy country in the Middle East region with a geography of approximately 309, 500 sq. km. In its north is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the northwest is Saudi Arabia and the southwest is Yemen.
The country is officially called Sultanate of Oman. And it is being headed by Sultan Qaboos. The country is heavily dependent on its export of oil.
Oman’s country GDP (purchasing power) is estimated to be USD 76.53 billion in 2010 with an estimated growth of 3.6% in 2010.
Oman’s tourism is currently on its turning point and generates increasing revenue.
Dhofar is the region that is in the southern part of Oman with its administrative capital is Salalah.
I had the privilege to travel to Salalah, Oman last December 2010 to visit my eldest brother. It was my first time to visit the middle east region. Initially I had the impression that I will need to wear the traditional Abaya, the dress that is being worn by the Muslim women in public. However, I learned that in Oman the foreign women does not require to wear Abaya.
My journey started via Emirates EK349 from Changi to Dubai then EK862 from Dubai to Muscat. Traveling alone can be challenging but few conversations with interesting people and catchup with my book readings eased up the boredom.
Gearing up for Oman. At Changi Airport for EK349. December 23, 2010.
Breakfast at Dubai International Airport. Tiramisu and Americano from Paul resto. December 24, 2010.
EK862 from Dubai to Muscat. December 24, 2010.
In Muscat airport there is a Premium Lounge available to everyone. If you are a holder of American Express and other known credit card issuers that came from the gulf region (GCC), you can use the lounge without a fee. Whilst for those that doesn’t hold credit card from the gulf can pay OMR 10.00 for 3 hours and OMR 15.00 for 5 hours stay. I stayed in the Premium lounge for 3 hours and I am amazed by their hospitality not to mention free wifi, food which changes every meal time, shower room, and nap rooms are available.
The Premium Lounge at Muscat Airport.
Muscat to Salalah is via OmanAir WY907. It was first time that I traveled with this carrier and I must say I am impressed with the flight.
Light meal with WY907. December 24, 2010.
Aerial view of Oman. On the way to Salalah. December 24, 2010.
I was impressed by Salalah’s safety to tourist. And the simplicity of life can be felt by tourist like myself.
By 5PM, the Omanis and Oman residents will start to have their evening coffee and chat with their friends.
The late afternoon and evening catchup are regardless of age.
The sea view of Salalah, Oman. Breath taking.
The sunset by the sea at Salalah, Oman.
Oman’s religion is majority Islam. As such, mosques can be seen everywhere in Salalah.
Sultan Qaboos Mosque is now completed. It is the grandest building in Salalah Oman.
The Omanis are very warm and friendly people. They accommodate foreigners and welcome them. Even the women are friendly. Together with my brother and friends, I was able to take a snap with Omani ladies.
Me with the fashionable Omani ladies. December 2010.
Arab men were also friendly. They’re warm with foreigners though we don’t know each other.
Arab guys who requested for a snap though we don’t know each other. Taken at Marriott Resort, December 2010.
The transportation in Oman is usually via private cars. The car models available in the car industry are always updated. For tourists, car rentals are very affordable and the models are updated. Even though we rented a car last December, 2010 but the car that was released to us was Nissan Tiida 2011 model. Impressive.
How about the car full tanked? Well, it was very surprising that the car full tanked in fuel only cost approximately SGD 12.00. Very amazed.
The rented car. Nissan Tiida 2011 with my brother inside.
The car rental business. The company who provided us with the updated car model.
During my Oman visit I enjoyed the middle eastern food. Shawarma from Dharbatt hotel (specialized in Turkish food) top notched combined with their Turkish coffee. Yummy.
And what could be best in Middle East but to taste the Kabab with its traditional salad, and Hummus, and the middle eastern bread. Couldn’t ask for more in dinner.
My brother and his buddy with our dinner – Kabab, salad, Hummus, and bread. Yum. yum. yum.
Shopping in Oman is cordial. Especially when you’re in search for gold jewelries. Though some would say gold in Oman is slightly higher in price in comparison to other gulf region, it is still lower in price when we’re comparing with outside of Middle East continent. Regardless of design, the amount is based on the gold weight.
My gold find and my remembrance. Three bangles and a set of earrings with necklace. Retail therapy completed.
Tourism in Salalah has improved and not surprisingly provides revenue for the state. If you’re into archeological sites, tombs of prophets, and frankincense, you will definitely enjoy Salalah.
For more information on Oman Tourism, you can visit http://www.omantourism.gov.om.
My travel went very well and I’m very thankful for my brother and the circle of friends who cordially went with us on our road trips and adventures.
Their smile and their faces. I owe them gratitude for my accommodation and stay at Salalah, Oman.
Me with my eldest brother in Prophet Job’s (Ayoub) Tomb. Taken December 25, 2010.
I had an unforgettable experience in Salalah, Oman. Needless to say, I had a sibling time with my brother whom due to age gap I wasn’t able to grew up with. Definitely a memorable experience. Surely I will visit again Salalah, Oman.
My travel was concluded with EK867 from Muscat to Dubai and EK348 from Dubai to Singapore.
Shukran Salalah Oman!
A continuation of this travel blog will be the upcoming article, Realizing Prophet Job’s Lesson.
Til next time. Au revoir.
- U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs June 2007, Background Note: Oman
- Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook Publication, Middle East: Oman