Halal Multi Centre Holidays
Oman is a fabulous destination in its own right, but as it is well on the way to the Indian Ocean and the Orient, you could well be tempted to combine your trip with somewhere further afield. There are direct flights from Muscat to many stunning Indian Ocean destinations, including the Maldives and to even more via Dubai, a short hop away. Alternatively, you can arrange a delightful multi-centre holiday in other parts of the Arabian Gulf that provide an exciting contrast to Oman, such as Dubai, Fujeirah and Abu Dhabi.
Featured Hotels in Oman
Halal Oman Holidays
Still an enigma to many Western travellers, the Sultanate of Oman has a vast treasure-house of delights waiting to be discovered, and increasing numbers of people are realising how much it has to offer. In the last couple of decades the country has been welcoming a growing number of travellers from all parts of the world, who are amazed by its breathtaking natural beauty. Now the government is increasingly focused on developing halal tourism in the country, to ensure that it can provide the warmest possible welcome to Muslim visitors too.
Oman already has many attractions for Muslim travellers, boasting many of the most impressive mosques in the Middle East, and deeply-rooted Islamic cultural traditions that have not been swamped by over-development. Many of the charming mediaeval towns and historic Bedouin villages testify to country's rich Islamic heritage, with Islam having been adopted as early as 628 A.D. In fact Oman is one of the best places in the Middle East to experience the true Arab world.
Everything for the Family
Oman also scores very highly when it comes to family holidays, which are particularly important for Muslim travellers -- in fact the country has just about everything any family could wish for. Miles of beautiful soft-sand beaches offer opportunities for surfing, dolphin, turtle and whale watching, fishing trips and boat rides from Qantab Beach, and palm-shaded picnics on Qurum Beach. Inland there are caves, lagoons, canyons and the wonderful Wadis, such as Wadi al Arbaeen and Wadi Bani Shab, with waterfalls, boat trips, natural pools for swimming and amazing wildlife to observe, as well as opportunities for jeep safaris and camel rides in the desert. Then of course there are fabulous museums, such as Bait al Baranda in Muscat, with interactive displays and exhibits, which keep children enthralled for hours.
Enchanting Towns and Cities
There are many wonderful towns and cities to explore, including the picturesque capital Muscat with its famous souks, and the second city Salalah, the cultural capital and the birthplace of the current Sultan. Salalah has a gorgeous beach and numerous attractions, in particular the Al Baleed Archaeological Park, created around the excavation of an ancient Iron Age city, with a museum and lots of adventures for children, including a boating lake. Salalah offers a wealth of facilities for Muslim visitors, with mosques at every corner and plenty of halal restaurants.
Other enchanting towns include Nizwa, about 140km from Muscat, one of the oldest cities in Oman. It was Oman's capital in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. -- its Jama or Grand Mosque was a famous centre for Islamic learning, and there are many other renowned mosques, some 1,000 or more years old. It also has an amazingly impressive 17th century fort, and the second largest souk after Muscat. Not far away is the rocky canyon town of Misfat al Abreyeen, a stunningly picturesque huddle of ancient houses perched on mountain tops, providing a genuine glimpse of how Arab tribes lived centuries ago.
The country has many beautiful hotels, both luxury and family-oriented, and increasing numbers are becoming halal-compliant. One of the country's most renowned luxury hotels, Shangri-La's Barr al Jissah Resort, offers a wide range of facilities for Muslims, including a gender-segregated spa, designated prayer rooms and a copy of the Quran in every room. The brand new Muscat Grand Millennium Hotel, with its quintessentially Arabian design, is one of a growing number of hotels specifically designed to be halal-compliant.
Oman is becoming a top favourite among the Gulf countries, as more and more travellers discover its charms. Not only is it full of natural beauty, it is also steeped in Arab tradition and full of fascinating history. Now with the increasing emphasis on halal-compliant tourism, it is increasingly becoming a favourite with Muslims too.