Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. It has been ruled by the Al-Said family since 1744. Oman is also one of the oldest human-inhabited places on Earth. Humans have lived in what is now known as Oman for at least 106,000 years and the city of Dereaze is at least 8,000 years old.
The architectural heritage of Oman consists of more than 500 forts, castles and watch towers. Oman’s urban infrastructure from residential buildings to seafront whitewashed resorts is immensely influenced by the Indian architectural style seen in the high society.
Oman does boast of its rich heritage and embracing society, strong sense of identity, a pride in an ancient, frankincense-trading past and confidence in a highly educated future.
For visitors, this offers a rare chance to engage with the Arab world without the distorting lens of excessive wealth. Oman’s low-rise towns retain their traditional charms and Bedouin values remain at the heart of an Omani welcome. With an abundance of natural beauty, from spectacular mountains, wind-blown deserts and a pristine coastline, Oman is the obvious choice for those seeking out the modern face of Arabia while wanting still to sense its ancient soul.
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Getting to Oman is easier than you might think. Muscat International Airport is accessible by short flights from neighbouring Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and nearby Qatar, as well as from a number of popular Asian cities serviced by direct flights, there are many options to suit almost any traveller.
This is yet another initiative from Royal Oman Police in enhancing its services to minimize the time and efforts of people. It enables people to fill Visa Application form online through the ROP website, thus reducing the time taken for purchasing the application form and getting it typed. It also removes the time taken by the visa officer to re-type the information at the time of submission.
Omani cuisine revolves around rice. The morning meal is not significant, often consisting of bread or leftovers from the day before, and tea. The main meal of the day is in early to mid-afternoon. It is generally a large dish of rice with a thin sauce often based on tomato or tomato paste and meat or fish. Pork does not exist in the Omani diet as it is prohibited by Islam.
Oman is home to a vast array of hotel and resorts of varying styles, budget and levels of comfort. There are international hotel brands operating in Muscat and some emerging regional locations like the mountains around Jebel Akhdar, Musandam in the north, and Salalah in the south.
Cars in Oman drive on the right-hand side of the road, as per the USA. Petrol is very cheap. Main roads and freeways are generally in impeccable condition and are well signposted, but many scenic roads outside major centres are unsealed and some are only accessible by four-wheel drive.
The relics of one thousand forts and watchtowers stand as sentinels over Oman’s now peaceful landscape. While many have been left in ruins, a great number have been beautifully restored to their former glory and are open for visitors to explore. Nizwa Fort, perhaps Oman’s most famous heritage landmark, is a great example of this.