In 1992, the then Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said, directed that his country should have a Grand Mosque. In 1993, a competition for the design of the proposed mosque took place. The building contract was awarded to Carillion Alawi LLC. Construction commenced in December 1994, after a site was chosen at Bausher, and it took six years and seven months to build the mosque.
The mosque is made of stone, with doors, windows and embellishments made of wood and glass. Around 300,000 tons of Indian sandstone was imported for the building. Five minarets have been built around the premises of the mosque: the main minaret (90 metres (300 ft)) in height, and the four flanking minarets (45.5 metres (149 ft)) are the mosque’s chief visual features from the exterior. In the interior, the main musalla is the focus of both prayer and tourism.
The Bimmah Sinkhole, also known as Hawiyat Najm, is a natural wonder located in Oman, near the town of Bimmah. It is a collapsed limestone cave that has formed a stunning circular depression filled with crystal-clear turquoise waters. This sinkhole is approximately 20 meters deep and 50 meters in diameter, making it a popular tourist attraction and a favored swimming spot.
Visitors are drawn to the Bimmah Sinkhole not only for its beauty but also for its legendary healing properties. Many locals believe that the water in the sinkhole has therapeutic benefits for various skin ailments, which adds to its mystique.
Surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush vegetation, the Bimmah Sinkhole offers a picturesque and refreshing escape from the desert landscape of Oman. It's a serene oasis where visitors can swim, snorkel, or simply marvel at the wonders of nature.
Mutrah Souq, also known as Al Dhalam Souq, is a renowned traditional market located in the Mutrah district of Muscat, Oman. This historic souq is famous for its labyrinthine alleys, where visitors can explore a wide variety of Omani and Middle Eastern goods, including textiles, spices, frankincense, jewelry, and handicrafts. The souq's architecture reflects traditional Omani design, creating a captivating atmosphere for shoppers. It's not just a marketplace but also a cultural experience where visitors can immerse themselves in Oman's rich heritage and enjoy the vibrant sights and sounds of this bustling market.
Bait Al Zubair Museum is a cultural gem located in Muscat, Oman. This privately-owned museum offers a captivating glimpse into Omani heritage and history. Housed in a beautifully restored traditional Omani mansion, the museum features a diverse collection of artifacts, including traditional costumes, weaponry, jewelry, and archaeological findings. It also showcases Omani art, photography, and historical documents, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the country's culture and development. Bait Al Zubair Museum is a must-visit destination for those seeking to explore Oman's rich and multifaceted heritage.
The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) is a cultural treasure nestled in the heart of Muscat, Oman. Its architectural marvel seamlessly blends traditional Omani elements with contemporary design, creating an awe-inspiring structure that stands as a testament to Oman's commitment to the arts. Within its grand walls, ROHM hosts a diverse array of world-class performances, encompassing opera, ballet, classical music, and theater, featuring talents from both Oman and around the globe. The opera house is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including an acoustically impeccable auditorium, elegant opera house restaurant, and lushly landscaped gardens. ROHM plays a vital role in nurturing Oman's rich cultural heritage and serves as a cultural bridge for international artistic exchange, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a captivating artistic experience in Oman.
Qurum Beach features a long stretch of golden sands lapped by the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. The beach is backed by a picturesque promenade with lush palm trees, making it an ideal place for a leisurely stroll, picnics, or simply relaxing under the shade.
Visitors can enjoy various activities at Qurum Beach, including swimming in the gentle waves, beachcombing, and beach volleyball. The beach also offers opportunities for water sports such as jet skiing and windsurfing.
Sunsets at Qurum Beach are particularly enchanting, providing a breathtaking backdrop as the sun dips below the horizon. The area around the beach is dotted with cafes and restaurants, allowing visitors to savor Omani cuisine and international dishes while enjoying the sea views.
Wahiba Sands, also known as the Sharqiya Sands, is an awe-inspiring desert region in eastern Oman, celebrated for its mesmerizing sand dunes and unique desert landscapes. These expansive dunes, which can reach heights of over 100 meters, create a captivating setting for desert exploration and adventure. Amidst the seemingly barren landscape, Wahiba Sands teems with life, including Arabian oryx, sand gazelles, and various desert bird species. Visitors can partake in thrilling activities such as dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel trekking, immersing themselves in the desert's grandeur. Additionally, Wahiba Sands provides a remarkable backdrop for stargazing, with its remote location offering unobstructed views of celestial wonders. It's a place where nature's raw beauty and the thrill of desert adventures unite, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to experience the allure of the Omani desert.
The National Museum of Oman, situated in the heart of Muscat, stands as a testament to the nation's cultural and historical heritage. Its architectural grandeur is a harmonious blend of traditional Omani design elements and modern aesthetics, making it an iconic landmark in the city. Inside, visitors can embark on a captivating journey through Oman's past, with comprehensive exhibits showcasing the country's diverse history, from prehistoric eras and the rise of ancient civilizations to the modern era. The museum's extensive collection features an array of artifacts, including archaeological finds, historical documents, traditional costumes, jewelry, and art, providing a profound insight into Oman's rich and multifaceted culture. Through its immersive displays and educational programs, the National Museum of Oman serves as a window into the soul of the nation, preserving its heritage and fostering a deeper appreciation for its history among both locals and visitors alike.
Wadi Ash Shab, often referred to simply as Wadi Shab, is a natural wonder located in Oman, near the coastal town of Tiwi. This wadi (valley) is celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty and unique hiking experiences. Its deep canyon walls, sculpted over centuries by freshwater streams, create a striking contrast with the turquoise waters that flow through it. The wadi offers a range of activities, from hiking and swimming in crystal-clear pools to exploring hidden caves and waterfalls. Adventurous visitors can trek along its trails, leading to higher vantage points for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Wadi Shab is not only a haven for nature enthusiasts but also a place where the wonders of Oman's natural environment come to life, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking outdoor adventure and serenity.
Salalah is a coastal city located in the southern region of Oman, and it's a destination known for its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Dhofar Mountains, Salalah stands out for several compelling reasons.
One of the city's defining features is its monsoon season, locally known as the "Khareef." During this time, which typically occurs from June to September, Salalah transforms into a lush green paradise, with misty hills and flowing waterfalls, presenting a stark contrast to the arid deserts found in much of Oman.
The pristine beaches of Salalah, such as Al Mughsail Beach, offer relaxation and recreation opportunities, while the nearby Wadi Darbat is a natural wonder featuring waterfalls and freshwater lakes.
Al Alam Palace, also known as the Sultan's Palace, is an architectural jewel located in the heart of Muscat, the capital city of Oman. This striking palace stands as a symbol of the nation's rich history and its modern aspirations.
The palace's distinctive design is a harmonious blend of contemporary and traditional Omani architecture. Its vivid blue and gold facade, ornate gates, and towering columns create a visual spectacle that is both grand and elegant. Flanked by the historic Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts, Al Alam Palace forms part of the stunning backdrop of Old Muscat, overlooking the scenic Al Jalali and Al Mirani bays.
Jebel Akhdar, meaning "Green Mountain" in Arabic, is a stunning mountain range located in the Al Hajar Mountains of Oman. This natural wonder is celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes and is a popular destination for those seeking cool temperatures, lush terraces, and outdoor adventures.
The mountains of Jebel Akhdar are renowned for their dramatic beauty, with deep canyons, rugged cliffs, and terraced farms that cling to the slopes. The terraces are a testament to the ingenious irrigation systems developed by the Omani people over centuries, enabling the cultivation of various crops, including pomegranates, apricots, and roses used in the production of rosewater.