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Oman named one of world's top travel destinations

Often overshadowed by its wealthy Emirate neighbours, Oman is emerging as a popular tourist destination. It boasts ancient culture, breath-taking scenery, and a number of international sporting events. Adding to its appeal, the country was recently ranked eighth in the world’s top travel destinationa by Lonely Planet magazine.

Oman named one of world's top travel destinations

Travel publication Lonely Planet recently named Oman eighth in the world among top travel destinations. Oman was the only country from the Middle East to make it onto the list, and it was the first time the country made Lonely Planet’s ranking.

One of the Middle East’s lesser-known countries, Oman is often overlooked by travellers. Compared to other countries in the region, however, Oman is peaceful and politically stable. And unlike some of its neighbours on the Arabian Peninsula, Oman isn’t excessively wealthy, making it both accessible for the average traveller and a more authentic experience.

Oman had roughly 2 million international tourists in 2015 and hopes to increase that number to more than 5 million with its new 2040 Tourism Strategy. In recent years, a number of luxury hotels have opened in Oman, including the Alila Jabal Akhdar in the Hajar Mountains, the Six Senses Zighy Bay on the Musandam Peninsula, and the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar. The sultanate is investing roughly US $120 million in theme parks, including the futuristic Majarat Oman, which will open in 2017.

Visitors to Oman are charmed by its natural beauty—pristine coastal villages, mountains, and deserts where frankincense wafts through the air. It boasts incredible architecture, particularly Muscat’s Grand Mosque. In addition to its natural beauty and architecture, the people of Oman are known for their hospitality and warmth towards visitors.

In its latest Travel and Tourism report, the World Economic Forum ranked Oman 9th in terms of safety and security. Additionally, the country is frequently ranked one of the safest countries in the world for solo travellers.

Oman is also becoming a significant sporting destination. This year, the country was the first in the Middle East to host the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. With a long history of sailing, Oman was a natural choice to host the event, which allowed the country to promote its sailing heritage internationally. EFG Sailing Arabia, a two-week long sailing event, was also held in Oman in February of 2015.

In addition to sailing, bicyclists flock to the country for the Tour of Oman, an event held for the past five years. 

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