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Wanderlust releases its list of ten must-see sites in Oman

Wanderlust recently compiled a list of the best attractions in Oman, including its ancient historic sites and its natural beauty. Muscat, the capital city, offers a wide range of museums and galleries as well as beautiful architecture. Elsewhere in the country, visitors can explore forts, Bronze Age tombs, and the role of frankincense in Oman’s history.

Wanderlust releases its list of ten must-see sites in Oman

Though it is not yet on the radar of many tourists, the small Middle Eastern country of Oman has many charms, from its stunning coastline to its fine museums and galleries. According to Wanderlust, these are some of the country’s must-see attractions.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Located in Oman’s capital city of Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is considered to be one of the finest examples of contemporary Islamic architecture in the world. The mosque is surrounded by serene gardens and water pools, and the building’s interior, particularly its main prayer hall, is a wonder: in addition to a massive chandelier and a multitude of hand-painted tiles, the hall also features one of the world’s largest hand-woven carpets. As an added plus, the mosque is the only one in Oman open to non-Muslims.

Nizwa Fort

In a country of formidable deserts, Nizwa sits at the base of the Western Hajar Mountains and has natural water and cool valleys, making it a highly desirable locale. The fort that protected the town was built in the ninth century, but nowadays it serves largely to provide visitors with excellent views of the city.

Museum of Frankincense Land

Visit Oman, and you’re sure to notice the scent of frankincense in the air. Oman produces the finest frankincense in the world, and it used in any number of ways—you can even buy frankincense ice cream in Oman. In Salalah, visitors can explore the Museum of Frankincense Land, which traces the history of frankincense and its role in Oman’s culture.

Royal Opera House

Located in Muscat, the Royal Opera House is a world-class venue with outstanding acoustics. Along with big-name, internationally-known artists, visitors to Muscat can expect to see performances from classical Arab singers, poetry orators, and traditional ensembles.

Al Hamra

The ancient village of Al Hamra, located in Western Hajar, is almost entirely off the tourist radar. But it shouldn’t be. Strolling through Al Hamra is a bit like stepping back in time, or into a tale from the Arabian Nights. It’s charming and atmospheric, and an easy stop on the way to the mountains.

Bronze Age tombs

In the small settlement of Al Ayn, visitors can explore a row of sandstone tombs that have occupied their position at the foot of the mountains for roughly 5,000 years. There are other tombs in Oman, but this UNESCO World Heritage site offers the best-preserved tombs.

National Museum

A very new addition to Muscat’s cultural scene, the National Museum covers everything from the country’s first settlements to modern art and industry. One of the museum’s strengths is its Intangible Heritage Gallery, which features live performances relating to Omani culture.

Jabrin Fort

The 17th century fort at Jabrin offers visitors the chance to explore Oman’s falaj (irrigation) network, without which the country farms and communities would suffer. The network is not only ingenious; it’s vital enough to Oman’s history that part of the network is UNESCO-protected.

Dhow-building yard

A nation of seafarers, Oman doesn’t take its ship-building lightly. At the shipyard of Sur, which is south of Muscat, it’s possible to watch the construction of traditional wooden dhows.

Bait Al Zubair Museum

In Muscat’s old quarter, this small museum provides some of the best insights into Omani culture. One not-to-be-missed feature of the museum is its permanent exhibit of local clothing.

With ancient culture and remarkable natural beauty, Oman should be on any traveller’s wish list.  

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