Brand new stays and plays…

Exciting things are brewing at our next door neighbour’s. Oman is perhaps the most popular regional destination for us UAE folk to escape to when the mood for a speedy holiday strikes. It’s not too far, but far enough to feel like you’re getting away from routine, and the vast land is plenty gorgeous, with sun, sand and the sea, with the cherry of serenity and a slow life on top.

mandarin oriental oman

We have the natural beauty, with the wadis, the valleys, the mountains, the beaches, the far flung historic corners and sleepy coastal fishing towns. There’s no need for a reason to go back but if there had to be one – the hospitality landscape in Oman is growing. There are some new players on the field and every single property is worth exploring. Go off, take a break and rediscover amazing Oman.

Mandarin Oriental, Muscat

The infinite chain of Mandarin Oriental hotels spread all across the world has a brand new addition – a jazzy capital location in the Sultanate of Oman. Growing the group’s portfolio to 40 hotels globally, the property is bringing the exceptional Mandarin Oriental quality with the warmth of Omani hospitality. Backed by the Hajar Mountains, Mandarin Oriental Muscat will be offering world-class dining, a spa and authentic Omani-inspired experiences.

mandarin oriental oman

The location is quite prime – in the heart of the city in Shatti Al-Qurum, and the design of the urban resort and branded residences is flanked by sweeping views of the Arabian Sea. Qurum is the historical neighbourhood of Muscat, full of age old buildings, alleys and a wealth of vibrant culture and heritage.

The 103 rooms and 47 suites take notes from the natural beauty of the country, using materials like desert rose marble and ashwood. Also find here five distinct restaurants, The Spa and much more.


St. Regis Al Mouj Muscat

The St. Regis brand is well-known and well-loved for top notch quality that always delivers, and now, Oman is getting a taste of that. Welcome the St. Regis Al Mouj Muscat, a beach resort in an urban setting and just what you need for a relaxing escape.

The stunning property is a beach retreat, nestled along 360 metres of beautiful blue beachfront of the Al Mouj Beach and just a nine-minute walk away from the shores. Adding a touch of luxury to the shores of the Sultanate, the resort has 250 rooms and suites and a choice of beachfront or golf course views.

Other high-end facilities include a branded Guerlain Spa, a padel court, facilities to go diving, a range of water sports and nine signature dining establishments to complete the experience. You will also find here, a fully-equipped fitness centre, multiple swimming pools, a cigar bar, designated zones for the kids to entertain themselves and private beach access.


More summer experiences…

If luxury hotels are not your thing, fret not, for there is lots to do in Oman in the great big outdoors, and we promise, it’s not just the famed Musandam cruise or Salalah in the Kharif season. Allow me to give you some variety.

Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

When I say that the night sky at this reserve is the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen, I mean it. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is located in the namesake fishing village, in Ras Al Hadd, along the Eastern shores of the Arabian Peninsula. It’s a largely untouched slice of coast, a well-kept tourism secret, much like Oman itself.

Due to its undisturbed nature, it remains as a pure, pristine location where you can witness the fascinating nesting process of the rare Oman sea turtles. The reserve was established through a royal decree in 1996 – such is the magnitude of the conservation work the centre is doing for these species.

The reserve prohibits the use of light from several kilometres away leading up to the area, so as to not scare the turtles and disrupt their natural processes. Under the cover of the night sky, visitors are offered guided tours of the beach, where you can view the turtles without disruptions and without any street lights, a spectacular vision of stars, celestial bodies and bioluminescent waves that illuminate the way for you.


Wakan Village

Hiking to a village may not seem the most appropriate during the summer season, but Wakan is an exception, because 1,500 metres above the sea level, the weather several degrees cooler. Up there, conditions are optimal in these months, and the village itself an awe-inducing, real-time picture of historical Omani life. It lies on the slopes of the Wadi Mistal mountains in Nakhal, and the journey includes a car ride up a mountain and then 700 steps winding through the village to the peak. The settlements are built in a climbing order with the steps through.

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What's On travels to: Salalah, Oman

Wakan is frozen in time – that is the charm. The residents, all 162 of them, are mostly of advanced age, 70s and 80s, refusing to come down to the city and abandon their way of life like their successive generations. You’ll see terraced gardens and orchards of  pomegranates, apricots, peaches and dates, mud houses and children selling raw harvested honey on the step-side. It’s a magical time capsule.


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