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10 Excellent Reasons To Visit Oman

You may be wondering: where is Oman? Oman is a beautiful country located in the Middle East. Not many people visit Oman, which is probably due to the fact that the country is relatively unknown.

That's a real shame though because there are plenty of reasons to visit Oman. It's a spectacular country with beautiful beaches, stunning mountains, breathtaking views, and very welcoming people.

10 reasons to visit Oman

Jebel Akhdar mountain range

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Why you should visit Oman

  1. Oman offers some amazing off-road driving.
  2. The Omani people are so kind and welcoming.
  3. Wild camping is legal in Oman.
  4. You can find wonderfully secluded wadi pools.
  5. Oman has many beautiful white sand beaches.
  6. The mountains in Oman are stunning.
  7. The Oman desert is impressive.
  8. Oman has many well-preserved historic forts and castles.
  9. The roads in Oman are well-maintained and very quiet.
  10. There are virtually no tourists in Oman.

Interesting facts about Oman

Where is Oman?

The Sultanate of Oman is located on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, its neighboring countries are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

How many people live in Oman?

The population of Oman is approximately 4.6 million.

What is the capital of Oman?

The capital of Oman is Muscat, a beautiful city with 1.7 million residents.

What currency is used in Oman?

In Oman, the currency used is Omani rial. Coins have denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 baisas, and 0.25 and 0.50 rials. Banknote denominations are 100 and 200 baisas, and 0.50, one, five, 10, 20, and 50 rials.

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Is Oman worth visiting?

Yes, 100% yes! I wrote this post while sitting at Muscat airport. I was very sad to leave, as I had such a great time in Oman and found it difficult to say goodbye.

I felt so very welcome in this amazing country. The people are very nice and the country feels safe and relaxed. And if that wasn't enough: Oman is absolutely gorgeous too!

There are many reasons to visit Oman and lots of things to do, but not many people seem to know about them. Some of the best activities in Oman include:

There's also a wide range of local activities like camel racing, sailing, and sand surfing. All in all, I hope this article will inspire you to plan an Oman vacation.

1. Off-road driving in Oman is spectacular

Wadi Bani Awf most beautiful off-road trip Oman

Oman is the perfect place for a road trip because there are lots of amazing off-road routes in Oman!

My favorite one was the road through Wadi Bani Awf, it was breathtaking! We drove up a steep pass and the higher we got, the more incredible the views.

Other great off-road tracks we took were the dirt roads in Jebel Shams and the Eastern Al Hajar mountains. Be sure to get a good off-road guidebook before you set off.

2. The Omani people are amazing

Ras al Jinz Oman coastal drive

The people in Oman are very welcoming and always happy to help! We experienced Omani hospitality when we were invited for Omani coffee and Karak (traditional Omani tea) with dates at Bimmah Sinkhole.

At Wadi Tiwi, a friendly 18-year-old boy guided us to the most beautiful secluded pool. Whenever we were exploring one of the tiny mountain villages on foot, we were always greeted by friendly local people.

And whenever we stopped at the side of the road to check our map, within seconds a friendly Omani pulled over to ask if we needed any help.

Wild camping in Oman - tent and 4WD

Wild camping is legal in Oman and totally awesome! You can pitch your tent anywhere, as long as you don’t camp near villages or in wadi beds (risk of flash floods).

Of course, you need to clean up your trash, but other than that there are no restrictions to where you can camp! So pick your preferred spot, be it the beach, the mountains, or the desert!

4. You can find wonderfully secluded wadi pools

Wadi Damm paradise on earth hidden waterfall and pool Oman

Does anyone fancy a dreamlike oasis? We visited several amazing wadis with wonderful freshwater pools and nobody but us to enjoy them…

My favorite one was the secluded pool in Wadi Damm with green moss curtains and crystal clear water (see picture above), doesn't it look like paradise?!

Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Shab are also very worthwhile and a little more touristy. However, in Oman that simply means you may not be the only one there.

5. Oman has many beautiful beaches

Free campsite near Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab next to the ocean

With a coastline of 1700km, it's not surprising Oman has some pretty amazing beaches. This little beach near Wadi Tiwi was perfect for a morning of snorkeling.

If you drive further south you'll come across Ras al Jinz beach, the easternmost point of Oman. This beach isn't for swimming, but it's famous for the turtle reserve.

No less than four types of sea turtles lay their eggs here (green turtles, Loggerhead turtles, Hawksbill turtles, and Olive Ridley turtles).

The best time to see them nest is between July and September, while September to November is the best time to see both the laying as well as the hatching of the turtle eggs.

6. The mountains in Oman are stunning

Jebel Shams viewpoint Oman Grand Canyon of Oman Middle East Wadi Ghul

Oman continuously amazed me with its brilliant scenery, the mountains are gorgeous… The tallest mountain in Oman is Jebel Shams which is 3000 meters high.

The Jebel Shams area is simply stunning and is also referred to as the Grand Canyon of Oman. Be sure to hike the Balcony Walk, a trail leading along the edges of steep cliffs that drop down for hundreds of meters.

You better pay attention to where you are going, even though that's difficult with stunning views all around!

7. The Oman desert is impressive

When I mentioned to people I was going to Oman, most of them said: why would you go there, isn't Oman just a big desert with nothing to see?

So. Not. True.

After our 2-week road trip, I can say from personal experience Oman is most definitely not just big desert but offers a huge variety of landscapes.

But that doesn't mean there is no desert, nor that dessert can't be beautiful! The Sharqiya Sands is one of the desert areas in Oman and has amazing red sand dunes and mesmerizing views…

8. Oman has many historic forts and castles 

Nakhal Fort in Oman

I visited Nakhal Fort which was built in the 17th century and beautifully restored, see picture above.

Another fort I visited and really liked was Bahla Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 13th century). 

There are over 500 forts and castles in Oman, other worthwhile forts are Nizwa Fort and Rustaq Fort.

9. The roads in Oman are excellent

Empty road in Oman with the Jebel Shams Mountains in the background

The paved roads in Oman are in excellent condition and very quiet once you get out of Muscat. A little warning, while we always kept the speed limits none of the Omani did!

10. There are virtually no tourists in Oman

Empty dirt road in Oman

There are tourists in Oman… but you have to look very carefully! We camped for 11 nights and only came across other people twice.

When driving over the amazing dirt roads we rarely came across other tourists, only local people driving to their secluded mountain village in a 4×4.

In Wadi Damm and Wadi Tiwi, we went swimming in beautiful pools and there was nobody else around…

When we visited Nakhal fort, we were the only Western people in the building (though we were surrounded by a class of curious Omani schoolchildren).

Long story short: Oman is very much off the beaten track and most days you'll have the natural beauty of Oman all to yourself!

A trip to Oman: in conclusion

I hope I have convinced you to pay Oman a visit, it's the perfect destination if you love road trips, majestic mountains, and unique architecture.

You can read more about travel in Oman in my budget breakdown2-week road trip itinerary, camping in Oman guide, and how to cross the Hatta border when coming from Dubai.

This post was updated in February 2023.

John Glover

Friday 16th of October 2020

Lotte, have you visited Musandam yet?

I was fortunate enough to live there in the mid to late 80s (before tourism) whilst working for the Omani government.

Stunning scenery, lovely people and great beaches and mountain roads.

Great memories ... thanks for jogging them.


Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Unfortunately, we haven't! had a chance yet. Since our trip to Oman, we've had 2 kids and while we still travel as much as we can, we have yet to revisit Oman. Of course, the whole Covid situation hasn't helped as Oman's borders are currently closed. But living in Oman must have been pretty great! The scenery is beautiful indeed, and the people so friendly... We still plan to go back one day for another visit!

Ryan Biddulph

Thursday 27th of April 2017

I am totally captivated by the somehow tropical nature of Oman despite being in the Middle East. We did a quick Muscat layover recently while leaving Qatar and were amazed by the place. So neat when we landed and dove into the nation - research-wise - learning about this spot that seems to go back in time versus its peninsular neighbors ;)



Thursday 27th of April 2017

I wouldn't call Oman tropical but the Wadi's are pretty green indeed;-). And I many people told me to visit Salalah in the south, apparently that's very different from the North. Anyway, I loved our time in Oman and can highly recommend to go there!


Tuesday 25th of April 2017

What an adventure! Another great post with stunning photos too. The wadi pools look so refreshing and crystal clear...and such a contrast to the desert and sand dunes. Quite possibly after people have read this post there will be a lot more tourists in Oman!


Wednesday 26th of April 2017

It was such an adventure! Thank you for the compliment, I do hope the article will inspire people to visit Oman, it's a wonderful country:-)