Tag Archives: Oman

First time at Muscat!

After visiting the former capital Nizwa, we continued our trip to the current capital, Muscat. In proportion with the total population of Oman (almost 4 million), Muscat isn’t a real metropole, but nevertheless a very nice city!

There are many things to visit: mosques, forts, museums, markets, beaches, resorts, etc. The city holds some authentic and old venues as well as more modern places. Overall the city’s architecture is not my kind of thing, but if you know the sweet spots you start appreciating it.

While being a capital it still isn’t very expensive and traffic is not too bad. We went to everything by car and that was pretty convenient to do so.

This is a panoramic picture with the palace of the Sultan (Oman is a Sultanate) at the right.

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The city is completely surrounded by mountains which gives it a very pitoresque feeling.

Whenever in Dubai and having some time left, consider visiting this city!

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First Time at Nizwa!

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During the road trip to Oman that me and my roommate did, we spent 2 night at the former capital of Oman, Nizwa. It hasn’t been the capital for a while now, but still you can see a lot of remains of why and how it once was the capital. It has a beautiful Mosque and an even more impressive fort at the city center.

We paid a visit to the fort. Apparently the first parts of it go back to around 500 A.C., after that it has been made bigger, stronger and larger until the 1500’s. In the 18th century they renovated and reinforced it and since it hasn’t really changed much. Inside there were many chambers for different purposes. Really interesting to see the ingenious way of building the fort to protect it both from enemies and the heat.

This is the view from the top of the main tower (which had many booby-traps to go up there for protection):

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Furthermore we had a drive through the minuscule streets that surrounded the fort. Some were not much wider than 3 m. We got stuck couple of times and of one way directions they had apparently never heard :).

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So, whenever you’re planning to go Oman, put this city on your list and take some time to discover some of its history and hospitality!

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First Time wearing a Kandura!

One of the most iconic things about local Emirati (and other inhabitants of the Middle East) is their way of dressing. The women wear a hijab, niqab or burka, the men wear a thob or a Kandura as they call it in the UAE. In Oman they call it ‘Dishdasha’.

When a local Emirati was sitting I’m my class I asked him about his outfit and he explained to me some of the purposes and that it is more of ‘local’ thing than a religious thing. He also explained to me that a westerner can buy and wear it without any problem. That’s when I really considered buying one 🙂

Not much later I found a shop specialized in making these. Together with my roommate we went there and bought the whole outfit. It consists of the Kandura itself, a white t-shirt to wear underneath it, white thin pants, the head-wear (consisting of the ring and the cloth) and a pair of sandals. We had the Kandura itself tailor made so we had to wait 4 days to pick it up. Total price: 400 AED or about €80. Not too bad and the best souvenir you can get!

Here’s a picture of me and my roommate at the fort in Bahla (Oman) while wearing our Kandura.

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We wore them for 3 whole days. They are really comfortable, a bit too hot for me because of the multiple layers, and not very good to get a suntan because it covers pretty much everything 😉

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First Time in Oman!

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Because I was in Oman only for Visa-issues it is maybe a little less exciting than you would expect but it was still an interesting experience. Because my Visa for the UAE is only valid for 30 days, I had to do a ‘Visa-Run’ to prolong it. Practically this means, take your car, drive to Oman, get an exit stamp from the UAE, get an entry stamp from Oman, get an exit stamp of Oman and get a new entry stamp from UAE.

This 5-hour experience mainly exists of driving but it was a nice way to have a view from the Dubai suburbs, the dessert and the Oman ‘mountains’. When arriving at the border you do all the stamping things, which takes you about an hour, mainly because of the waiting. And you’re ready to get back.

It was a pitty that I couldn’t combine this with a trip to Oman itself because I heard a lot of nice things about it, but I might get there again soon!

Ow yes, also rich Dubai people sometimes have to do it 🙂

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