Oman Tourism Seminar
To explain how to get there Oman as well as what to
enjoy in Oman for potential tourists in Korea, Oman
Embassy & Air Oman held an Oman Tourism Seminar on
March 7th afternoon at the Oman Embassy Seoul. The
following are excertps from the Seminar. –Ed.
HOW TO GET THERE
GETTING THERE AND AWAY
Getting to Oman is easier than you might think. Muscat
International Airport is accessible by short flights from
neighbouring Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and nearby Qatar,
as well as from a number of popular Asian cities serviced
by direct flights from Australia and New Zealand, there are
many options to suit almost any traveller.
A second international airport can be found in Salalah in
the south of the country. This airport receives air services
from Muscat as well as regular direct flights from Doha and
Dubai which increase during the Khareef (Monsoon) season.
In Musandam in the far north of Oman, Khasab Airport is
serviced by daily flights from Muscat International Airport
operated by Oman Air.
New regional airports are being built at Sohar, Ras al Hadd
and the increasingly important port of Duqm.
FROM THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (ABU DHABI AND DUBAI)
Oman is easily accessed as a short side-trip from both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. With multiple daily
flights into Muscat operated by Oman Air, Emirates and Etihad
Airways, an Oman side-trip of a lifetime really couldn’t be simpler. Each of these airlines offer great value airfares
and Emirates’ Arabian Airpass offers another popular, affordable
travel option. Ask your travel agent for the Arabian Airpass.
FROM QATAR (DOHA)
Flying from Doha to Muscat takes less than 90 minutes, making
a side-trip on Qatar Airways a convenient option. A oneworld® Visit
Middle East Pass is your key to discovering Oman from Doha
with Qatar Airways. Perfect for a side-trip from Doha in Qatar to Muscat, the Visit Middle East Pass
offers flexibility and great value. Ask your travel agent about the
Visit Middle East Pass.
WITH OMAN AIR
Oman Air is the multi-award-winning national carrier of the
Sultanate of Oman, and flies
conveniently to Muscat and beyond via major Asian gateway cities.
Since its inception in 1993, Oman Air has grown from a minor
airline operating only one aircraft on domestic routes to a major
airline flying to more than 40 destinations around the world.
Oman Air airfares are available from Australia and New Zealand
into Muscat via cities like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok,
Manila and Jakarta in conjunction with a number of popular partner airlines.
To book or inquire further contact Oman Air on 1300 730 484
(+61 2 9286 8985 from New Zealand), email firstname.lastname@example.org
or contact your favourite travel agent.
By road, Muscat is an easy four hour drive from Dubai or five
hours from Abu Dhabi. Likewise, the dramatic northern region
of Musandam with its fjords and mountains can be reached by
road conveniently from Dubai, a popular option for holidaymakers
looking for something different.
Muscat’s Port Sultan Qaboos is considered the main maritime gateway
to Oman. Because of its prime location, it is one of the major
ports in the region and is a popular stop on international cruise itineraries.
Khasab Port in Musandam is also visited by cruise lines exploring
this fascinating, rugged corner of the country.
Salalah Port in Oman’s south is an oft-visited port for international and regional cruise lines, with visitors
to shore exploring fascinating historical sites, the famed Frankincense
Trail, and lush green countryside during the annual Khareef summer monsoon.
HISTORY & TRADITIONS
A KALEIDOSCOPE OF HISTORY, LEGENDS AND ADVENTURES
Oman is a land of rich history and fascinating culture that dates
back well over 5000 years.
RELICS & LEGENDS
The relics of one thousand forts and watchtowers stand as
sentinels over Oman’s now peaceful landscape. While many have
been left in ruins,
a great number have been beautifully restored to their former
glory and are open for visitors to explore. Nizwa Fort, perhaps Oman’s most famous heritage landmark, is a great example of this.
Surrounded by the equally alluring Nizwa Souk, this impressive
monument to Omani architecture features mazes of passageways
linking rooms of museum displays beneath its grand central tower.
Venturing further back into history, sites such as Sumhuram and
Ubar – thought by many to be the famed Atlantis of the Sands –
beckon visitors with their echoes of an ancient way of life.
Of course, modern Omani culture still carries many of the
traditions of bygone eras. It remained effectively underdeveloped
until 1970, when His Majesty Sultan Qaboos ascended to the
throne and began what many called the “Blessed Renaissance”.
Oman is often referred to as the ‘true Arabia’ because its ancient
culture has been so beautifully preserved. Here, you’ll still find souks selling silver and frankincense, cattle and
pottery, in the same way as has been customary for thousands of years.
The covered laneways of fascinating Mutrak souq, Muscat.
The Omani people themselves also have a well-deserved reputation for being amongst the world’s most hospitable. Their smiling faces testify to their eagerness
to share their unique culture with visitors, and most travellers
to Oman will have at least one story of remarkable local hospitality.
It is this warm, peaceful culture that has created a society that
consistently ranks Oman highly on the annual Global Peace
Index, as well as being named the world’s 9th safest tourism destination by the World Economic Forum
Recent archaeological discoveries suggest that humans settled in
Oman during the Stone Age, more than 10,000 years ago.
The Babylonians and the Assyrians settled in Oman because
they wanted to control the trade routes connecting Asia with
the Mediterranean Sea.
ISLAM IN OMAN
The early spread of Islam in the 7th Century saw the first mosque
built in Oman - the Al Midhmar Mosque that stands to this
day in Wilayt Samail.
The majority of Omanis practice the less widespread form of
Islam known as Ibadism. Ibadism places great importance on
pacifism, tolerance and respect for people, cultures and creeds.
Ibadism is only found in Oman, Zanzibar (once an Omani
colony) and some small enclaves of Tunisia and Algeria. Non-Muslims have historically been able to freely practice their
own religions openly in Oman.
THE PORTUGUESE IN OMAN
In 1507, the Portuguese arrived in Oman to shore up supply
lines and trade routes back to Portugal. In 1650, they were
driven out by the Omani navy under the leadership of Sultan
bin Saif Al-Ya'arubi.
Interestingly, Oman is the only ex-Portuguese colony where there is no remnant Portuguese
spoken. An indication, some say, of the strength of Omani
tradition, culture and national pride.
Due to its strategic location on some of the world's most
lucrative trade routes, the country - in particular the southern
region - became one of the wealthiest in the world. The
flourishing economy was further fuelled by trading in highly
sought after Arabian horses and the world's finest frankincense.
Oman reached the height of its power in the mid-19th century with Omani influence spreading all the way to
Zanzibar in East Africa - where a second Omani capital was
established - and across the Gulf to parts of Persia, Pakistan
and India. (Source: Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism)