Oman is a fascinating country facing the Arabian Sea on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders the United Arab Emirates in the northwest, Saudi Arabia in the west, and Yemen in the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea in the south and east, and the Gulf of Oman in the northeast. Oman is considered to be one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called "Cradle of Humanity" and as such boasts evidence of early civilisation and trading routes across its deserts. A vast desert plain covers most of central Oman, with mountain ranges along the north and southeast coast, where the country's main cities are also located: capital city Muscat, Matrah and Sur in the north, and Salalah in the south. Oman's climate is hot and dry in the interior and more humid along the coast.
- Oman gained independence after vanquishing the Portuguese empire in 1651.
- In the past, Oman used to be one of the richest countries in the world, with the wealth mainly originating from the incense trade.
- The legendary city of Ubar controlled the Frankincense trade. It is said that Ubar was destroyed, buried beneath the desert because its wealth led the people away from religion.
- There is a shrub in Oman, known as myrtus communis or yas. Its leaves are used for making perfume.
- Oman allowed tourists to enter its territory only at the beginning of the 1990s.
- Majlis al Jinn, the 9th largest cave system in the world, is found in Oman. This huge cave system offers beautiful, grand chambers and caverns to the avid spelunkers.
- The search for oil began in the 1920s when the D’Arcy Exploration Company, a subsidiary of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, conducted a geological survey that proved unsuccessful. The Second World War and other events interrupted exploration until 1962 when the first successful well was drilled at Yibal
- The tropic of cancer runs through Oman
- Ras al-Jinz, the easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula, is an important turtle-nesting site for the endangered green turtle. Over 20,000 females return annually to the beach where they hatched in order to lay eggs.
- The Aflaj Irrigation systems in Oman, are listed amongst the World Heritage sites. They are over 2,000 years old.
- Muscat City (Grand Mosque, Omani market, Bait Al Zubair Museum, 2 Forts of Mirani and Jalali)
- Muscat’s coastline by boat cruise
- Birkat al Mauz - the deserted village of clay
- If visiting Oman, women should wear a head scarf and cover the legs and arms. Men will just need to cover the arms and legs.
- Visit Oman in January to experience Omani cultural events at one of the best Oman festivals.
- In Muscat if you fancy buying antiquities, pottery and silver craft, shop at Old Muttrah Souk one of the busiest place in the town.
- In Salalah, if you are interested in buying pure golden and silver jewellery, visit Al Hafah Souq.
- For a popular fine dining restaurant in Muscat try La’s Sultanah or Al Tanoor restaurants, where you will find authentic Omani food as well as Moroccan and Latin fusion dishes.
- When catching a taxi, don’t forget to agree the price with the taxi driver before setting off.
- It is considered impolite to accept food with your left hand, so try to use your right hand when eating, particularly with locals.
- Looking for a pashmina head scarf?....visit the little souq in Sabco Centre, which specialises in local textiles.
- Oman is famous for its perfumes. For some of the most expensive and beautiful perfumes made from frankincense, musk and other exotic ingredients, visit Amouage near Rusayl.
- Al-Ahli Coffee shop in the middle of Mutrah Souq serves some of the best Arabic coffee in Muscat, as well as delicious fruit juices such as pomegranate, custard apple and mango.
OMAN AIRA daily service from London Heathrow to Muscat with complimentary food and drinks. There are a range of pre-departure facilities such as online check-in or choose your seat.
General Facilities include:
- In-flight audio and video entertainment with a choice of comedy or sport programs.
- Selection of newspapers and magazines in English and Arabic (subject to availability).
Economy Class - seat pitch approx. 34”; luggage allowance 30kgs.
Business Class - 77.5” long lie-flat seat with a pitch of 82” is 22” wide; luggage allowance 40kgs. Offers electrically-controlled backrest, leg rest and seat depth, PC power outlet and two USB plugs.
First Class - fully flat bed, full size bed length 82” with seat width 25.5” and seat pitch 85.5”; luggage allowance 50kgs. Mini suite offers direct aisle access, eight point massage system built in, storage, dedicated space to hang a coat and 23” video monitor and a la carte dining. Electrically-controlled backrest, leg rest and seat depth, PC power outlet and two USB plugs.
To Muscat via Abu Dhabi - a daily service from London Heathrow to Muscat via Abu Dhabi with complimentary food and drinks. There are a range of pre-departure facilities such as online check-in, choose your seat and print your boarding card. Available up to 24 hours before your flight or at a check-in kiosk at the airport terminal, print the boarding pass and drop bags at the Fast Bag Drop desks.
Euro Traveller & World Traveller (Economy Class) - seat pitch approx. 31”; luggage allowance 23kgs (1 bag). World Traveller Y class can take 2 bags. Gold and Silver Executive Club members can carry an additional checked bag up to 32kgs as part of their free allowance. Entertainment’s Audio and Video system - choose from over 200 entertainment options is available for World Traveller passengers.
World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy Class) - seat pitch approx. 38”; luggage allowance 23kgs (2 bags). It is a private dedicated cabin with a maximum of six rows. Entertainment’s Audio and Video system - choose from over 200 entertainment options.
Club Europe (Business Class) - seat that converts into a 6ft fully flat bed; luggage allowance 32kgs (3 bags). Enjoy personal space in a separate, spacious cabin. Relax before your flight in one of BA lounges; enjoy complimentary hot/cold snacks and refreshments. Use separate check-in area and Fast Track security at London Heathrow. A member of the British Airways Executive Club can take advantage of 50% more Avios when flying Club Europe. Gold and Silver members can also boost their Avios with an additional Tier bonus.
To Muscat via Dubai - flights from six regional airports – London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, and Glasgow to Muscat via Dubai. There are a range of pre-departure facilities such as online check-in, choose your seat and print your boarding card.
General Facilities include:
- “ice” entertainment system – personal seatback monitors provide up to 1200 channels to choose from (international movies, TV programs, music, video games) in all classes.
- Dining - choose from regionally inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients and free drinks in all classes.
Economy Class – seat pitch approx. 32-33”; luggage allowance 30kgs.
Business Class – seat pitch approx. 48-60” / lie-flat beds approx. 79” long; luggage allowance 40kgs. Priority check-in & baggage handling; complimentary chauffeur-drive service (mileage restrictions apply); executive lounges in the UK and Dubai.
First Class – seat pitch approx. 69”; luggage allowance 50kgs. First class passengers enjoy individual private suites on selected aircraft; personal mini-bar; exclusive cabin crew service; dining service with fine wines and champagne.