As a relatively below-the-radar holiday destination, Oman offers a more surprising and multifaceted luxury family holiday than you might expect, with the vast deserts of the northeast contrasting with the dreamy beaches of Salalah in the south.
Muscat, the capital, is an intoxicating introduction to the Middle East – and a low-rise, authentic alternative to the glitz and skyscrapers of Dubai. Lying at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, highlights include the huge Sultan Qaboos Mosque and the impressive Royal Opera House, while bustling local life is best taken in at the port district of Muttrah Corniche. And don’t miss one of the oldest souks in the Arab world, where you can browse for traditional crafts, haggle over incense or taste deliciously sweet Omani desserts.
Beach lovers should make a beeline for Salalah, where white-sand beaches and swaying palms are par for the course. The Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea are a great alternative to the Red Sea for divers and snorkelers, who will discover pristine reefs, turtles and humpback whales. Inland, you’ll discover a different world of arid mountains and desert – here you can hike up wadis (dried-up river courses), discover fairytale oases and camp out on undulating sand dunes.
Why is Oman perfect for families?
Locals are warm and friendly, and sights, restaurants and accommodation are all geared towards families with children. Very different from many other Middle Eastern destinations, skyscrapers are banned in Oman, making it immediately more attractive and authentic.
As well as the easy-to-navigate capital and beautiful, family-friendly beaches of Salalah, families will love the activities of the Omani desert, from action-packed adventures to gentle desert safaris with Bedouins, while the wadis and oases offer lush escapes and rock pools to swim in.
Temperatures between October and April are around 25° – warm enough to enjoy the sun and swim in the sea, which never dips below 24°. And Oman is easy to get to, with direct flights from many European cities, including London, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt and many more. Fly for around 6 hours and you step out into a different world.
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Where to stay in Oman?
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