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Tour of Oman

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Oman’s history goes back to the very dawn of civilization. The coastal area fronting on the Gulf of Oman is believed to have been the land known to the Sumerians as Magan, from which as early as 3,000 B.C. they were importing copper.

Remains of settlements and distinctive beehive tombs are the legacy of this earliest known culture. The Arab history of the country begins in the 2nd century B.C., with the migration of tribal groups from the region of modern-day Yemen.

The Oman is were among the first of the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula to embrace Islam, doing so during the lifetime of the Prophet in the 7th century A.D. The centuries that followed were a golden age, with Omani sailors and traders ranging from India to Africa.

In 1507 the Portuguese seized and fortified Muscat harbour, establishing a string of coastal strong points to protect their trade route to India. They were not finally expelled until 1650.

The Oman is then proceeded to build their own empire on the Arabian Peninsula and along the coasts of Persia, India and Africa, becoming the dominant maritime power in the area. In 1741 the founder of the present Al-Said dynasty, Imam Ahmad bin Said, took power, moving the capital from the interior to the former Portuguese stronghold of Muscat.

The country thereafter was known as Muscat and Oman. Winning a contest with France for influence, Britain established a treaty relationship with the sultanate in 1798. Oman was recognized as fully independent in 1951,
but the close relationship continued.

British help was crucial in suppressing repeated revolts by Moslem fundamentalists in the interior. A separatist revolt then broke out in Dhofar province, incited by the People’s Republic of Yemen, Oman’s Marxist neighbour.

During the early 1970s relations between Oman and the neighbouring People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY united with the Yemen Arab Republic in May 1990) deteriorated, following conflict in Dhofar Province with a guerrilla organization, known from 1974 as the People’s Front for the Liberation of Oman, which the PDRY supported. Although a cease-fire was mediated by Saudi Arabia in March 1976, the situation remained tense.

Oman’s acceptance of US assistance in defence aroused protests from the PDRY in 1981, but mediation by other Gulf States led to a ´normalization´ agreement in 1982 and diplomatic relations between Oman and the PDRY were resumed in 1983.

In October 1988 Oman and the PDRY signed an agreement to increase co-operation in the areas of trade and communication, and in February 1990 the two countries reached an agreement to delineate their common border.

The Iranian revolution of 1978-79 and the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) led to increased international awareness of Oman’s strategic importance, particularly regarding the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway at the mouth of the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, between Oman and Iran, through which, under normal circumstances, about two-thirds of the world’s sea-borne trade in crude petroleum passes.


Muscat City Tour

Duration: 4 hours
Included: 4WD Private Transport, Pick-up, Omani guide, Soft drinks

grand mosque

First stop on your Muscat City Tour is a visit to the Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in Oman. From here you will be taken on a scenic tour taking in the Ministries, Embassies, Qurum Park Beach and on to Muttrah Corniche, with a stop at the recently opened Bait Al Baranda museum. We then continue onto the Fish Souk and Al Dhalam Souk, Oman’s largest indoor market. At the Souk, built in traditional style, you will find exquisite silver jewellery, frankincense, intricately hand-made Khanjars (daggers) and other handicrafts.  Your guide will also show you the local Omani sweet Halwa from one of the shops within.

The tour continues east along the Corniche to Muttrah (Old Muscat). Here you will visit the charming Bait al Zubair, a private museum housing traditional Omani items reflecting the country’s rich heritage.  Nearby is His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’s Al Alam Royal Palace protected in the bay by the famous twin forts of Jalali and Mirani, rebuilt by the Portuguese around 1558. 

Passing through the fishing villages of Sidab and Haramel you are taken along the scenic coastal route towards the Shangri La Resort & Spa for coffee (optional). Finally we take you where only 4WDs drive can go, up to the amazing Muscat Heights with a stunning view over all of Ruwi and Muscat, a sight not to be missed.

Departs: 0900 Sat – Weds

RO 30 – Adult
RO 10 - Child U/12 yrs
FREE - Child U/5 yrs

al alam palace

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