15 Best Oman Attractions


The south­east­ern part of the Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la is occu­pied by Oman — an Arab coun­try with hot deserts, wide beach­es, inter­est­ing muse­ums and archae­o­log­i­cal sites.


Things to do in Oman

The inhab­i­tants of Oman were among the first to con­vert to Islam and turned their land into a pow­er­ful Arab-Mus­lim caliphate, suc­cess­ful­ly defend­ing the bor­ders from ene­mies. But, despite the mil­i­tary pow­er, he could not cope with the Por­tuguese, who cap­tured the coun­try in the 16th cen­tu­ry.

Today, the state struc­ture of Oman remains the same as it was many cen­turies ago — the Sul­tan has absolute pow­er. The title is hered­i­tary. Half a cen­tu­ry ago, the coun­try was closed to tourists. But the sit­u­a­tion changed when Qaboos bin Said Al Bu Said took the throne, end­ing the iso­la­tion and inte­grat­ing Oman into the mod­ern world.

The tourism indus­try is devel­op­ing rapid­ly and brings good rev­enues to the bud­get. There are inter­est­ing sights in almost every city. For­eign­ers enjoy vis­it­ing ancient defen­sive fortress­es, secret under­ground tun­nels, Bronze Age necrop­olis­es, Arab palaces and mosques.

Oman attracts vis­i­tors with sig­nif­i­cant cul­tur­al events. Every win­ter, the Mus­cat Fes­ti­val takes place in the cap­i­tal, intro­duc­ing the art and lifestyle of the Sul­tanate. At this time, ethno­graph­ic exhi­bi­tions, the­atri­cal per­for­mances, and con­certs are held here. Eques­tri­an sports and camel rac­ing are very pop­u­lar. Events start in the sum­mer and are held in dif­fer­ent cities.

For active peo­ple, Oman has pre­pared orig­i­nal enter­tain­ment. Among the best are desert safari on camels or jeeps. The tick­et price includes accom­mo­da­tion in tra­di­tion­al Bedouin huts, bar­be­cue, sight­see­ing. In addi­tion, tourists are offered boat tours in the Ara­bi­an Sea, bicy­cle races along spe­cial routes, and hot air bal­loon­ing.

To the east of the cap­i­tal, the sea coast is dot­ted with beach­es with mod­ern resorts and hotels. Guests are wait­ing for sun­bathing, swim­ming in warm water, rid­ing water scoot­ers, deep sea fish­ing, surf­ing, div­ing, sail­ing on a yacht.

archaeological sites

Mounds at Al Dakhir

kurgani v al dahire

In the province of Al Dakhi­ra, a group of necrop­olis­es are scat­tered: Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ain. In 1988 they were includ­ed in the UNESCO World Her­itage List.

The round mounds of Bath, built of oblong stones, are locat­ed inside a palm grove and are the main part of the site. There are a total of 100 build­ings with a diam­e­ter of 20 meters and a nar­row door open­ing. These necrop­olis­es are frag­ments of Bronze Age set­tle­ments. They tes­ti­fy to the numer­ous set­tle­ments in the Gulf of Oman in the 3rd mil­len­ni­um BC.

Choir Rory

hor rori

The ruins of Khor Rori in the Dho­far gov­er­norate are part of the region of the ancient south­ern Arab city of Sumkhu­ram. At the end of the 1st cen­tu­ry BC, there was a for­ti­fied out­post of the Hadhra­maut king­dom, con­sist­ing of defen­sive walls, tow­ers, squares and shop­ping arcades. Today, pic­turesque ruins, stud­ied by inter­na­tion­al archae­ol­o­gists, remain from the glo­ri­ous set­tle­ment.

Dur­ing the exca­va­tions, sam­ples of ceram­ics, frag­ments of res­i­den­tial build­ings, inscrip­tions on stones were found, con­firm­ing that Dho­far was a leader in the pro­duc­tion of incense and export­ed a valu­able prod­uct through­out the Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la.

Bahla Fort

krepost bahla

The his­tor­i­cal fortress of Bahla at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar moun­tain is list­ed as a World Her­itage Site. Accord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary data, it was built in the 12th cen­tu­ry to pro­tect near­by vil­lages from rob­bers. The com­plex has a round citadel with loop­holes, pow­er­ful walls, labyrinths, gates.

This is a unique mon­u­ment of medieval Islam­ic archi­tec­ture, equipped with wells and under­ground chan­nels for irri­ga­tion using the falaj sys­tem. The fort, built of unbaked bricks, has been restored more than once, but is still in dan­ger of destruc­tion due to strong winds and ero­sion.


Al Jalali Fort

fort al-dgalali

The cap­i­tal of Oman is the city of Mus­cat. In its har­bor, a Por­tuguese fort, found­ed in 1580 to pro­tect peo­ple from the Ottoman con­querors, has been pre­served. The defen­sive com­plex con­tains bar­racks, ware­hous­es, a chapel, watch­tow­ers.

For many cen­turies, Al-Jalali was used as a prison for mem­bers of the roy­al fam­i­ly and ordi­nary pris­on­ers. In the 1970s, the prison was closed, the fort was restored, trees were plant­ed and foun­tains were installed in the court­yard, and the bar­racks were turned into a muse­um of the his­to­ry of Oman. Among the exhibits are mus­kets, can­nons and can­non­balls, Per­sian car­pets, ceram­ics, incense hold­ers, and jew­el­ry.

Al Alam

al alam

In Old Mus­cat stands the beau­ti­ful Al Alam Palace, used by Sul­tan Qaboos bin Said Al Said for cer­e­mo­ni­al recep­tions. The ori­en­tal-style man­sion was built 200 years ago.

The orig­i­nal build­ing has a bright facade dec­o­rat­ed with gold and a rec­tan­gu­lar roof with a high spire. The roy­al res­i­dence is sur­round­ed by green lawns and trees. Tourists are not allowed to enter the court­yard — passers-by are allowed to stop near the gate, admire the exter­nal dec­o­ra­tion and take pic­tures.

Sultan Qaboos Mosque

mechet kabusa

The cap­i­tal’s cathe­dral mosque bears the name of Sul­tan Qaboos, who dur­ing his reign took care of the mate­r­i­al and spir­i­tu­al needs of his sub­jects. Many reli­gious build­ings in the coun­try were erect­ed on his per­son­al sav­ings.

The Sul­tan Qaboos Mosque is an exam­ple of Islam­ic archi­tec­ture. It has a square prayer hall with a wide dome, a main minaret 90 meters high and 4 side ones 45 meters each. The walls are cov­ered with gray and white mar­ble, dec­o­rat­ed with flo­ral and geo­met­ric pat­terns. The cen­tral hall is lit by giant crys­tal chan­de­liers with Swarovs­ki crys­tals, and an intri­cate­ly orna­ment­ed Per­sian car­pet lies on the floor.



In the Al-Bati­nah region, a defen­sive for­ti­fi­ca­tion remains, the his­to­ry of which dates back to the pre-Islam­ic peri­od. It is believed that the Sas­sanids erect­ed it, fear­ing the inva­sion of the Arab tribes. Build­ings were often destroyed by wars, but were always restored in their orig­i­nal place. The last ren­o­va­tion took place in 1990.

The fort is sur­round­ed by bat­tle­ments, and a palm gar­den is plant­ed in the court­yard. The premis­es have been con­vert­ed into a muse­um dis­play­ing ancient weapons, sol­dier uni­forms, tra­di­tion­al fur­ni­ture and house­hold items.

Mosque of Sultan Taimur bin Faisal

mechet sultana taimura

In the north of Oman, in Al-Mabil, at the direc­tion of Sul­tan Qaboos, a mosque was built ded­i­cat­ed to Taimur bin Faisal, who ruled the coun­try at the begin­ning of the last cen­tu­ry.

The main hall of the mosque is fin­ished with white mar­ble and dec­o­rat­ed with arched spans. The roof is crowned with an open­work fifty-meter dome. Slen­der minarets lined with Islam­ic mosaics rise from four sides.

The inte­ri­or design is rep­re­sent­ed by expen­sive lamps, car­pets, embossed Ara­bic draw­ings. It is one of the few mosques in the coun­try that non-Mus­lim tourists are allowed to vis­it.


Natural History Museum

musei estestvosnania

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry opened its doors in the win­ter of 1985. The exhibits col­lect­ed in it tell about the flo­ra and fau­na of the south­ern part of the Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la.

  • On the ground floor, they demon­strate the inhab­i­tants of the bays and report on the geo­log­i­cal fea­tures of the seabed.
  • At the sec­ond, they intro­duce you to the birds, insects, and mam­mals of Oman.
  • On the third, they show mete­orites, min­er­als and pro­vide infor­ma­tion about the solar sys­tem.

The “whale” exhi­bi­tion with the skele­ton of a sperm whale is espe­cial­ly pop­u­lar.

National Museum

nac musei

By roy­al decree in 2013, the Nation­al Muse­um of Oman was opened in Mus­cat. A two-sto­ry build­ing resem­bling an old Arab palace was designed specif­i­cal­ly for the exhi­bi­tion. It con­tains more than 5 thou­sand objects that high­light the cul­ture, tra­di­tions and his­to­ry of the state. Vis­i­tors can see archae­o­log­i­cal exhibits, col­lec­tions of weapons, ancient coins, Islam­ic art.

The Nation­al Muse­um has a chil­dren’s area, a learn­ing cen­tre, a library and a cin­e­ma.

Oil and Gas Exhibition Center

oil gas center

Oil and gas pro­vide the main rev­enues of mon­ey to the coun­try’s bud­get. In 1995, an oil and gas exhi­bi­tion cen­ter was built in the cen­ter of Mus­cat. A sig­nif­i­cant part of the com­plex is occu­pied by a muse­um ded­i­cat­ed to min­ing.

Tourists have access to inter­ac­tive exhi­bi­tions that tell about the dis­cov­ery of oil in Oman, about how it is extract­ed and used. In the rest of the cen­ter, inter­na­tion­al forums and fairs are held, demon­strat­ing inno­va­tions, the lat­est tech­nolo­gies used in pro­duc­tion, indus­try and the oil and gas sec­tor. There is a plan­e­tar­i­um near­by, shops and cafes are open.

Children’s Museum

detskii museum

The Chil­dren’s Sci­ence Muse­um was estab­lished on the ini­tia­tive of the Sul­tan in 1990. This is one of the most pop­u­lar sights of the cap­i­tal, which is vis­it­ed annu­al­ly by 50 thou­sand tourists. For guests there are expo­si­tions about the world around and sci­en­tif­ic achieve­ments.

On the tour, you can find out why light­ning appears, how to con­trol elec­tric­i­ty or launch a bal­loon. The muse­um has spe­cial rooms for con­duct­ing phys­i­cal and chem­i­cal exper­i­ments and for giv­ing sci­en­tif­ic lec­tures.

Parks and entertainment

Al Qurm Natural Park

park al kurm

Mus­cat looks mod­ern and beau­ti­ful. Its cen­ter is dec­o­rat­ed with al-Kurm Park, designed for recre­ation of tourists and local res­i­dents. The green zone is con­di­tion­al­ly divid­ed into two sec­tors:

  • The first one has a pic­turesque lagoon sur­round­ed by man­grove trees. Par­rots live in dense foliage, storks nest near the water.
  • In the sec­ond part there is a palm grove, a botan­i­cal gar­den, rose beds, a deep lake and an illu­mi­nat­ed musi­cal foun­tain.

The park has play­grounds for chil­dren, cafes, boat and bicy­cle rentals. Inter­est­ing vernissages and exhi­bi­tions are reg­u­lar­ly held out­doors.



The largest aquar­i­um in the Mid­dle East has recent­ly opened in the Mus­cat Mall. The exhi­bi­tion area, which occu­pies 8,000 m², is divid­ed into dif­fer­ent the­mat­ic depart­ments. They house the exhi­bi­tions “Deep Sea”, “Coral Reefs”, “Jour­ney through South­east Asia”.

30,000 marine life live in huge tanks. The aquar­i­um dai­ly feeds coral fish, sharks and tur­tles, shows cir­cus per­for­mances with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of pen­guins, seals, dol­phins.

Royal Opera


The Roy­al Opera House was built accord­ing to the canons of mod­ern Omani archi­tec­ture in 2011. The mag­nif­i­cent build­ing, lined with mar­ble, can accom­mo­date up to 1100 peo­ple and is the cul­tur­al cen­ter of the cap­i­tal. This is the first the­ater in the world with Ital­ian-made inter­ac­tive dis­plays built into the backs of the seats.

Famous musi­cal groups and world opera stars per­form on the stage. The archi­tec­tur­al com­plex includes a con­cert hall, an art gallery, a restau­rant and a shop­ping cen­ter with 50 bou­tiques. The shops sell fash­ion­able clothes, per­fumes, jew­el­ry and sou­venirs.


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