The landscape of this Arab sultanate is a microcosm of the Middle East: an oases-dotted sprawl of desert rimmed by tall, jagged mountains and wild coastline that encompasses a gulf, a sea, a strait and an ocean. Its ancient past can still be found in the ornately tiled mosques and palaces at Muscat and Sohar; a distinctive crescent-shaped fishing boat called a dhow and ocean-going vessels called baghalas which can still be seen in the port at Sur; and the legendary frankincense trees, which produce an aromatic resin that’s been highly prized for well over two thousand years.
However, while Oman has long been a relatively isolated and resolutely Muslim country, the unspoiled beauty of its beaches, winding mountain roads, mineral water springs, remote rivers and wide desert has begun to attract the attention of influences outside the United Arab Emirates. The modern economy of Oman is now driven largely by tourism, and international resorts and restaurants have begun to crop up along the coasts.
If you want to see Oman before it becomes as popular with tourists as its neighbor, Dubai, the time to visit is now.