#73 best destination in the world

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

  • In 1992, the then Sultan of Oman, directed that his country should have a Grand Mosque
  • A competition for its design took place in 1993 and after a site was chosen, construction commenced in 1994, and took 6 years to build
  • The mosque is built from 330,693 tons of Indian sandstone
  • The main musalla can hold over 6500 worshippers, while the women’s musalla can accommodate 750 worshippers
  • Total capacity of the entire grounds is of up to 20,000 worshipers
  • The newly built Grand Mosque was inaugurated by Sultan of Oman in 2001 to celebrate 30 years of his reign

Nakhal Fort

  • Large fortification that houses a museum, which has exhibits of historic guns
  • Named after the state of Nakhal that exists above the old village of Nakhl
  • It has a history which dates back to the pre-Islamic period when it was originally built by the Sassanids as a bulwark against incursions by Arab tribes
  • It was reconstructed by Omani architects in the 17th century
  • Initially built as a protective measure for an area oasis and nearby trade routes

Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn

  • Group of necropolises from 3000 BC, located near a palm grove
  • Around 3000 BC there was an intense trade of copper (extracted locally) and stone (probably diorite) with Sumerians
  • The necropolis consists of 100 graves and circular buildings
  • Besides the possibility of their ritualistic function, they may have been used as tanks or silos
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Wadi Dayqah Dam

  • In the arid country with little precipitation (it rains rarely more one or two weeks a year), the total water supply for the population is below the recommended values
  • The dam retains and stores water from the Wadi Dayqah and supplies it for irrigation and domestic use

Souq Muttrah

  • One of the oldest marketplaces in Oman dating back two hundred years
  • Saw immense trade in the age of sail, being strategically located on the way to India and China
  • Named after darkness because of the crowded stalls and lanes where the sunrays do not infiltrate during the day and the shoppers need lamps to know their destinations
  • In the past, the market was built from mud and palm leaves, which suit the high temperatures and the hard climate conditions and hence were the best available materials to build the market at that time
  • The main thoroughfare of the souq carries mainly household goods, shoes and ready-made garments
  • Further inside, there are mixed smells of frankincense, perfume oils, fresh jasmine, and spices

Bimmah Sinkhole

  • Water-filled depression, structurally a sinkhole, in limestone
  • The sinkhole was formed by a collapse of the surface layer due to dissolution of the underlying limestone
  • However, locals used to believe this sinkhole in the shape of a water well was created by a meteorite, hence the Arabic name Hawiyyat Najm which means “the deep well of the (falling) star”
  • The depth is from only a few feet to over 300+ feet in the deepest part

Khasab Fort

  • Elevated stone fort built in the 17th century, featuring 4 turrets, a circular tower and bay vistas

Al Mughsail Beach

  • Sandy beach on the Arabian Sea bounded at both ends by mountainous headlands


Costs

Number of Days: 25 days

Best Time To Fly: Oct-April

Airline ticket: $1,751

Seattle -> Muscat (round trip) $1,274
Muscat -> Khasab (round trip) $159
Khasab -> Salalah (one way) $249
Salalah -> Muscat (one way) $69

Food: $16/day x 25 days = $400

Entertainment/tours: $90

Airbnb/hotel: $116/day x 23 days = $2,667

TOTAL: $4,908

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