×
Destinations Inspire Me LUXE FOR BUSINESS BUY LUXE GUIDES Subscribe
All About Luxe Our Network LUXE News Editorial Policy Subscribe Careers FAQ Contact Us

Oh My, Oman: A Photo Essay

April 24, 2017

Professional shutterbug and avid LUXE fan Shelley Dark shares a few snaps from her recent trip to Oman. A mere skip and a hop from Dubai, this lovely sultanate is on the up for its ravishing scenery, indigenous culture and sophisticated hospitality.


With its sparkling azure coastline, dramatic jagged mountains and spectacular desert dunes, the tiny sultanate of Oman has plenty to offer, yet you can drive from one end to the other in just over 9 hours.


Shelley Dark Travel Oman1

Pastel-hued mountains form a constant backdrop to the coastal plain. Goats are the most common domestic animal in Oman, best suited to the arid environment.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman2.jpg

Oman’s ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said has overseen the country’s impressive development. He gifted the must-see Grand Mosque in Muscat to his people.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman3.jpg

The Italian chandelier under the mosque’s main dome weighs a whopping 8500 kgs.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman4.jpg

Fishing villages dot coastline between long stretches of uninhabited country.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman5

Temperatures in Oman are punishingly hot in the summer, but more pleasant during the milder months of December to March.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman6.jpg

The Alila Jabal Akhdar resort overlooks a gorge at 2000 metres above sea level. Guests are whisked from Muscat to Saiq Plateau via a C.21st road – however a 4-wheel drive is mandatory.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman7.jpg

A 4x4 is also needed to traverse the desert, with its dunes dotted with Bedouin camps.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman8.jpg

There’s no need to compromise on comfort, the Desert Nights Camp is a luxury 26-tent retreat amid the golden dunes.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman9.jpg

Traditional architecture in Oman is usually a square, flat-roofed  adobe construction. In the mountains, houses blend into the landscape.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman10.jpg

Water is a scarce resource. Precious sources of underground water are channelled along a falaj to irrigate crops in oases like this picturesque village of Misfat al Abreen.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman12.jpg

Beyond the mountains lies the city of Nizwa. Its souq has been operating for 800 years and today vendors still congregate to sell fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and handicrafts. Local crops are pomegranate, date palms, damask roses for oil and on the higher ground, stone fruit.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman11.jpg

The elegant national dress for Omani men is the dazzling white dishdasha gown, worn either with an embroidered kumi (cap), or a scarf tied around the head.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman13.jpg

The highlight every Friday morning is the bustling goat and livestock market.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman14.jpg

Just outside the souq walls, near the fort is a gun market where vendors trade the locally made silver khanjars (tribal curved daggers), part of the formal Omani costume.  

Shelley Dark Travel Oman16.jpg

The sumptuously regal All Bustan Palace, Ritz Carlton is perched between the Hajar mountains and glimmering shoreline.

Shelley Dark Travel Oman15.jpg

End a perfect holiday with sundowners on an outdoor terrace overlooking the Sea of Oman.


Where to stay:


Shelley bedded down at the decadent All Bustan Palace, Ritz-Carlton (pictured above). ritzcarlton.com


Taking its design cues from trad Omani forts, Alila Jabal Akhdar is a stunning suite and villa resort amid the mountains. alilahotels.com


Six Senses Hideaway at Zighy Bay features 82 rustic-luxe pool villas surrounded by nothing but sand, sea, sky, mountains and your personal butler. sixsenses.com


The Chedi Muscat is a chic central Oman escape with a dash of rock n’ roll. ghmhotels.com



See more of Shelley’s work at shelleydark.com. Bag more Oman sleeping, eating and shopping tips with the LUXE Guide to Dubai


Buy the guide button.pngGet the app button.png

More From Our Editors