On this trip we visit two countries, the well-known United Arab Emirates and the lesser-known Oman. In the United Arab Emirates, we visit Dubai and Al Ain, located in two different emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively. In Oman, we visit several interesting and incredibly picturesque destinations, between high mountains and deep valleys. We get to experience great contrasts between Dubai’s hypermodern architecture and Oman’s medieval fort, the giant sand desert and something similar to the Grand Canyon. In short, this trip takes you to two extremely fascinating countries.
Day 1. Departure to Muscat (Oman)
We fly to Muscat via Dubai. After arriving in Muscat, we head to our hotel for check-in. Overnight in Muscat
Day 2. Muscat
Today we start with a half-day city tour in Muscat. First a visit to the Bait Al Zubair Museum , which is a privately owned museum, located in Muscat’s old town, and known for its fine collection of traditional costumes, antique jewelry, weapons and other treasures. We drive through the ministry area, stopping for a photo opportunity at Al Alam Palace , the Sultan’s Palace. We then continue to the forts Mirani and Jalali (seen only from the outside) before continuing with a visit to Muttrah Souq, which is one of the oldest markets in Oman. Overnight in Muscat. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 3. Muscat
After breakfast we go to the marina for a 2-hour boat trip off the coast of Muscat to watch dolphins. During the tour there is the opportunity to observe these playful marine mammals, but you can also view the sights of the Omani coast from the sea. Afternoon free time to discover Muscat on your own. Overnight in Muscat. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 4. Muscat – Sur area
Today we will go to a wadi, in Arabic a valley, sometimes a dry river bed with water only after heavy rain. We thus go towards Wadi Shab , and stop at Bimmah Sinkhole, which is such a deep natural sink filled with water. We then continue to Wadi Shab, where we do a hike on one of Oman’s scenic wadi. Depending on the tide, we may need to take a boat to cross to the other side of the parking lot. Fresh water flowing down from the top of the mountains meets the salty sea water at the shoreline, which creates an environmental diversity that is unique to this wadi and makes it stand out compared to the other wadis in Oman. At the far end of the Wadi Shab, it’s time to get through the famous keyhole to a secluded fantastic world. Note that on the wadin there are stones in different formats, which can make it difficult to walk. It is therefore recommended to wear walking shoes and also have a pair of flip flops / slippers and a towel with you. The total walk takes about 2 hours. Overnight in Sur. (Breakfast,
Day 5. Sur area
We continue to Wadi Tiwi, a spectacular deep and narrow gorge, carved out of the mountains, and running between high cliffs all the way down to the sea. This wadi is famous for its old traditional villages, surrounded by lush plantations with date and banana trees. We will soon come to the coastal town of Sur , where we visit the dhow factory to see how to build traditional wooden boats, which vary in design and size. Take the opportunity to take a photo at Ayjah Lighthouse , before we continue with a visit to Ras AI Hadd Turtle Reserve, world famous for seeing the endangered green turtle, Chelonia mydas, and probably the most important nesting site in the Indian Ocean for these animals. Overnight in Sur. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 6. Sur area – Wahiba
We go to Ashkharah , (named after a poisonous desert plant), and this is the most important city in the area. We stop for the opportunity to photograph the fantastic sandy beaches, where you can also see many different bird species. We also make photo stops at J alan Bani Bu Ali , the Hammouda Mosque, which is an architectural masterpiece that has kept the traditions alive. We visit “ Jalan Bani Bu Hasan“Cas, a solid castle in Bani Bu Hassan. We drive again the village with its endless date plantations to reach the magnificent wadin. The pools are cool, deep and absolutely amazing. We then arrive at Wahiba Sands , where the dunes stretch up to 200 km long and 100 km wide to the Arabian Sea and where Bedouins have lived for 7,000 years. Dare to climb the high sand dunes and witness the unforgettable desert sunset and then we drive through the dunes to reach the camp, where we go in 4×4 jeeps. Overnight in Wahiba Desert Camp. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 7. Wahiba – Nizwa
We stop at Birkat Al Maouz, one of the most famous villages, but today in the ruins of Oman. With large banana plantations and scenic surroundings, there is also the old falaj, irrigation system listed on UNESCO. It’s a fascinating stop that will take you back in time. Discover Jebel Akhdar (the green mountain), which is neither green nor a single mountain, but a large gray-brown massif that covers more than 1,800 square kilometers and has several peaks and rises up to almost 3050 meters. The mountain range is full of Omani villages and in many areas terraces have been dug on the mountain for growing crops. Wadi Bani Habib is one of several interesting villages located on the huge plateau Jebel Overnight in Nizwa. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 8. Sur – Nizwa
Nizwa is a former capital of Oman. Located on the walls of the famous Nizwa Fort , a building with both traditional and modern architectural lines. Visit Nizwa Souq , which has been alive for hundreds of years and houses a number of local industries. Omani daggers (khanjar), copper, silver jewelry, cattle, fish, vegetables and handicrafts are just a few examples of what is in the souq. We stop for a photo at the massive Bahla Fort, which was built during the third millennium BC. Then the program includes a visit to Jibreen Castle , which is a large rectangular building consisting of five floors and with 55 rooms. We then visit Tanuf, ruins of an ancient city at the mouth of wadi Tanuf. The city was bombed and destroyed by the British Air Force RAF 1954-1955 in a battle against the Beni Riyam tribe. Overnight in Nizwa. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 9. Nizwa.
Today we visit Al Hamra , one of the best preserved old towns in the country and here is the Bait Al Safah open air museum . Take a walk between the old abandoned buildings and the mud houses. Visit the museum and learn about Omani traditions, and men and women show how crafts were made in the past.
Byn Misfat Al Abreen has fantastic agricultural terraces, beautiful alleys and old houses built on top of solid stones. The old houses in Misfat al Abreen are traditional clay houses with palm roofs and are unique in that they are built on solid stone foundations. Here you also see traditional Omani valleys or irrigation canals, where water is led from underground sources, to be used for agriculture and domestic use. We stop at the old village of Ghul to see the abandoned Persian ruins. Then we go up to Jebel Shams , which is Oman’s highest point at 3,009 meters above sea level, and from here you have a fantastic view of the “Oman’s Grand Canyon”. Overnight in Nizwa. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 10. Nizwa – Dubai
We are going to Al Ainwhich is the border between Oman and Dubai. Here we have to change buses, while formalities can take some time (min. 1h). Then we go directly to Dubai to check in at our hotel. Overnight in Dubai. (Breakfast)
Day 11. Dubai
A day to explore this unique and spectacular city. We start by visiting old Dubai . We make photo stops at the Jumeirah Mosque , built in medieval Fatimid style and at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, in the form of a giant sail. We then explore Dubai’s old district ” Bastakya ” with its traditional houses and wind towers that act as natural air conditioning. Then we visit the Dubai Museum , located in the historic Al Fahidi Fort . We then go with traditional Abra boat across Dubai Creek to Deira , where we visit the gold and spice markets . After lunch we continue with modern Dubai, starting at the Burj Khalifa , (ticket not included), which with its 828 meters is the tallest building in the world. Then we walk through part of the Dubai Mall and look among one of the world’s largest aquariums . We then take the road past Jumeirah to the artificial island ” The Palm ” and make a photo stop at the Atlantis Hotel, and then we go back to the hotel. Overnight in Dubai. (Breakfast)
Day 12. Dubai – Abu Dhabi – Dubai
Today we go to Abu Dhabi, The capital of the United Arab Emirates, to visit one of the most modern cities on the Persian Gulf. Here will be a visit to the beautiful Sheikh-Zayed Mosque , the emirates’ largest mosque. We continue with a panoramic tour of the green embassy district and Al Husn Palace , then along the Corniche past the Emirates Palace Hotel , one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, and then a visit to the Heritage Village. Lunch at Al Arish Restaurant , and then we go to ” Saadiyat ” where the Louvre Museum opened its doors in 2018, further with a panoramic tour of Yas Island , where they hold Formula 1 races and the theme park “Ferrari World”, before we go back to Dubai . Overnight in Dubai. (Breakfast)
Day 13. Dubai
In the morning, there is free time to discover Dubai on your own. Feel free to ask the tour guide or local guide for tips regarding tourist attractions or shopping. Overnight in Dubai. (Breakfast)
Day 14. Dubai – return journey
Our journey in two fascinating countries is over for this time and there will be a transfer to Dubai airport for return journey.