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Oman honeymoon

Oman, a land of deserts, the Bedouin lifestyle and a sanctuary for the rare Arabian oryx.

Deserts

Oman’s name is closely associated with desert. The desert in Oman is an extension of the Bedouin lifestyle with its ancient associations of traditional culture and authentic original customs.

The Omani desert is characterized by the diversity of its plants and animals. In Jeddah Al Harasis in Wilayat Hima AlWasta Region (the Central Region), there are many mammals within the boundaries of the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary.

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Beaches

Oman’s coastline stretches for a distance of 3,165 kilometers, including beaches overlooking the Sea of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Straits of Hormuz in the North. The nature of this coastal strip varies from tourist-friendly sandy beaches where summer holiday-makers hang out, and the rocky coasts, bays, islands and lagoons with their diverse geographical make-up, making them ideal for fishing and marine excursions.

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Islands

A group of islands are adjacent to Oman. Also, a number of smaller islands trail Barr Al Hikman Peninsula and Musandam Peninsula, especially in the Strait of Hrmiz.

Religious Sites

The venerable Sahabi Mazin Bin Gadhubah Al Sa’di was the first man in Oman to embrace Islam. He lived in Samail, where the first mosque built in Oman is still standing. Nowadays, this mosque is known as the "Al Midhmar Mosque".

In spite of the huge urban development evident in its palaces, castles, forts and ancient houses, the design of mosques in Oman has been marked by simplicity, in line with the laws of Islam and the Sunna of the Prophet so as to achieve the spiritual functions of the mosque.

Today, in Muscat, as is the case in all Omani villages and cities, a large number of modern Omani mosques have preserved the design lines of Omani Islamic architecture.

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Architecture in Oman

The evolution of architecture is a measure of a nation’s civilization and Oman abounds with a number of cultural buildings that stand as a testament to this art. As a visitor to the cities of Oman, you will surely observe the diligent efforts to preserve this ancient and traditional architecture that is characterized by its simple lines. It avoids high rises, yet maintains an understated elegance of its own. The castles, forts and walls are a testament to an architectural style that has defense in mind, the most famous being Jabreen Castle and Bahla Fort and Walls (Sur Bahla), included in the World Heritage Sites list.

Like the country’s diverse terrain, architectural styles vary in Oman with the change of scenery. The types of houses built in Musandam Governorate are examples of this diversity. There are the mountain houses, houses like Bayt AlQefel (the lock house), Bayt Al Areesh Al Mua’laq (the hanging vine house) built to employ the natural air currents to form a cooling system able to beat the scorching heat of the summer months. Misfat Al `Abriyyin village in A'Dakhiliyah State is considered another outstanding testament to this environmentally friendly style of architecture.

As Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Wilayt Bawshar, Muscat Governorate, is a live monument housing a collection of Islamic art. In addition to its distinctive architectural features and the innovative approach to the construction of the mosque itself, its corridors display a rich array of the art of Islam.

History of Oman

Oman's history tells stories of heroism, courage, wisdom, patriotism, love and devotion to homeland. This brings us closer to understanding the richness of the Omani cultural experience which has contributed to the building of modern Oman.

Oman’s strategic location has played a major role in many campaigns and regional conflicts in this region. Oman overlooks the Arabian Sea, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf. It also controls the Strait of Hormuz, which is one of the most important facilities in the region, linking the Gulf of Oman with the Arabian Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz is a gateway to all ships coming from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.

Al Wattih in Muscat Governorate is one of the first inhabited cities. Modern archaeological discoveries suggest that humans settled in it during the Stone Age, i.e. more than 10,000 years ago.

The Babylonians and the Assyrians settled in Oman because they wanted to control the trade route that linked Asia to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

With the spread of Islam, and Mazin Bin Gadhubah joining Islam as the first person in Oman and his emigration to Medina to meet the Prophet, Peace be upon Him, the first mosque was built in Oman. This is Al Midhmar Mosque that still stands to this day in Wilayt Samail. These events paved the way for the two kings of Oman at that time, Jua’fer and Abd Ibni Al Jalandi, to enter Islam wholeheartedly and with utter conviction after receiving a letter from the Prophet, Peace be upon Him. A Hadith mentions that the Prophet, Peace be upon Him, said “God’s mercy be on the people of Al Ghubaira” (i.e. the people of Oman). “They have believed in me although they had not seen me”. Also stated in the sermon our Master Abu Bakr Al-Sidiq, the caliph of the Prophet, Peace be upon Him, to the people of Oman: “People of Oman you, you have entered Islam voluntarily although the Prophet has not come to your land on foot or on horse. You have not opposed him as other Arabs opposed him, and you have not called for separation or dispersion. May God unite you in benevolence.”

With the election of Ibn Masood, the first imam, in 751 AD, the Imamate era began in Oman and lasted four centuries until 1154. Several attempts were made to restore the rule of the Imamate in Oman in the mid-fifteenth century, but did not succeed.

During the period 1498-1507 AD, the Portuguese tried to control Oman. Omani history tells the story of the Omani people who expelled the Portuguese with their struggle and heroism. Nasser bin Murshid was elected Imam in 1624.

Because of the coastal location of Oman, the Omani navy occupied a leading position regionally. This sparked the ire of the Portuguese, who did not forget their devastating defeat. Fierce battles erupted between the Portuguese Navy (which had made India its base after the liberation of Oman) and the strong Omani navy. After a fierce battle, the Omani fleet was able to defeat the Portuguese fleet.

In 1698, the Omani Empire then expanded to include the cities of the African east coast, stretching from Mombasa to Kila, Zanzibar, Pemba and Bata. Mozambique remained under Portuguese rule until the twentieth century.

Oman had been the target of a number of attempts by the Persians to invade its territory, but the steadfastness and heroism of the Omanis were successfully combined to defeat the occupier. The invaders were defeated, underscoring the exploits of Omani heroes in defending their lands. This great victory was achieved at the hands of Imam Ahmed bin Saeed Al Busaidi, who defeated the Persians and was elected imam.

With the advent of 1970 came the dawn of a modern renaissance in the Sultanate, with the beginning of the prosperous era of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, may God protect him.

Omani Faces

Like the diversity of the environments and terrains in Oman, Omani people’s features differ as well. The desert dwellers’ features are different from those of mountain dwellers, and the features of the urban population are different from those residents of remote villages who depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihood.

In general, Omani features are characterized by a broad smile and the authentic Arabic generosity that is in the Omani blood. This is evident in the Omani hospitality widespread throughout the country, whether be it the aromatic Omani coffee offered to visitors or the laden palm trees that welcome anyone who wishes to taste their fruit.

Source: www.omantourism.gov.om

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