Dona Cherian, Guides Writer
Oman, being one of the closest countries to the UAE, is a well-frequented travel destination for residents. However, that usually only involves some sight-seeing, or maybe a short resort stay. Change that around and make your trip one of a kind with our adventure guide to Oman.
Walking a tight rope at Jabal Akhdar
Via Ferratas have always seemed intimidating to me – a complete amateur adventurer by choice. However, after trying this, I can vouch for the thrill and sense of accomplishment you’ll feel after completing it (along with incredible soreness). I even got to walk a tight cable that was allegedly 40 feet above a rocky bottom. Surprisingly, that was the easiest part of the entire experience for me.
The key is to have a patient instructor, and you’re good to go on what will seem like a journey to self-discovery.
Our recommendation: We tried the Via Ferrata at Alila Jabal Akhdar resort. Not only is the venue, perched on the edge of the mountains, breathtakingly beautiful – they have an experienced team for the entire climb. Your instructor gives you an option to head back after you reach a certain level, but trust us, going the whole way is totally worth it. This will set back non-guests by around Dh500, while hotel guests can enjoy it at Dh300 (approximately).
Paragliding into Zighy Bay
It hasn’t been long since this sport gained traction in Oman. Over the past decade, the rugged countryside of Oman has become very popular for amateur and professional paragliding. While you can fly strapped onto a professional paraglider or coach, there are also opportunities to get trained to fly alone.
Our recommendation: Zighy Bay is just over 120 kilometres from Dubai (the airport to be exact) and is great for a short weekend trip. Paraglide right in to Six Senses Zighy Bay in one of the most unique arrival experiences on offer for guests. This memorable experience will put you back by Dh672 per person.
Dive with whale sharks in Musandam
Located on the northernmost part of Oman, this region has incredible cliffs and fjords, a geography unique to the country. For diving and snorkelling, The Caves in Musandam is a must-try. Here the ocean has cut in a series of tunnels into the surrounding rocks of limestone. These small chambers and caves are home to diverse flora and fauna while the sandy bottom is a routine resting place for rays and sharks.
You could also see dolphins, whale sharks, sea anemones, turtles, rays and more depending on when and where you dive from. Always try to go with local dive groups and guides, even if you have a diving certificate.
Our recommendation: Extra Divers, a group in Musandam offer their expert tours out of Atana Khasab, a five-star hotel in the region. Along with The Caves, they also offer guided dives at Lima Rock which is said to be best suited to spy whale sharks. The prices are based on the tours you book.
Quad biking and sandboarding
If dune bashing in a 4X4 doesn’t tickle your adrenaline gland (or your stomach), get closer to the sand in a quad bike. There is an element of raw skill and courage in conquering dunes on a quad bike. Be sure of your skills (or lack thereof) and start out slow, continuing in full view of your tour guide, family and others.
Our recommendation: Dunes by Al Nahda is a luxury resort, conveniently located at Wadi Al Abiyad, translated as White Sands. They offer quad-biking as one of their activities. You could also try a hand at sand-boarding. The prices are based on the package you book at the resort.