Dubai & Oman
The ‘City of Merchants’, a city of unparalleled grandeur, a city that boasts year-round sunshine. A perfect getaway for everyone, shoppers, business people, families and adventure seekers – there is something for everyone. One of the most fantastically developed cities of the world, Dubai offers unlimited leisure activities.
Located on the pristine shores of the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is one of the seven emirates that form the United Arab Emirates. It is a city of contrasts with a distinctive blend of a contemporary city, set against a background of the timeless desert. Here centuries-old traditions thrive alongside development, where east meets the west to form a culture that is at once intriguing and warm.
For centuries, this enchanting city has enthralled thousands of seafarers and merchants. Today, it still lives on its age-old values of hospitality and prides itself on a booming economy with an accent on trade and tourism. A very safe city, Dubai features some of the world’s finest hotels, ultra-modern sport and leisure facilities and of course spectacular shopping!
Sultanate of Oman
The Sultanate of Oman has one of the oldest civilizations in the Arabian Peninsula, dating back thousands of years with notable periods of greatness in the ancient world and in medieval times.
Like other great civilizations, Oman faded from prominence - until the recent resurgence under the wise and able leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. All along, the country was active in many ways and has an interesting history that is still relevant today and has left many tangible traces in prominent landmarks and a highly developed culture.
|Day 1 | Arrive in Dubai|
Upon Arrival at Dubai Airport Terminal, proceed to clear immigration. After collecting your baggage and having cleared customs proceed to the arrival area where our representative specially assigned will be waiting for you.
Rooms are pre-selected to avoid time taken in check-in process however passport needs to be submitted for scanning at the welcome desk which is a mandatory requirement as defined by the Government of UAE. As you will be arriving earlier than the check in time - you can store our luggage till your rooms are ready
Overnight at Dubai Hotel
Hotel Check in time: 15:00 hours
Hotel Check out: 12:00 hours
|Day 2 | Dubai City Tour|
Morning time, after breakfast, at 9:00 am, we proceed for a Dubai city tour which begins with a drive along the skyscraper area of Sheikh Zayed Road, also referred to as the “Little Manhattan”. We pass by the Emirates Towers and the Dubai World Trade Centre, continuing the short drive along the Jumeirah beach visiting Jumeirah mosque (which can be viewed from outside. It is one of the largest and most beautiful Mosque of Dubai, which is considered a prominent landmark of the city. Built in the medieval Fatimid tradition, it is a spectacular example of modern Islamic architecture and is particularly active at night.
Post this, we drive along the Zabeel road, passing by the Palace of Sheikh Mohammad, as well as the Rashid Palace, home to the Royal family of Dubai (No Photography here please)
Later we visit the Al Fahidi Fort which houses the Dubai Museum. It was built around 1787, and once guarded the landward approaches to the town. Renovated in 1971 for use as a museum, its colorful life size dioramas vividly depict everyday life in the days before the discovery of oil. Galleries recreate scenes from the Creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date farms, deserts and marine life.
After the museum, we move ahead to cross the creek by traditional boats – called ABRA - to reach the SOUK, which is the Arabic word for a market or a place where different kinds of goods are brought or exchanged. Traditionally, Arabic shipping vessels discharge their cargo brought from Far East, China, Ceylon and India on the docks, which would be bargained over in the souks adjacent to the docks.
Despite the change in times, Dubai’s Spice and Gold Souk’s remains a favorite spot for all tourists. Various varieties of spices are available from all over the Arab world and close by countries. Silk and Ittar (Arabic Perfume) are also found in abundance.
Gold is a serious business in this part of the world. This can be seen through the gold souks or the gold markets, which are truly a dazzling sight to behold. These have earned Dubai a reputation for being the 'City of Gold'. The markets offer earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, and pendants.
Did you know - At any given time, there is over 25 tons of gold at display in Dubai's jewelry shops…!!!
Enjoy a Cultural Lunch in the family home of The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, where you can experience the ambiance of a traditional setting while learning the customs behind the true Arabian hospitality.
Private basis: Sunday through Thursday (12:30 to 02:00 pm)
Late afternoon, meet your driver who is also your guide at the hotel lobby and then head out to the desert of a Desert Safari Extravaganza!! Proceed to the high dunes to do ‘dune bashing’. For the adventurous, the driver takes you on a roller coaster ride dune after dune before giving you a short break at a camel farm to see the ‘ship of the desert’.
Drive to a Bedouin camp after sunset, where you are welcomed in traditional Arabic style with dates and Arabic coffee. Settle in for the evening to the sound of the Arabic music and belly dancer giving a glimpse of Arabian culture.
Music playing whilst you take drinks from the bar (direct payment basis), the ladies can have their hands painted with beautiful designs drawn by henna ladies whilst the men can smoke the ‘sheesha’ (Hookah) popularly know as the hubbly-bubbly. End the evening with a sumptuous barbeque dinner and a belly dance show performed by an expert dancer. Return to the hotel by 4x4 vehicles after an evening that will definitely be a memorable one!
Meal: Buffet / Arabic
Includes: Dinner, Mineral Water, Soft drinks
Late evening, return to your hotel.
Overnight at Dubai Hotel
|Day 2 | Abu Dhabi City Tour|
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will begin our drive (approx. 2 hours) to the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the administrative center of the country - Abu Dhabi - which is also called ‘the Manhattan of the Middle East’. One of the wealthiest and most modern city-states in the world, Abu Dhabi is the center of the oil business in the country. Built on a natural island, the emirate includes several offshore islands and vast expanses of desert. The city is renowned for its lush greenery, planned development and beautiful Corniche.
Note: As we will be visiting a mosque, you are requested to dress conservatively as per guidelines are given at the end of this itinerary.
We start the tour with the visit to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque – Largest Mosque in the UAE, founded by Late His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The dome layout and floor plan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque and the architecture was inspired by both Mughal and Moorish design. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets are classically Arab.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque has made few world records:
- The carpet laid out on the vast expanse is the “World's Largest Carpet” made by Iran's Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. This carpet measures, 627 m2 (60,570 sq ft), and was made by around 1,200 weavers, 20 technicians, and 30 workers. The weight of this carpet is 47 tons – 35 tons of wool, and 12 tons of cotton. There are 2,268,000 knots within the carpet.
- This mosque also holds the largest chandelier. There are seven imported chandeliers from Germany and are copper and gold-plated. The largest chandelier has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.
IMPORTANT NOTE: WHILE VISITING MOSQUES / OLD AREAS, FOLLOW THESE
- Modest, conservative, loose fitting clothing; long sleeves, long skirts and trousers
- No transparent (see-through) clothing
- No shorts for men
- For Women, no shorts and skirts must be ankle length
- No tight clothing, no swimwear and no beachwear
- Shoes will be removed before entering the mosque, so we recommend slip off shoes
- Headscarf for ladies is essential (these can be provided when you arrive)
- Intimate behaviour; i.e. holding hands or kissing is not acceptable in a Muslim place of worship
- For respect to worshippers, visitors should always stay with the guide.
- Smoking and eating food is not allowed in the mosque area
- Visitors are requested not to touch the Holy Quran (Holy Book) and other architectural elements inside the main prayer hall.
We then continue our tour to Heritage Village. Situated on a 1600 sq. meter site overlooking the Cornice, near the Breakwater in Abu Dhabi, this heritage village is run by Emirates Heritage Club. Here you can experience the past traditional life in Abu Dhabi, before oil revenues altered the landscape, economically and socially. In addition to Bedouin tents, there are reconstructions of palm (Arish) and other houses, old fishing villages and traditional Souqs.
Lunch on own.
After lunch, we head to the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum. It is a new cultural beacon, bringing different cultures together to shine fresh light on the shared stories of humanity. Enjoy some time exploring the art and artifacts from around the world. We then drive to the corniche area to peak into city skyline and the new developments taking place around the city.
Late afternoon, we return to Dubai.
Overnight in Dubai
|Day 4| Depart Dubai – Muscat|
Today morning, after breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel for your departure transfer.
You bid farewell to Dubai.
Arrive at Muscat Airport. You will be met before immigration with a placard and escorted to the Prime Lounge where you enjoy Omani hospitality. Hot or cold refreshments are offered while the lounge executive completes the immigration formalities. You are then escorted to the baggage hall and assisted with their baggage and custom formalities.
Transfer from Muscat International Airport to hotel,
Afternoon Transfer to the Marina to embark on a relaxed dhow (fishermen’s boat) cruise. See Muscat coast through the eyes of ancient seafarers who plied this route for centuries. Have a brief stop at a natural cove. Photograph the spectacular Al Bustan Palace Hotel before we return back to the Marina for the transfer to the hotel. (Soft drinks, tea, coffee, and dates served on board)
Return to the hotel
Includes: Dinner, Mineral Water, Soft drinks
Hotel Check in time: 14:00 hours
Hotel Check out: 12:00 hours
Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel
Day 5 | Muscat
Muscat offers the visitor a unique opportunity to witness a modern commercial center existing in harmony with its traditional culture. Muscat with its natural harbor means “Anchorage” & lies in a natural volcanic bowl.
Pickup from the hotel and proceed to visit the Grand Mosque, the highlight of the Muscat city. Completed in 2001, Grand Mosque is a beautiful building which looks modern but shows that modern craftsmen have retained the skills necessary to create this wonderful traditional environment. The handmade carpets, the chandeliers, the ceiling of the great dome in the main prayer room are absolute 'must sees'. Kindly note- Ladies to be fully covered and to carry a headscarf and men should wear trousers. A short Lecture by a local Omani scholar on religion/Islam.
Visit Royal Opera House Muscat, a towering beacon shedding light on the various trends of the Renaissance march towards growth. We proceed to Bait Al Zubair Museum is a brief introduction that traces Oman’s history and development.
Drive along the waterfront Corniche visiting the bustling Muttrah Souq. We proceed for a photo stop to the magnificent Al Alam Palace, official palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos flanked by the 16th-century Portuguese forts Mirani & Jalali.
Lunch at Kargeen Restaurant.
Return the hotel.
Afternoon at Leisure
In the evening, we venture to the Bait Adam Museum for a private visit, followed by a traditional dinner with an Omani Family. We will explore the museum with the founder and curator of this unique collection of Omani artifacts and history. We’ll become better acquainted with Oman’s rich heritage by viewing this private collection of old maps, photographs, paintings, jewelry, and one of the best private collections of ancient coins in the Middle East
Dinner and Overnight stay at the hotel,
Day 6 | Muscat – Sur – Wahiba Sands
We drive past the fishing village of Quriyat. There is a good chance of spotting Flamingos and Eagles at an inland stream. We then proceed to the Bimah Sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom.
The drive along the coast offers tantalizing glimpses of the sea. Our next stop is at the Bimah sinkhole, a limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom. Photo stop at Wadi Tiwi. Proceed to the pretty Wadi Shab. For those, It is possible to walk right up to the source of the Wadi through lush green plantations of lemon, banana, and dates. The fairly easy walk on a rocky path is dotted with pools and waterfalls. (Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.) However, walk is only recommended for fit travelers.
Post-tour we continue our drive to Wahiba via Sur.
The Wahiba Sands, a vast mass of undulating red and White Sea of sand and dunes rising up to 200 meters, which are, also host to a variety of flora and fauna. The ever-changing patterns of the dunes are a photographers’ delight.
Experience dune bashing a thrilling ride in the evening over the dunes. Enjoy Camel Ride during Sunset in the oasis. We’ll also visit a Bedouin camp and enjoy a cup of local Omani coffee.
Overnight stay at Desert Night Camp (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 7| Wahiba Sands – Nizwa – Jebel Akhdar
Today pick up from the hotel and proceed to Jabel Akhdar.
We drive to Jabel Akhdar via Birkat Al Mouj. Located on the way to Jabel Akhdar this uninhibited, abandoned village is a good reminder of old days. Great for a photo-stop and to explore by walking this place is full of date and banana orchards, old brick houses. Visiting this place gives an idea of rural life.
We continue our drive to Jabel Akhdar. Jabal Akhdar, meaning “The Green Mountain” in Arabic, is part of the Al Hajar mountain range, one of Oman’s most spectacular regions. Perched here 2,000 meters above sea level, Alila Jabal Akhdar overlooks a dramatic gorge, surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the Al Hajar Mountains. This Oman resort is the perfect base for exploring the region’s magnificent landscape of rugged, untouched beauty while experiencing the height of sumptuous comfort.
Afternoon walking tour of Jebel Akhdar. Al Jebel Al Akhdar is famed for its fruit orchards typically laid out terrace style along the slopes of mountains, which are endowed with natural springs and aflaj. The villages of Saiq, Wadi Bani Habib (the village of the old houses) visit village roose & Al Ain dot the landscape. The villages overlook a spectacular landscape of dramatic peaks, gorges and wadis. The roses of Jabal Al Akhdar fill the air with fragrance when in full bloom (March / April). Rose water is distilled in the homes of the villagers. Meet with the farmer.
Return to the hotel.
Dinner and overnight stay at the Anantara Jebel Akhdar. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 8 | Jebel Akhdar
Our day starts little early with a visit to Nizwa's renowned cattle market. Taking place every Friday, this is where locals buy and trade the best livestock, from goats to cattle directly from the herders. It's a fascinating thing to experience as you immerse yourself in the dealings and trading that takes place. From here, we take some time to explore the Nizwa souk, one of the few souks in Oman featuring exclusive traditional Omani goods, including pottery, intricately hand-carved "khanjars" and ornamental silver jewellery. We also explore the Round Tower Fort, built in the 17th century.
We proceed to visit Jabrin, the finest of Oman’s Castles built in the late 17th century, which became a seat of Omani learning. The Castle displays the highest achievement in Omani ceiling painting & beautifully executed woodcarvings. After taking a Photo stop at the Bahla Fort. Drive to Wadi Nakher. In the Jebel Akhdar range Jebel Shams is the highest peak, which offers a spectacular view. Lunch at local Omani house OR lunch in a traditional Omani style at one of Plam oasis in area
Note- Tour timings might need to adjust being Friday.
Post tour return to the Jabel Akhdar hotel.
Dinner and Overnight stay at Anantara Jebel Akhdar. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Enjoy star gazing at the hotel after dinner.
Day 9 | Jebel Akhdar - Muscat – Salalah
Today after breakfast check-out from hotel and drive to Muscat. Drop off at Muscat Airport for your flight to Salalah.
Arrive at Salalah Airport and transfer to Al Baleed Salalah.
Check in at the Hotel.
Today we explore Salalah, the capital of the southernmost province of Dhofar. We begin with a visit to the ancient tomb of the "Prophet Job" situated in the scenic green mountains of the Salalah Plains. Returning to Salalah we visit the Grand Mosque, opened in 2011. We continue with a visit in the Al Balid Museum also known as the museum of Frankincense Land and a UNESCO heritage site. Lecture by archeologist at Al Balid.
Dinner and Overnight stay at Al Baleed Salalah by Anantara.
Day 10 | Salalah
we proceed to visit to the fishing village of Taqah, famous for the manufacture of dried sardines and its traditional Dhofari stone houses. We visit the old Taqah castle, the former official residence of the "Wali" governor of the region and obtain a glimpse into the rich history of the region. We continue to the ancient ruins of the once famous city of Sumharam (UNESCO World Heritage Site) where we enjoy a lecture by an archeologist on site. Sumharam was once the easternmost outpost of the Hadramawt Kingdom on the ancient incense route between the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and India. Sumharam was one of the major hubs, harbors and trading cities of frankincense.
Lecture by an Archeologists at Samharam.
We explore Mirbat, the ancient capital of Dhofar and where the frankincense trail began. In the 9th century it was the most important trading point for horses, slaves and frankincense. We explore the town taking notice of the unique architecture and old houses famous for its woodcarvings and visit one of Dhofar's best-known historic sites, Bin Ali's Tomb. The tomb of Mohamed Bin Ali who died in 1135 AD is a fine example of medieval architecture.
Enjoy a lunch at Marriott Resort
After lunch, return to Salalah.
Dinner and Overnight stay at Al Baleed Salalah by Anantara.
Day 11 | Salalah
Today morning, you will be picked from the hotel for your transfer to the Salalah International Airport where you can relax till your flight departure is announced.