The Musandam Peninsula in Oman is noted for its breathtaking landscape highlighted by jagged fjords that accentuate the beautiful coastline. It’s for this very reason that Musandam is nicknamed the “Norway of Arabia”. Here are the top must-try things when you visit Musandam.
Ride a Traditional Omani Dhow
The best way to visit this place is by going on an Omani dhow along the Strait of Hormuz, which is the inlet of water detaching Oman from Iran. Riding a wooden dhow gives you an insight into Oman’s tradition.
The Omani dhow is considered a national pride. As a seafaring nation, Omanis take pride in building dhows. The art of building this unique water vessel has been passed on from generation to generation in the Sultanate of Oman. Although dhow building is becoming a dying art, there are still carpenters in the indigenous regions of Sur Oman who continue this legacy.
Embark on an Omani dhow cruise and sail through the majestic fjords of Musandam. The typical Omani boat has a sundeck with seats where guests can appreciate the panoramic views. You can also pass through some fisherman villages and a few islands. If you go on an afternoon cruise, you can catch the stunning sunset and watch the sky fill with amazing colors.
Snorkel and Scuba Dive in Musandam
You can sign up for Day Scuba Diving Musandam and explore the beautiful underwater world of the peninsula. Nemo Diving Center’s Day Dive in Musandam is open to everyone with or without certification.
If a single-day trip seems short, you can maximize your excursion by going on an Overnight Musandam dive on a custom-built Omani boat. For adventure lovers, Musandam is known for drift diving. This type of diving allows you to go along with the current. It’s fun, exciting, and gives you an element of surprise.
For night diving Musandam, only Advanced Open Water Divers or higher are allowed to join. Some of the dive sites that might be included in the overnight trip are White Rock, Umm Al Fayarin Island, Ras Lima, and Octopus Rock. These waters are noted for the wide biodiversity of marine species. Some common sightings in the area are angelfish, fusiliers, batfish, parrotfish, turtles, and different types of rays.
Taste Oman Delicacies
If you’re a coffee lover, Arabic coffee (qahwa or kahwa) is worth trying. Omani qahwa has spices and flavors that give it a distinctive taste. Its main ingredients are cardamom, saffron, and rose water. Some recipes include cinnamon and cloves. The ingredients are brewed and served in an Arabic qahwa pot.
In Oman, qahwa is a wonderful representation of Omani warmth and hospitality. Guests are often served with qahwa when they are invited to an Omani residence. Guests may also be offered Omani dates, fruits, and Omani halwa (sweet jelly dessert).
Shuwa, which is Arabic for grilled meat, is a very popular dish in Oman that is often served on special occasions like Eid. The meat is marinated in Omani species and then wrapped in banana leaves. It is placed in an oven under the sand and cooked for one to two days. Families usually begin cooking shuwa on the first day of Eid and eat it on the second or third day.
The mishkak (kebab) is another recommended dish to try when you visit Oman. It can be beef, mutton, or chicken marinated in special Omani spices and curry. It is grilled on sticks and served with Omani bread.
Khubz Ragag (Omani bread) comes in different shapes and sizes but the traditional version is round. It is made of three basic ingredients, namely flour, salt, and water. Omani bread is popular in restaurants and is usually served alongside meals.
Enjoy a Musandam trip
When you visit Musandam, the “Norway of Arabia”, make it a point to ride a traditional Omani dhow for a great vantage of the majestic fjords. For water and adventure lovers, go snorkeling and scuba diving to explore the colorful underwater world of the peninsula. Last but not least, savor the unique and tasty Omani delicacies.