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WHERE TO TRAVEL: OMAN

Musandam Peninsula

Separated from the rest of Oman, at the neck of the Persian Gulf, the Musandam Peninsula is one of the most geopolitically strategic locations in the world. It is also one of the most scenic and least developed areas of Oman. The province is known for its spectacular fjord-like sunken valleys and rugged mountains which have led the area to be called “The Norway of Arabia”. One of the great attractions of visiting Musandam is taking a relaxing dhow cruise into Khor ash Sham to explore the dramatic sunken valley with its incredibly sheer cliffs and crystal clear water. Swimming and the opportunity to spot dolphins are key attractions. Most Musandam dhow cruises visit Telegraph Island, named after the communications post built here in the 19th century. The British who had taken the sub-marine telegraph ‘round the bend’ of the Persian Gulf to India, found it impossible to live here and abandoned the island after only four years. Scuba diving in these waters is considered to be amongst the best in Gulf. Musandam’s small capital of Khasab is a hive of activity with smugglers making the quick dash across the Straits of Hormuz to Iran in speedboats loaded with all manner of merchandise. Khasab is also the location of an award winning museum / fort. The interior of Musandam Province is very dramatic and is the preserve of the once ferocious Shihuh tribe. A Mountain Safari will take you through the scorched gravel lined desolate valleys up a winding unmade road to Jebel Harim (2087 m). High on the mountain are richly cultivated ‘hidden’ valleys which are almost Eden-like when compared to the desolation below.

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