I’m sure you’re following and loving Camila’s trip to Dubai. I missed meeting up with her for two days. What a shame! I am also in the Middle East, but this time my final destination was Oman, I quickly passed through Dubai. I am completely in love with the elegance of the country, its natural beauty, the Arab culture in a more open version, the hospitality of the people and the wonderful hotel I chose in the capital of Muscat, the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah. I’ll tell you everything.
Oman borders the exuberance of the United Arab Emirates, with the closed Saudi Arabia, and conflicting Yemen. However, it has its own personality, different from the neighborhood. It is peaceful, discreet and open. It’s people are proud to have Sultan Qaboos as a leader. In fact, he built a mosque in the city that has its name “Great Mosque of Sultan Qaboos” and today it is one of the postcards of Oman. He promoted a competition in the 1990s to choose the best project to build this mosque to celebrate his 30 years in office. It’s really beautiful. It has exterior facades and patios with simple traces and light colors. The highlights are the immense Persian rug and the chandelier.
Also visit Souq Mutrah, a market full of life, typical of the countries of the Middle East; stroll through the “Cornice”, the seafront promenade; explore the forts built by the Portuguese who dominated the country for 100 years (something in common with Brazil); go to the Sultan’s Palace; drive through the Bay al Zubair Museum and do not miss the Opera House.
Since the country is a desert, it is hot all year round. Therefore, choose a hotel with a beach to relax in the hottest hours of the day and walk around the city in the morning or at dusk. My tip is the super Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, in a place privileged by nature. It sits on a quiet bay, nestled in a sea turtle nesting area and is surrounded by the Hajar Mountains. More beautiful, impossible. The complex has three Shangri-La hotels: Al Waha (it is kid friendly), Al Husn (adults only) and the luxurious Al Bandar where I stayed. The hotel is immaculate. It has classic Arabic architecture, well appointed rooms, modern bathrooms, a divine breakfast, several restaurants, an amazing spa, very nice staff, several swimming pools and a private beach of 500 meters where you can dive to see the turtles, kayak or take a boat trip to enjoy the “al mare” sunset. It is the best place to stay in Muscat. The location is great, away from the confusion of the city. In an oasis of calm 20 minutes from downtown and 40 minutes from the airport.
I wish you all a week full of peace.
XoXo and see you next week!