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Sail the Pearl of Arabia: Your unforgettable yacht charter in Oman

From fictional maritime adventurers to soaring mountains, dramatic fjords and sparkling turquoise waters, Oman is a beguiling destination for travellers looking for the real Arabia. 

Sail the Pearl of Arabia in Sindbad’s wake

Coastal gateway to the renowned Musandam Peninsula, the port of Khasab makes for a dramatic first impression of the Sultanate. Reminiscent of Norway’s famed fjords – albeit a more rugged and less verdant version – a labyrinthine network of jagged cliffs looms spectacularly over deep blue waters where pods of frolicking dolphins can be spotted in the cooler months. A succession of seemingly untouched coves, bay and inlets make for idyllic swim stops and snorkelling opportunities. 

While abundant natural beauty is the raison d’être to sail these shores, a dash of scenically compatible luxury also hits the spot. Tucked away in the craggy embrace of surrounding mountains, and cradling its own private cove, guests of the Six Senses Zighy Bay can choose to arrive by yacht – or paraglider. Sympathetically designed with a traditional Omani stone-walled village aesthetic, this is remote luxury of the highest order. A coveted table at the award-winning Sense on the Edge restaurant, perched high on a mountaintop overlooking starlit waters, is an elevated dining must-do. 

Sohar to Sur

More adventures await further down the coast in Sohar. Ancient former capital and mythical birthplace of Sindbad the sailor, here the crosswinds of heritage and modernity converge to offer a raft of experiences for history buffs (Sohar Fort and Sultan Qaboos Mosque); sport aficionados (camel racing track); and shopping mavens (handicrafts souk) alike. 

Charting a course to the easternmost reaches of Oman, Sur takes visitors back to a time when the province was the beating heart of the country’s East Africa trade route. Traces remain with the sight of traditional dhow boats bobbing in the harbour and winding streets lined with former merchant’s houses whose intricately carved wooden doors and mashrabiya windows hint at a bygone era. Still home to a wooden dhow building community, watching these artisans at work is a rare privilege. 

The area is also a recognised breeding site for endangered sea turtles. Get up close to this one-of-a-kind migratory spectacle at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, where tens of thousands of eggs are laid in the ebbing surf each year. Those lucky enough to watch the nighttime or dawn ritual will witness a truly moving natural spectacle and may even see a baby turtle hatch.

It would be remiss to not mention the Sultanate’s scuba scene and those in the know head for the Ad Dimaniyat Islands. Oman is an underwater paradise and this cluster of nine islets, with protected nature reserve status, has coral reefs teeming with marine life. Gear up and go below to see everything from turtles, moray eels and stingrays to zebra sharks, whale sharks and a rainbow of exotic fish. 

A capital experience

Muscat, the country’s capital is a fitting conclusion to any north-south sojourn and bucks the skyscraper, multi-lane highways trend of its regional neighbours, instead managing to seamlessly blend old world charm with contemporary elements. Here, the vibe is still laidback but with a cosmopolitan air. 

Stroll the three-kilometre-long Mutrah Corniche to soak up the local ambience with the ancient city fort at one end. Do make a point to pop into the waterfront souk where haggling is a prerequisite and antique treasures can be hunted down. The imposing sight of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which can hold up to 20,000 worshippers is also worthy of attention and represents the modern face of the city, as well as a striking showcase of contemporary Islamic architecture.