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Your guide to Oman’s finest beaches

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Impossibly blue waters matched by equally pristine sands make this jewel of the Emirates a no-­brainer as a beach destination

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1. Khalouf Beach

South of Muscat

If you’re seeking isolation, head to the Khalouf beach. It’s a brooding, silent shore with sand dunes looming over it. The only company you will have on the beach will be from lonesome fishermen, high-flying eagles and the odd flamingo. The flipside is that there aren’t too many resorts around here­‐don’t go here looking for fancy sun loungers and umbrella-­‐topped cocktails. Combine a day at the beach with a night in the nearby mountains. Various tours can also customise your trip (it is five hours from Muscat), and provide camping or snorkelling gear. The Muscat Hotels List has options to suit choices of different people. You simply need to check and compare the rates and book online beforehand. This will ensure a peaceful stay for you.

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2. Mughsayl Beach

Salalah

Oman’s beauty can be credited to the stunning beaches as well as the mountains that seem to melt into the sea. Salalah, the country’s second largest city, enjoys the best of both. A drive through rough and impressive cliff sides magically lead you to stunningly virgin stretches of sand and sea. It is such drama that makes Mughsayl Beach the pick of the lot. The ocean here, although pretty, has some strong undercurrents and swimming is not advised. So what are you waiting for? Go through the Salalah Hotels List and book your room in advance to avoid delays in your most awaited journey.

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3. Bandar Jissah

Bandar Jissah

Until recently, the rocky edges of the Bandar Jissah fended off most tourists. Today, it’s been adopted by one of the country’s many five-­‐star resorts and now is among Oman’s more popular water sport destinations. For quiet a afternoon at sea, hop on to a boat that will take you to the famous sea arch that Omani tourism authorities promote heavily. The still waters are perfect for snorkelling, particularly for beginners. It’s a popular weekend destination for locals and, thanks to its newfound popularity, tends to get pretty crowded.

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4. Tiwi Beach

Tiwi Village

The beaches of Tiwi village are largely empty on weekdays, which is when you should head here. There are several natural coves that make for the most perfect camping spots. The village is small and the locals eke out a living through fishing. You might spot the occasional fisherman on the beach, and if you’re nice, he’ll even let you buy fish fresh off his pick-­‐up truck. The beach here is almost white, and the waters a clear turquoise. The weekends draw in locals and the beach tends to get crowded with happy campers. This option from Tiwi Hotels list helps you have a nice view of the ocean as you wake up. Enjoy the waves and the gradual sunrise from your room during your stay at Tiwi.

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5. Ras Al Hadd

Ash Sharqiyah

The beach at Ras Al Hadd has airplane runways, relics from WWII, when fighter planes landed here at the Gulf of Oman for safety. Historical evidence even shows that ships sought this harbour as early as 3,000 BC. But history is not what draws tourists in. The beach is a turtle reserve and a rare spot for turtle watching. If you’re travelling around June, you’re in luck. It’s egg-­‐laying season, and the turtles lay between 6,000-­‐13,000 eggs on the beach. It’s a rare and beautiful sight, and the guided tours usually last for an hour – watching the turtles wade in from the sea, lay their eggs and then carefully cover them up with sand.

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6. Qurum Beach

Muscat

As one of the longest stretches of sandy shore and because of its proximity to malls and hotels (most are practically walking distance), Qurum Beach is one of the most crowded and popular beaches in Muscat. Families descend here in droves, partly also because the waters are calm and safe, and the jet skis plentiful. The beach is conveniently dotted with palm trees – so all you need is a towel and the natural canopy takes care of the rest. If you run out of trees, there are sun loungers as well. Hotels in Shatti al Qurum are designed to suit the needs of tourists around the globe. They come in many different prices and possess all the necessary amenities to make a tourist comfortable.

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7. Dhofar Beaches

Dhofar

Dhofar has some of the most spectacular beaches in Oman. The southernmost tip of Oman owes its famous seascapes to the many lagoons and caverns, making the beach a great adventure spot. Besides the obvious pursuit of spelunking, there’s water skiing and diving to consider as well. Dhofar also attracts bird watchers – the blue waters have pink dots, courtesy flamingos that like to feed here. Head to the beaches of Al Maghsayl, Raysut, Al Hafah, Wilayat Taqah, Mirbat and Sha – the white sands and soaring cliffs create stunning pictures. Sawli, Al Baleed, Ad Dahareez, Atheeb and Salalah are the spots with the maximum number of caves and caverns to explore.

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8. Marjan Beach

Near Petroleum Development Oman

Marjan Beach is one of the best spots for amateur snorkellers. There are fantastic colourful coral beds close to the shore, so you don’t need to wade out too far. The beach is connected to the city centre, which means there is always a lot of buzz. Coral reefs also mean an exciting variety of marine life – so expect to see clown fish, turtles, sea cucumbers, and manta ray. Occasionally, you’ll run into a fisherman spearing cuttlefish. Around the corner are two-­‐metre high cliffs, which are popular with cliff divers.

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9. Al Sawadi

Al Sawadi

The beaches at Al Sawadi are great for the family. The sands hold the most spectacular variety of sea shells, and can keep kids busy for hours. There a several islands close by, which are perfect little oases of peace and make for excellent picnic spots. The Daymaniat Islands are just 40 minutes away, and are a popular with snorkellers. Al Sawadi is also one of Oman’s best water sports and dive centres. Besides the usual suspects (banana boats and jet skis), it also offers kite boarding and kayaking. Plan your stay in Oman in Suwadi Al Bata hotels if you truly intend to relax. Book in advance to be sure of a comfortable room for stay.

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10. Al Wusta Shores

Al Wusta

The Al Wusta region is dominated by the desert. But its eastern fringe has two distinct beaches. On one hand are the clean, white sands and turquoise waters that characterise Omani beaches. On the other are steep cliffs and sharp buffs that are equally Omani in nature. Together these two regions are home to a lively gathering of wild and marine life. Birds can be spotted in the mangroves and bays, turtles in shallow waters, dolphins in the deep, and if it’s your lucky day, you can even spot the odd whale!

Travel Tips

Insider Tip:

The warm waters of the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea get pretty crowded between July and October. It’s the best time to watch rare turtles go about their business, including laying eggs (20,000 turtles lay around 50,000­‐60,000 eggs annually). Look for Green Turtles, the Loggerhead Turtle, the Hawksbill Turtle, the Olive Ridley Turtle and Leatherback Turtles, all found in Omani waters and beaches. Best Time to Visit: Summers get unbearably hot, so autumn and winter (between October and April) are best for beach lounging. Do keep in mind that winter sees sporadic showers.