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musandam peninsula self discover place of oman

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A not-so-famous yet beautiful place to discover? Well, Musandam Peninsula fits the description just right! With the sun setting into the high stretch of mountains and the beaches which call for a beautiful summer vacation, this place is heaven that a lot of people are not aware of yet! Let’s take a look at this isolated place and why it’s not so much in demand yet!

 

Overview:

  1. Location

  2. How did it become that both Oman and UAE share the borders?

  3. What is so unique about this place?

  4. People in Musandam

  5. What do the people do in this region for their livelihood?

  6. Do I need to know Arabic before coming to this place?

  7. What are the options available to get to the Musandam Peninsula?

  8. Traveling around in Musandam

  9. Places to see in Musandam

  10. Things to do in Musandam

  11. Food and Drink

  12. FAQs

 

Location:

Situated in the Northern part of Oman, Musandam Peninsula has been divided roughly through the borders of Oman and UAE. 

 

How did it become that both Oman and UAE share the borders?

1. One of the most bizarre stories is that of how the Musandam Peninsula shares both the borders of Oman and UAE.

2. Musandam was originally a part of Oman; however, it is separated by the UAE.

3. The Strait of Hormuz which is the busiest waterways was taken over by Oman and hence the part of the Musandam Peninsula was taken over by Oman. However, in the Emirate of Fujairah, you’ll find a part of Oman called the enclave of Madha also called Wadi Madha. This part allows UAE its authority over the Musandam Peninsula!

 

What is so unique about this place?

The Musandam Peninsula consists of hills that sit at a height of about 2000 meters from the sea level. The turquoise colored water below the mountains is home to a wide variety of fish species! This place is also known as the ‘Norway of the Middle East’. This name has been originated due to the rocky inlets and the river which has been surrounded by towering mountains! 

 

People in Musandam:

With over 30,000 populations, Musandam Peninsula has people distributed in 2 cities. One being Khasab and the other being Dibba. Khasab is known to be the main town that connects the whole of Peninsula by road. The people living here are called as Shihuh tribes. 

 

What do the people do in this region for their livelihood?

The people here mostly live traditionally while looking after plantations, herding, and fishing for their livelihood. 

 

Do I need to know Arabic before coming to this place?

While some of the people who live in the Musandam Peninsula can speak English, you cannot expect much while you’re here. This is why knowing at least basic Arabic will help you through the journey.

 

What are the options available to get to the Musandam Peninsula?

Surrounded by water on the three sides of the entire land, you can get to Musandam in 3 ways. You can either go by boat or fly or drive. 

 

Flying from Muscat to Musandam:

There are two Oman Air flights daily from Muscat to Musandam and vice versa. This flight is a small one and there are no bonder controls while you pass the borders. The timings and fees may be different and hence taking a look at the website is recommended.

 

Entering Musandam via boat:

There are ferries that take you directly from Muscat to Khasab. There is also an option of catching a ferry from Dibba to Khasab which will take about two and a half hours. This ferry is available two times a week. A lot of villages in Musandam are still closed to the tourists however they can get access to it by boating.

 

A drive to Musandam:

One of the most common ways of entering Musandam is by road. Be it from Oman or from UAE this option is the best one for both! While crossing the border you might want to take a note of a few things:

1. You need to pay an entrance fee at the border if you’re a GCC resident. Or else if you have a Dubai Oman Common visa you can enter the country without paying any fees.

2. You might need to get your passport stamped while crossing the border.

3.  Your car or any other vehicle in which you’ll be crossing the border needs to be insured. Having insurance in both Oman and UAE will be recommended.

4. Once you are leaving Oman you need not pay any additional fee but your passport will be checked along with the insurance documents.

 

Traveling around in Musandam:

1. One thing you need to remember while traveling around in Musandam is that there is no public transportation facility available. This is why you’d want to have your own rental car if you plan to discover the whole of Khasab. You’d also need to carry more water and wheels as the roads here can get pretty much rocky which might cause some damage to the wheels.

2. As there are military bases in Musandam you might be able to catch a glimpse of the military vehicles, but do not ever film them or picture them as this can land you in trouble!

3. Another thing about Musandam is that the fuel available here is pretty cheap and which is why you need not worry about traveling a lot in the car. 

 

Places to see in Musandam: 

 

1. Wadi Quida:

This place is also called as Village of Tawi Rock Paintings. Here you can view the historic paintings of the boats animals and villagers.

2. Jebel Harim:

This is the highest point in all of Musandam. This area is sealed off with military people and hence you can’t really get to the top of the summit but you can get to it as close as 0.4 kilometers from the top.

3. Bukha Fort:

The pear-shaped watchtower is something you can’t miss while visiting the Bukha fort. It was built in the 17th century and was restored in the 1990s. It is open for tourists to visit from Saturday to Thursday at timings, from 9 am to 4 pm while on Fridays the timings are from 9 am to 11 am.

4. Coastline visiting:

This is the most fun activity you can do while in Musandam. Taking a boat ride with the traditional Dhow will also enhance the overall experience. 

 

Things to do in Musandam:

One can never run out of sights to see and things to do in Musandam. Here’s a list of things you can do while you are here in Musandam.

1. Musandam Peninsula Diving:

Scuba diving is one of the best things you’ll ever do in the Musandam Peninsula. There are dedicated diving sites here and you can also go snorkeling. The water temperature ranges from 22 degrees Celsius in winter to about 30 or more degrees Celsius in summer. Nevertheless, you can always enjoy a beautiful sight here. Watching for Whales and Sharks are also quite famous in the months of May to October. 

2. Watching Dolphins: 

What better way to enjoy the vacation than to watch a pack of humpback Dolphins strolling their way through the crystal blue waters. While you can watch them up close one thing to keep in mind is not to feed the dolphins and let the instructors do their jobs.

3. Kite surfing:

The real fun for all the adventure seekers in Musandam! The kite surfing takes you to a lot of places due to the high wind strength and the waves

 

Food and Drink:

1. Fish is really known in Musandam and if you’re a fish lover then it’s a heaven for you indeed! You can also get your hands on some kebabs and some good South Asian food as well.

2. While drinks here are mostly water and tea you might find only some of the shops which sell liquor.

3. If you are really searching for liquor and end up bringing it from UAE to Oman while crossing the borders, then get ready for some trouble on your way as the border restrictions are really tight.

With a long trail to discover and a lot of fun activities for you to do in the Musandam Peninsula, reach out for some beautiful sighting while you’re here. The sky which lights up the ocean is a definite sight to see while here in the Musandam Peninsula!

 

 

FAQs:

1. How long does it take from Muscat to Khasab by road?

It takes about 6 hours and 15 minutes to reach from Muscat to Khasab by road

2. Is it okay to click pictures of the Military campsite in Musandam?

Photography of military campsites in Musandam is not allowed and is definitely prohibited.

3. Can children go through hiking on Jebel Harim?

Jebel Harim being the highest point is a beautiful sight to not miss. However, taking kids along might not be a good idea.

4. Is there a good place to stay in Khasab?

Six Senses Zighy Bay is the most luxurious option you can choose to stay in Khasab.

5. Is the Musandam Peninsula a good travel option?

A lot of tourists still have no idea about the Musandam Peninsula which makes this place a good option.

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