Visit Oman, home to one of the oldest civilisations in the Arabian Peninsula and stunning beaches, mountains and deserts.

Why not visit the Muscat festival in Oman which takes place from the 27th - 31st of January (www.muscat-festival.com), where traditional dances are held, temporary theme parks open, and concerts take place? With high temperatures all year round, but pleasant from October to May, now is a perfect time to escape the winter chill. Recently listed as the most-improved nation in last 40 years from among 135 countries worldwide by the United Nations Development Programme, Oman is a country well known for its tourist attractions. Try your hand at sand skiing in the desert, scuba diving, surfing, sailing or you can even opt for a camel race.

Oman’s Wadis, green, lush cool water oases of palm trees, grasses and flowers, are unique in the Gulf States and the country’s 1700 km coastline offers some of the cleanest, most beautiful beaches you could hope to find. Along the coast there are over 500 forts, castles and towers in various architectural styles, originally designed to protect the country from potential invaders.

The mix of exotic deserts, mountains, stunning beaches and vestiges of ancient times makes Oman the Jewel of Arabia. Ancient Souqs can be found in many of the towns, one of the oldest preserved is in Muttrah, where you can haggle for gold and silver jewelry, wooden carvings, ornaments and spices. Western European-style Shopping Malls, with boutiques and chain stores, can be found in Qurum, and in the Al Khuwair area of Muscat.

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