Muscat: Locals and expatriates in Oman made the most of the nine-day Eid holiday and took a much-needed and extended break from the stressors of daily life.
With the Eid Al Fitr holiday running from Sunday, 1 May to Thursday, 5 May, and with the weekends stitched on either side, people had a nine-day Eid holiday to enjoy.
Many took the opportunity to travel overseas, something they hadn’t been able to do for well over two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions associated with it.
Travel agents had put together packages to many destinations, including Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Tunisia and Morocco, among others, for people to spend their Eid break.
“I took my family to Georgia for about four days,” said Suhail, an expatriate from Nizwa. “It had been too long since we had travelled, and we decided to make the most of this extended break. Because we did not know about the decision concerning the Eid holidays for a while, I had gone ahead and booked my tickets anyway, and arranged with the office for leave for a few days, if needed.”
Travelling overseas was something many people in the country did, including Khalid, an Omani from Muscat, who took his family to Turkey.
“The weather this time of the year was definitely cooler than it is in Oman, and it was amazing for my children to be able to play on the beach after so long,” he admitted. “During the peak of the COVID pandemic, they used to often ask me if they could go to the beach, and although I did not have the heart to say no, I had to: The beaches were closed at the time for our own safety.
“It feels great to be able to travel once again after being unable to do so for so long,” he added.
“Many of my friends and colleagues also planned to travel overseas, and I am sure that with a lot of us, the need for travel was simply something we had to address after so long. In the case of my children, they were unable to see their friends or go to school for so long, so for them to travel with their friends and catch up properly after what seemed like an eternity was just amazing. They did not stop smiling once during our entire holiday!”
There were others, however, who chose to travel within Oman: Salalah and Al Ashkara, where temperatures are cooler than what it is in the capital and northern regions of the country, were the first choice.
Atana Stay Al Ashkara
Indian national Mohammed Shafiuddin, who went to visit Al Ashkara with his friends and family said the weather was at least 10 degrees cooler than Muscat.
“We just lazed around and soaked up the cool beachfront breeze while staying in Atana Stay Al Ashkara,” he recalled.
Located in Ash Sharqiyah, where the Wahiba Sands meet the Indian Ocean, blessed with a pleasant microclimate of surprisingly milder temperatures, this pristine beach is where you will find your hip and funky place to rest.
Al Ashkara is 30 minutes drive from the Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve, and a four-hour cruise from Muscat, most of it on a scenic coastal highway.
The property was re-opened in July 2019 as a stylish three-star hotel. “Here, hospitality comes with a broad smile, impeccable service and a warm heart. Clean big rooms, sumptuous buffet spread and tropical weather defines Atana Stay at Al Ashkara.
The hotel staff at Atana Stay Al Ashkara knows the secret recipe to make your visit more relaxing and enjoyable. Front Office staff Hani, Chef Devender Ghansela and staff member Raktim were not only diligent and sincere but are gem in a hospitality industry,” Mohammed Shafiuddin added.