#ReadersResponses: Oman being home to a plethora of Unesco World Heritage zones and a myriad number of historical sites that provide people with an insight into the Sultanate’s formation as a modern nation-state, residents in the country say they look back on their walks down memory lane with fondness.
“I worked in Oman for a long time and we tried to visit plenty of historic places when we were off,” recalled British national Di Wainwright. “The place that sticks in my mind is Sur, where they used to build the dhows, and where they still do.”
“I wonder why Oman is getting all this bad weather now,” she added. “I can only recall one serious rain storm while we were there.” Salalah seemed to be a particularly popular destination for residents in the Sultanate. “I have been to Salalah; it is a lovely place, and probably one of the best places in Oman,” added expat Reane James Henry.
“Salalah has a distinct position in Oman’s history and is considered its second city because it is the birthplace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said,” added Indian resident Stanly D’Cunha. “The region is home to some amazing landscape during the summer khareef season and was the centrepiece of Oman’s historical frankincense trade so it’s very iconic to people in Oman.”
“The trip from Muscat to Salalah does take roughly about 12 hours, although there are numerous places worth a detour en route,” said D’Cunha. “It’s a very cheerful and memorable trip, though because you can experience and enjoy all of Oman’s wild beauty. You get to see so much of Oman on the road, even as you pass through the towns of Rusayl, Nizwa, Haima, and Thumrait before you head to beautiful Salalah.
“Watch out for renegade dunes on the way, though,” he warned. “When you get hungry, thirsty or tired, you should take the next opportunity to stop — there might not be another one for dozens of miles.”
While Oman’s historical heritage has been a source of many a memorable weekend for some, it is the Sultanate’s natural beauty that has provided happiness to others.
“Misfah is a beautiful place to visit,” volunteered American national Deborah Fake. “I just love the greenery and the gorgeous mountain backdrop of the Jebel Akhdar. It is a truly breathtaking place to go and the village at the centre of it all reminds you of a simpler time and is a throwback to Oman’s past.”
“The falaj irrigation system that was once used throughout the Middle East to water crops and orchards is still very much in use here and the entire place just exudes a sense of calm and wonder that stays with you,” she added.
“I am particularly fond of Qalhat near Sur,” opined Abdul Qayyum. “Very little remains of this ancient port city now, with the exception of the mausoleum of Bibi Maryam, but in ancient times, it was a very important transit point for traders who came across the Indian Ocean.”
“With time, we do forget parts of Oman’s past, but this was considered an important nexus point for the Kingdom of Ormus and covered nearly a quarter of a million square metres, with artefacts from as far as Persia and China, so that tells you a lot about the position the Sultanate had in the past as well,” he said.
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