Over the parched and thirsty land of Middle East, Oman’s wadis are an effervescent concoction of turquoise and olive. Its lucid water and chaste beaches resonate with the idea of a sweetish, languid vacation citing a legit escape from the scrupulous assembly of Dubai. Though mind you, if you have a Dubai visa, you'll need a permit for Musandam, but more on such tips later.
The Musandam Governorate is coyly grafted with Oman’s earthy soil on the upper tip of UAE encircled by the Strait of Hormuz. Its separation from the rest of Oman and easy accessibility from the UAE makes if for a perfect getaway from Dubai.
Here are my top 10 reasons to visit Musandam for a short excursion from Dubai.
1. Enjoy panoramic views of Oman from the sundeck
Feel the nip in the air as the dolphins squiggle over the sea flaunting some acrobatics. But moreover, soak in its vastness to ponder over humanity’s inconspicuousness vis-a-vis the mighty sea.
2. Snorkel with the fishes
Dive in with a pool of colourful fishes in the crystal clear and immaculate water of Oman. Don’t worry about swimming; a speed boat will drop you near the Fjords where a whirlpool of corals and fish wiggle around.
3. Experience a rush of adrenaline on a banana boat
Get ready to twist and turn along on a banana ride. Experience the thrill of getting thrown into the water as a speed boat drags along the banana (you dirty mind!) over the calmness of the sea.
4. Zoom in to the beautiful Musandam Fjords over a speed boat
Take in the pleasure of cruising over the narrow peninsular inlets with an experience akin to that of a ruggedly experienced sailor. Behold a dreamland unfurl in front of you as the Mother Nature indulges you in her.
5. Savour a succulent lunch on a traditional dhow
You know it’s lunch time when the seagulls hover around gracefully to catch a fish or two, and the grumble of your stomach matches the roar of the ocean. Your lunch spread will have an amazing combination of veg and non-veg flavours, while the upbeat music pumps up the atmosphere.
6. Soak in the solitude evoked from the calmness of the sea
Musandam is a writer’s eloquence, an artist’s canvas, a dancer’s melody, an unrequited lover’s hankering and a bibliophile’s reminder of the sweet smell of an old book that evokes a rush of memories. Take some time out and appreciate the virtue of solitude.
7. Grab some sunshine over a sun-lounger
With sea in your eyes, wind in your hair and sun kissing your skin, lounge over the iridescent moods of nature and foster your inner philosopher to another level.
8. Try your hand at fishing
It’s time to skillfully plot your moves and fool a fish with some fishy baits. Someone on my boat managed to catch a fish. You might too.
9. Explore the local fish market
Everyday after conspiring at the great aquatic muse, the fishermen at these local markets bid for their fresh catch. Thousands of fishes of various varieties can be seen as a kaleidoscope of colours here. Can it get any fishier?
10. Meet the lovely citizens of the world
Share stories, leave a trace of your culture on them and bring back a scent of theirs with you - like this sweet French lady, Marie who went an extra mile for me and took me snorkelling. Merci, Marie!
A pocket-guide to Musandam:
1. The distance between Dubai to Musandam is about 174kms, which takes a ballpark time of around 3 hours by road.
2. You need to take a permit for this excursion. There’s a small border post situated along the East Coast. The permit takes around 2 days which will be taken care of by your tour operator. Hence, you can’t have impromptu plans for this trip.
3. Remember to carry your passport for this excursion. You’ll be strictly denied an entry in case you fail to produce one at the checkpost.
4. Note that the permit you receive will be only valid for Musandam. It is not considered as a legal document to enter the rest of Oman.
5. Swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses and a smile must be adorned to enjoy the Omani weather to the fullest.
Author : Winnie Karnik