12 Days in Oman
Young director and producer Marko Roth from Germany captured a wonderful film during his 12 day trip to Oman. Let him take you on wonderful journey and get an impression of this beautiful destination in this short film selected for the National Geographic‘s Short Film Showcase.
We drove over 4200 km across the unexplored and beautiful country of Oman. We made friends with young and old Omanis, discovered absolutely stunning landscapes and captured our entire experience in this film. On our way from the North to the South of Oman, we came across deserts, beautiful beaches, mountains over 3000m high and the amazing Wadis.
Marko Roth, Director, markoroth.com
For many years, Oman was the best-kept secret in the Middle East. Perched on the south-east coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate’s stark beauty and vastly contrasting landscapes have enchanted growing numbers of tourists each year. Its arid desert, secret oases, awe-inspiring mountains and lush shoreline are home to diverse habitats for a wealth of wildlife and ecosystems that makes Oman unique within the region.
On land, fauna and flora of a stunning diversity thrive while coral reefs lay beneath the turquoise sea that caress the white sandy beaches adoring Oman’s lengthy coastline. Whales and dolphins are a common sight, and the sea is teeming with tropical fish. Turtles nest in numbers matched by no other country on the planet. Alongside this natural wealth is the Omani culture, as diverse and rich as the sea, mountain and desert environments put together.
Muscat, the Sultanate’s capital city, is home to over one million inhabitants and is within seven hours flight time of 50% of the world’s population and connected to cities in Europe, the Gulf, Africa and Asia with direct flights with the national carrier, Oman Air.
A Journey Through Oman
There are few places in the world that blend ancient and modern culture as seamlessly as Oman. Here, timeless traditions echo through everyday life as people take advantage of modern conveniences and sensibilities whilst still wearing the traditional dishdasha or abaya.
The relatively recent development of Oman – where electricity, paved roads, and telephones were only rolled out after 1970 under the direction of current leader His Majesty Sultan Qaboos – has all been carried out with a focus on preserving the country’s unique cultural identity. This makes an Oman holiday the perfect opportunity for a cultural experience where travellers can immerse themselves in an ancient way of life as they discover the real essence of Arabia.
Omani cuisine reflects our rich ethnic and tribal mix. Our chefs blend flavours from the Arabian and Indian subcontinents in dishes such as grilled mishkak kebabs, shuwwa and harees.
Our classic sweet delicacies are dates and halwa, a soft blend of sugar, semolina, ghee, saffron, almonds and fragrant rosewater. Both go perfectly with khawa. This is an aromatic black coffee, flavoured with cardamom and poured from a metal coffeepot into beakers (finjan), as a sign of hospitality. It is always polite to accept. When you have finished, just shake your cup gently, saying Bas, shukran (Enough, thank you).
The People of Oman
Venturing out of the main urban centres, travellers will find yet more examples of traditional culture as Bedouin farmers herd goats in the mountains and villagers still use the sun and stars to time their allocation of prized water from the remarkable falaj (canal) irrigation systems to water their date palm plantations.
Upon greeting visitors, many locals will offer a welcoming smile and an invitation to sample some dates and qahlwa with them. Many visitors to Oman return home with at least one story describing the genuine hospitality of the Omani people.
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said
Another fascinating aspect of Omani culture is the story of the nation’s leader, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Under his guidance, the country has developed from a severely underdeveloped nation with little infrastructure and limited freedom to an advanced society that has learned to treasure its past while embracing its future.
The vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has ensured that any development has been sensitive to preserving the Omani people’s cultural identity and natural environment, avoiding the overdevelopment typical of the region. For example, there are no buildings over ten stories tall permitted in Oman, by Royal Decree – His Majesty’s logic being that the natural skyline of the mountains surrounding many Omani cities is more magnificent than anything that man could hope to create.
HM Sultan Qaboos began his rule by instituting a series of consecutive five-year plans, each outlining the way forward for a key area of focus such as health care, education, and the development of tourism. The standard of living enjoyed by modern Omanis and the rapid yet sustainable development of the country is testimony to the success of His Majesty’s vision. Across Oman, the people universally adore their sultan and will proudly tell tales of all the things he has helped their nation achieve during his rule.
SEAOMAN is dedicated to getting you and your family on, in and under the water in the Sultanate of Oman.
Oman’s stunning coastline is undoubtedly best explored by sea – explore breathtaking views, discover an underwater paradise and experience thrilling activities enjoyed by all. Offering activities such as dinghy sailing courses, wakeboarding, day and overnight charters, RYA powerboat courses and PADI dive courses as well as a comprehensive marine service facility, we are Oman’s number one marine leisure provider.
Let SEAOMAN take you on a journey of discovery.