Oman targets GCC residents with mountain tourism

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman.

Oman is set to welcome GCC visitors this summer season, with the Sultanate’s Ministry of Tourism looking to promote its  mountain attractions, including luxury stays, hiking and exploring rural villages.

“Oman is the preferred destination for people who wish to escape the desert heat and skip the beaches in the summer months. The country’s mountains, Jebel Akhdar and Jebel Shams, offer moderate temperatures,” Oman Ministry of Tourism director general of tourism promotion Salim Al Mamari said in a statement.

Located a few hours drive from Muscat, Jebel Shams and Jebel Akhdar are two of the most striking mountains of the Al Hajar Mountains range. With an elevation of 3,028 metres, Jebel Shams is the highest peak in the Arabian Peninsula and is often referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon’ of Oman, sought after by visitors for hiking and sightseeing with a number of villages in the vicinity.

For luxury stays in the mountains, the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort and Alila Jabal Akhdar and other hotels and resorts offer options for accommodation, with sweeping canyon views. The cool climate in the area could be an attractive selling point for GCC residents looking for luxury short stays or to spend time on the hiking trails in Wadi Ghul, the Ministry of Tourism pointed out, with special tariffs offered for Omanis and GCC residents.

Wadi Mastal in Wilayt Nakhal, located 150 kilometres from Muscat, is another option for visitors looking to explore the traditional Omani way of life. A viewing platform offers views of the surrounding mountains. In addition to moderate-level hiking trails and the viewing platform, visitors can experience rural Oman as the area is farmed by locals growing vegetables and fruit trees. Visitors have an opportunity to walk among organically grown fruit trees such as pomegranates, apricots and cranberries.

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