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  • When?March 2015
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Explore - Oman & the United Arab Emirates
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Explore - Oman & the United Arab Emirates

  • 8 Night Holiday
  • B&B
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The Middle East – a unique destination, filled with formidable forts, impressive mosques, rolling sand dunes and spice-filled souks.

On this 8 night adventure, you will take in all the major sights and head off the beaten track in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Our small group numbers mean you can dine in local restaurants and visit local markets to truly experience what makes these countries a feast for the senses.

In Oman, discover the forts and castles of Nizwa, Bahla & Misfah and experience the charm of Muscat. In the United Arab Emirates, enjoy all the iconic sights of Dubai & Abu Dhabi as well as ample free time to explore the impressive urban landscapes. But not all the treasures in Dubai are man-made. Round off your trip with an overnight stay in a Bedouin camp. What better way to immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the Arabs than sleeping under the stars in the desert!

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
  • UAE: Dirham (AED)
  • Oman: Omani Rial (OMR)
Local Time
GMT+4 Hours
Passport & Visa
EU Citizens require a tourist visa to visit Oman. This is issued upon arrival in Muscat Intl. Airport at a cost of $13 USD per person. Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months from your return date of travel.
Flight Duration
Flight is approximately 7.5 hours. 
Climate

Hot, sunny desert climate. Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm. At other times, sunhat, sun glasses and sun block are recommended.

Food & Drink

Oman and the UAE are fantastic places to sample Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as offering countless international dining options. Breads and slow cooked meats are staple, with hummus, tabbouleh and other delicious accompaniments served alongside. Desserts are flavoured with rose water, nuts and dried fruits.

Dress Code

By comparison with certain parts of the Middle East, Oman & Dubai have quite  relaxed dress codes. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which may be considered revealing. At the pool or on the beaches, trunks, swim-suits and bikinis are quite acceptable.

Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A 220V/240V plug adaptor
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver

Dubai, the Story of the World’s Fastest City by Jim Krane

Hello Dubai by Joe Bennett

Holiday highlights

Muscat, Oman

Muscat is Oman’s port capital. Spend some time in this fascinating city with buildings dating back to the 16th century and ancient city walls encircling the Sultan’s Palace. Visit some of the top highlights of Muscat including the Royal Opera House Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Arabian market place and Bait Al Zubair museum. Wander through the winding alleys and back streets of Muscat in your leisure time and experience the sounds and smells of the souks.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, meaning the “Land of the Gazelle” is the high-rise capital of the UAE. Spend some time exploring this modern day city, adorned with lush green parks, sparkling fountains and broad avenues. Explore Abu Dhabi’s traditions at the impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s most impressive landmarks featuring 80 domes and 1000 columns. Spend some time shopping at the Gold Souk, Marina Mall and the Iranian markets and take in some of the highlights of the city including Emirates Palace, and the President’s Palace.

The Dubai Museum

Al-Fahidi Fort, built in 1800, is home to the Museum. In the past the fort was used to defend the town from warlike neighbouring tribes. Museum displays include musical instruments, a re-creation of a typical home and school of the 1950's, an interactive display of the flora and fauna of the UAE, and findings from archaeological sites.

Jumeirah Beach

Jumeirah Beach is a beautiful white sand beach located in the Jumeirah district of Dubai. It stretches along on the coast of the Persian Gulf and features a water park, numerous hotels with bars and restaurants for you to enjoy and a shopping complex.

Dubai Creek

Dubai's waterfront epitomizes the city's personality. The best way to see the trading port is from the water. You can book a cruise or hire an abra (small boat) and ask the captain to take you to Al-Maktoum bridge and back. Also take time to walk around the dhow wharfage on the Deira side of Dubai Creek, to the west of the abra dock.

Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque in Bur Dubai is home to the city's tallest minaret. It was built in the 1990s in the style of the Grand Mosque, which dated from 1900 but was demolished to make way for another mosque in 1960. The new Grand Mosque's sand-coloured walls and wooden shutters blend perfectly with the surrounding old quarter of Bur Dubai. Jumeira Mosque is known for its size and elaborate design. The best time to see it is at night, when it is spectacularly lit.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
  • UAE: Dirham (AED)
  • Oman: Omani Rial (OMR)
Local Time
GMT+4 Hours
Passport & Visa
EU Citizens require a tourist visa to visit Oman. This is issued upon arrival in Muscat Intl. Airport at a cost of $13 USD per person. Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months from your return date of travel.
Flight Duration
Flight is approximately 7.5 hours. 
Climate

Hot, sunny desert climate. Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm. At other times, sunhat, sun glasses and sun block are recommended.

Food & Drink

Oman and the UAE are fantastic places to sample Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as offering countless international dining options. Breads and slow cooked meats are staple, with hummus, tabbouleh and other delicious accompaniments served alongside. Desserts are flavoured with rose water, nuts and dried fruits.

Dress Code

By comparison with certain parts of the Middle East, Oman & Dubai have quite  relaxed dress codes. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which may be considered revealing. At the pool or on the beaches, trunks, swim-suits and bikinis are quite acceptable.

Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A 220V/240V plug adaptor
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver

Dubai, the Story of the World’s Fastest City by Jim Krane

Hello Dubai by Joe Bennett

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 – Depart for Oman

Afternoon

Depart for Oman

Your adventure starts with an overnight flight to Muscat, the capital city of Oman.

Day 2 – Arrive in Oman

Early Morning

Arrive in Muscat

Arriving in to Muscat International airport in the early hours of the morning, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. Early check in is included so you can catch up on some sleep before your first day of independent exploration in Muscat!

Full Day

At Leisure

Wander down to the harbor which lies on the Arabian Sea or admire the low-lying white buildings that typify most of Muscat's urban landscape. You will have the full day at leisure to get to know your surroundings at your own pace

Overnight

Accommodation

3 star hotel in Muscat (3 nights)

Day 3 – Explore Muscat

Morning

Explore Muscat

Kick off your day with a guided morning city tour of Muscat, Oman’s port capital. With buildings dating back to the 16th Century, and ancient city walls, which totally encircle the Sultan’s Palace, you will get a feel for days gone by. You will first visit the Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman's premier venue for musical arts and culture, before continuing to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This spiritual landmark is a contemporary place of worship for the Omani people and maintains a balance between aesthetics, culture and deeply rooted Islamic tradition. Wander through the winding alleys and back streets of the Arabian market place and experience the sounds and smells of the souks. Finish your morning with a visit to Bait Al Zubair museum, which is home to Oman’s most comprehensive collections of antiques, weaponry and jewellery.

Afternoon

Lunch at a Local Restaurant

Sample some authentic cuisine during lunch at a local restaurant before having the rest of the day free to continue exploring this mystical city at your leisure.

Day 4 – Explore Nizwa, Bahla & Misfah

Morning

Explore Nizwa

Forts and castles are among Oman's most striking cultural landmarks, which are unique in both their architecture and style. It is estimated that there are over 500 forts and castles in Oman and today you will head off in search of some of these! The first stop will be at Birkat Al Mauz, a desert oasis shaded by date, palms and banana plantations. From there you will continue through the desert, passing by the Western Hajar mountains towards Nizwa, a quaint settlement which has retained its charm of traditional Oman culture. Visit the 17th century round tower fort and the bustling souk known for its silver and copper handicrafts as well as its artistic crafting. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant.

Afternoon

Explore Misfah

Next up is a visit to the mountain village of Misfah, set against a scenic backdrop of near vertical cliffs and talus slopes. Misfah is also noted for its ancient stone houses, lime trees and the impressive fortified tower. Following this continue to the historic town of Bahla, now a UNESCO world heritage site. The city is encircled by a winding wall, which was originally built to guard the town. Explore the ancient fort of Bahla, with fifteen gates and 132 watchtowers before returning back to Muscat in the late afternoon.

Day 5 – Oman to the United Arab Emirates

Morning

Explore Barka

Bid farewell to Oman today, but not before a quick pit stop at the coastal town of Barka. Here you will have a chance to visit a local fish market before continuing to the United Arab Emirates border. Wave goodbye to your local guide at the border crossing as you journey further with your driver towards the glamorous playground of Dubai.

Afternoon

Explore Dubai

Upon arrival in Dubai in the late afternoon you will have the rest of the day free to settle in to your surroundings. Stroll around Dubai’s Marina, hit the shops at the Dubai Mall or simply relax at the hotel. The choice is all yours! In the evening your options are endless in the downtown area. Dubai offers plenty of clubs and bars, as well as its very own Irish Village, just in case you are starting to miss home.

Overnight

Accommodation

3 star hotel in Dubai (3 nights)

Day 6 – Explore Dubai

Morning

Explore Old Dubai

This morning you will meet your local guide and set off on a half day tour of Old Dubai. Experience the colours, sounds and smells as you cross Dubai creek by boat to wander the enchanting gold and spice souks. Embrace the hustle and bustle in Dubai’s “Little Manhattan” area, admire the impressive Zabeel Palace and gain an insight in to Dubai’s past during your visit to the Al Fahidi Fort & Dubai Museum. After working up an appetite, you will enjoy lunch as a group at the “Sizzling Wok”.

Afternoon

Explore New Dubai

It is now time to experience the modern wonders of Dubai during a half day tour of New Dubai! This sprawling metropolis is one of the fasting growing cities in the world and is home to iconic, record breaking buildings. You will tick off the most renowned highlights such as photo stops at the Burj Al Arab and the Burj Khalifa, a drive around the Palm Jumeriah, and views of the popular Dubai Mall. You will also enjoy a visit to Souk Madinat Jumeira, an authentic re-creation of an ancient Middle Eastern marketplace before finishing off the day with an unforgettable viewing of the dancing fountains in Dubai’s downtown area.

Evening

At Leisure

Your tour today ends in the Dubai’s downtown area. Retreat back to the hotel to relax after your full day of sightseeing or ask your guide for some tips on the many nightlife options on offer, which you can explore at your whim. We give you ample free time to enjoy Dubai as you wish!

Day 7 – Explore Abu Dhabi

Morning

Explore Abu Dhabi

Explore more of what the United Arab Emirates has to offer during a full day excursion to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is a magnificent modern day garden city, adorned with lush green parks, sparkling fountains and broad avenues. Visit the UAE Heritage Village, a reconstruction of a traditional oasis community, as well as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. Shop at the Gold Souk and the Iranian Market, admire Corniche Beach, enjoy a panoramic drive on Saadiyat Island and grab photo opportunities at Emirates Palace, President’s Palace and Marina Mall. All the main highlights are covered as well as giving you some free time for independent exploration at your leisure.

Evening

At Leisure

You will return to Dubai in time to spend the evening at leisure. Relax at your hotel or explore further Dubai's many night life options. The entertainment possibilities for Dubai by night are endless.

Day 8 – Explore the Desert

Morning

At Leisure

This morning is at leisure, so it is your last chance to check out the opulent malls and colourful souks that Dubai is so well known for. Whether you are a bargain hunter or a power shopper, Dubai offers the perfect opportunity for retail therapy. Alternatively, you could hit Jumeriah Beach or simply relax at your hotel. You decide!

Afternoon

Desert Safari Jeep Experience

This afternoon set off on a desert safari jeep experience, one that will allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture. Indulge in a BBQ dinner, admire Egyptian folk and belly dancing, experience a camel ride and experiment with henna art. For the more adventurous, there is the opportunity to try out sandboarding. Tonight you will sleep under the stars at a Bedouin Camp to fully discover the tribal and nomadic traditions of the Middle East. Sleeping bags, tents and cushions are all provided and it will be all hands on deck to get the camp set up before sun down. This communal effort will really give you a feel for life in the desert. As the sun sets over the sand dunes make sure you have your camera ready for some unique holiday snaps.

Overnight

Accommodation

Bedouin camp stay (1 night)

Day 9 – Return Home

Morning/Afternoon

Return Home

This morning we recommend you wake up early to experience a sun rise in the desert, another beautiful opportunity for some memorable photographs. You will enjoy a continental breakfast at the Bedouin camp before returning to Dubai in the early afternoon for your return flight home.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Rove Downtown Dubai 3

This quirky hotel with its own outdoor swimming pool is conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Dubai. The downtown area is the perfect base for those wishing to explore the endless shopping and night life options that Dubai has to offer. Alternatively you can enjoy a leisu... read more read more read more

This quirky hotel with its own outdoor swimming pool is conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Dubai. The downtown area is the perfect base for those wishing to explore the endless shopping and night life options that Dubai has to offer. Alternatively you can enjoy a leisurely meal at the on-site restaurant or relax on the outdoor sun terrace. The hotel is located adjacent to Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall so you will have some of the city’s iconic sights on your doorstep. With funky and fresh interiors this hotel is trendy yet homely, and is designed to appeal to tech-savvy traveller who see themselves more as explorer than a tourist. 

Hotel address
Rove Downtown Dubai
312 Rd
Al Sa'ada Street
Zabeel 2
Dubai
View available dates for this hotel

Al-Saif Grand Hotel 3

This adult-only property in Muscat is well located on the main Al Athaiba Road, close to Muscat International Airport. Shops, cafes and restaurants are all within walking distance and with the beach just a 12 minute walk away, this property is the ideal base to experience what th... read more read more read more

This adult-only property in Muscat is well located on the main Al Athaiba Road, close to Muscat International Airport. Shops, cafes and restaurants are all within walking distance and with the beach just a 12 minute walk away, this property is the ideal base to experience what the city of Muscat has to offer. You can relax after a day of sightseeing and enjoy a coffee in the onsite café.

Hotel address
Al-Saif Grand Hotel
48 way Al-Azaiba
North Muscat
133 Muscat
Muscat
View available dates for this hotel

Bedouin Camp Stay 3

What better way is there to immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the nomadic Bedouin than sleeping under the stars in the desert? During this unique experience your tented accommodation will be at a Bedouin Camp in the Dubai sand dunes, where you can enjoy a BBQ dinner, Egy... read more read more read more

What better way is there to immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the nomadic Bedouin than sleeping under the stars in the desert? During this unique experience your tented accommodation will be at a Bedouin Camp in the Dubai sand dunes, where you can enjoy a BBQ dinner, Egyptian folk and belly dancing, camel rides, henna art and sandboarding. Each tent comes equipped with sleeping bags, cushions and a mattress for your comfort. 

Hotel address
Bedouin Camp Stay



View available dates for this hotel

*Some hotel facilities are seasonally operated and may not be available at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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Price, taxes, flight times & availability are subject to change. E&OE. Price based on per person, sharing. Single Supplement cost may apply.

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