Oman has the lot when it comes to family holidays – lots of space, guaranteed good weather, natural wonders, gorgeous beaches, friendly people, ancient forts, stunning palaces, deserts, souks, wadis and oases. English is spoken widely (there is a large expat community) and the vibe is relatively tolerant. Plus there are some cracking resort hotels, from good-value luxury to out-of-this-world extravagance.
A few things to remember: Drinking in public is not permitted, although alcohol is served in hotel and club restaurants and bars; the dress code bans revealing clothing except on the beach or by the pool; it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women or take pictures near military installations.
Things to do with kids in Oman
Hire a car or a 4x4 and discover Oman’s natural wonders – mountains, scenic dunes and desert-scapes, wadis, waterfalls and even lush orchards. You can explore miles of undisturbed coastline. Wadi-bashing can be a rough ride but is great fun; alternatively, sit on a sand dune and watch the sun set.
Get up early for the Friday goat market in Nizwa, when farmers and shepherds from surrounding towns and mountain villages bring their goats, sheep and cows to to be bid upon.
Snorkel – the shimmering blue ocean holds a wealth of exotic fish, dolphins, turtles, and some of the best coral formations in the world.
Go on a dolphin-spotting trip. It's best to head out early morning – dolphin sightings are almost a certainty and you may also get luck and see various species of whale.
Visit Muscat, a shopper’s paradise with all its old souqs (traditional Arabic marketplaces) and modern malls offering everything from designer clothing to native dresses, perfumes to frankincense, watches to traditional jewellery. Muttrah is of the oldest preserved souqs in Oman. There are also many museums in and around Muscat preserving Oman’s rich heritage and folklore, while the Grand Mosque is a must-see.
Oman offers cuisine to suit all tastes – the international hotels, between them, offer meals of just about any kind, which can simplify matters with fussy eaters. Chicken, fish and mutton are regularly used in local dishes, together with spices and marinades. Make sure to sample some delicious Omani dates.
Oman's tapwater is safe for drinking.
When to go to Oman
Summer in Oman falls between April and September, when the weather is hot and humid – too much so for family holidays with younger kids. Between October and April, temperatures average 25-35°C during the day and 17-19°C at night.
Though you can pick up relatively inexpensive flight deals, the lack of hotel capacity means that Oman is not a low-budget, mass-market destination for family holidays.
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Flying time8hrs All flight times are based on flights from UK London airports, to the capital or nearest destination airport.
Carbon footprint6.73 CO2 Estimated tonnes of CO2 produced for return flights for a family of four.
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