Arrive Muscat, Oman
Arrive in Muscat, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. Standing majestically on a clifftop overlooking the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Oman, the resort’s Moorish and Omani architectural elements reflect the rich heritage of the Sultanate.
Muscat | Fusion of Old & New
Begin your exploration of Muscat at the newly opened National Museum. Housed in the heart of Old Muscat, it features artifacts depicting Oman’s cultural and historical heritage. After a brief stop across from the museum at the Al Alam Palace, continue your exploration of Muscat’s fascinating fusion of old and new at the Royal Opera House Muscat. Constructed by the same team responsible for the Grand Mosque, it embodies a similar synergy of contemporary construction and time-honored tradition. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure, followed by dinner.
Muscat | Historic Port City
Today, continue your exploration of Muscat in the historic port city’s Grand Mosque, a contemporary architectural marvel showcasing an enduring tradition of regional artistry and craftsmanship. Explore the basic tenets of Islam with a local Omani scholar in the mosque’s main prayer room, a vast space adorned with intricate chandeliers and handwoven carpets. Next, head to the local market with a chef who will assist you in selecting ingredients for your interactive cooking class. Learn about Omani dishes and share your lunch with local students. After leisure time at your hotel, embark on a dhow (traditional fishing boat) cruise exploring the city’s port and coast beyond, taking in an iconic seascape traversed by sailors for centuries. Pause in a scenic cove for a photo opportunity set against a spectacular backdrop. Disembark and make your way to Muttrah Souk, a traditional Omani market filled with frankincense, silver handicrafts and pashmina shawls.
Wahiba Sands | Under the Desert Stars
Follow the coast to Sur, passing through the village of Quriyat and seeing Bimah Sinkhole — a limestone crater — en route. Continue to Wadi Tiwi, with its deep, narrow gorges carved from towering seaside cliffs. Stop at a dhow factory and pause for lunch in Sur. Then, proceed to the undulating red and white dunes of Wahiba Sands, taking note of pretty villages that cling to the slopes of the rugged mountainside en route. Upon reaching camp, set out to discover the boundless dunes by 4x4 vehicle, continuing into the desert sunset by camel back. Your overnight camp is a romantic tented oasis set beneath the desert stars.
Jabal Al Akhdar | Endless Mountain Vistas
This morning, travel back in time at Birkat Al Mouz, a former settlement of clay ruins and cleverly irrigated date plantations. Continue on to explore Jabal Al Akhdar (the Green Mountain), a scenic vista nestled among Oman’s spectacular Al Hajar Mountain Range. Perched some 6,500 feet above sea level, your vantage on a ridge of Jabal Al Akhdar affords commanding views of the rugged canyons below. Check in to your luxurious resort, which combines traditional Omani construction techniques using local stones with contemporary architecture to create a uniquely relaxing environment with mesmerizing views of the mountains.
Nizwa | Imposing Forts & Towering Peaks
Visit the 17th-century trading enclave of Nizwa, passing through the city’s arched gateway to explore its iconic fort, bustling souk, weekly livestock market, fascinating silversmith shops and deeply rooted Islamic traditions. After lunch, enjoy the option to continue to a nearby wadi for grand views of the canyon or return to your resort for an afternoon at leisure.
Abu Dhabi, UAE | Time to Unwind
Continue exploring Ad Dakhiliyah region with a visit to Jabrin Castle, the finest surviving example of Oman’s 17th-century fortresses. This former bastion of astrology, medicine and Islamic law showcases elegantly painted ceilings, intricate woodcarvings and other period details. After lunch, travel overland to Muscat and fly to Abu Dhabi, where you check in to your luxury accommodations on Saadiyat Island.
Abu Dhabi | Modern Marvels
One of the wealthiest and most modern city-states in the world, Abu Dhabi is renowned for its lush greenery, planned development and beautiful Corniche. Begin your exploration of the city at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital and Museum, gaining insight into this fascinating bird of prey and its integral role in the Emirati’s heritage. Return to your hotel for lunch at leisure. This afternoon, visit a new cultural beacon of the city, the Louvre Museum, and catch a glimpse of the Art hub of the UAE with projects such as the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum.
Dubai | Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
After breakfast, visit the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, widely renowned as Abu Dhabi’s crowning jewel. The mosque accommodates the world’s largest Persian carpet, seven crystal chandeliers and some 41,000 worshipers. Take in the majesty of this vast architectural marvel, gaining a deeper understanding of the mosque’s vital role in the local religious community. Next, drive to Dubai, taking in sights of this stunning city along the way. Pause to enjoy lunch and interact with an interesting local resident, providing you further insight into Emirati culture. Then, continue exploring Old Dubai, strolling the aromatic spice market and making your way to the modern Deira Gold Souk, a market specializing in some of the world’s purest gold. Return to your hotel where the evening is at leisure.
Dubai | City in the Sky
Today, explore New Dubai and its iconic skyscrapers. Begin at Burj al Arab, a striking architectural marvel evoking the sail of a dhow (traditional Arabian fishing vessel). Next, visit the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa, an engineering masterwork measuring a staggering 2,716 feet high (2,722 feet if you count the antennae). Topping out in late 2008, this neo-futuristic wonder bested both the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower and Taipei 101 by considerable margins. Soaring over the cityscape, your vantage point affords one of the world’s most breathtaking views. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Later this evening, gather to bid farewell to your fellow travellers at dinner.
Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.