Tips for sweaty summer sightseeing in Oman
April 29, 2019 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Am heading to Oman (specifically Muscat) in early-July for three days, and by all accounts it will be extremely hot. I have been in the region before (UAE and Qatar) at the same time of year, so I have some idea of what to expect, but specifically looking for some input from people who have been at that time of year, and any ideas on practical things to do during the day that aren’t just sitting around the hotel. Are there any interesting indoor sights around the city or in areas nearby? Any interesting day trips?

I am really keen on going to the desert, particularly Wahiba Sands, but no idea if this is possible in summer due to the heat. Jebel Shams seems to be an option, but tbh it doesn’t look that interesting.

Please don’t respond telling me to go at a different time of year – I know the timing isn’t ideal but it is what it is and I will be going there at that time regardless. If I end up having to spend most of the time inside a hotel that’s fine, I’m just looking for some advice from people who may have done this.
posted by ryanbryan to Travel & Transportation around Oman (5 answers total)
I spent a few days in Muscat during a summer. One fun thing that I remember doing was a 4x4 desert dune off-roading day trip. Land Cruisers have, it turns out, excellent A/C.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:00 PM on April 29, 2019

If you are able to, head to Salalah, Oman. It says cooler during summers due to the khareef monsoon.

Hiking will be a real challenge that time of year, but my favorite hike in the world is Wadi Shab, which culminates in a refreshing swim. Maybe try it out very early one morning.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 2:41 AM on April 30, 2019

I spent a weekend there a long time ago, and it was great. We did a package thing, which included a guide with a car with AC and a hotel. We did short hikes on two mountains, Jebel Shams and Jebel Akdhar, and it was much cooler up there (we were living in Saudi at the time, so our definition of 'cooler' may have been a little off). We didn't go to any of the wadis, but some of them do have water year round.
posted by oryelle at 5:28 AM on April 30, 2019

Can't speak to the summer aspect of it - I went in January - but I loved Jebel Shams and Wadi Shab. Jebel Shams looks like it's around 80 F in summer from a quick google - that would be hot, but better than Muscat. Very exposed hike to the summit, but lovely if you like dessert hiking. The canyon hikes would be more shaded and are also stunning. I think that's worth exploring.

I liked the city of Muscat less, and basically just wandered around outside for the day I was there - not sure what I'd recommend if it had been scorching hot. Opera House tour if there is one?
posted by slide at 6:43 AM on April 30, 2019

Having also been to the UAE, I thought the mountains and coast were more interesting Omani features.

I also was a winter visitor a while ago so my memories are vague, but I quite liked Jebel Shams. If you head in that direction, you can also visit the forts at Bahla and Nizwa which are interesting and technically indoors; although it would be a pretty long day to pack all that in.

There are a few beaches (note Oman has more conservative beach norms than Western countries) that could be pleasant on a hot day. I think I went to Al Bustan.

The Sultan Qaboos Mosque is a pretty nice one, and is fairly open to visitors.

You could also head down the coast towards Sur, again it would be a long day, but there are a few interesting quick stops like the ruins of Qalhat and a few wadis that may still have water.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:50 AM on April 30, 2019

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