If you are thinking of adventure tourism, you no longer have to plan a trip to Sydney Bridge to bungee jump.
There’s lots happening right here. I, for one, decided to head off to the Golden Tulip Resort in Khasab, Oman. And what I got was a weekend of thrills and spills.
Located in a spectacular area of Oman called Musandam (Khasab is its capital), the resort naturally lends itself to adventure tourism. For starters, you can trek down the mountainous central area and head off to Jabel Karm at an elevation of 2,057 metres or unravel what mother nature has in store here with many fjords and small islands.
I decided not too get too carried away and took a dhow cruises to check out the dolphins. Well, you may ask what’s so adventurous about that? But, to me, it was the rush of adrenalin that I felt when the dolphins swam with the boat, jumping, rolling over, and generally showing off that made it a ‘real’ adventure of sorts!
On the dhow tour, depending on whether you opt for a full- or half-day tour, you have the chance to visit many fjords, stop by a fishing village, which is only accessible by boat, or have a couple of stops to snorkel in the crystal clear waters. For the more adventurous, you can also scuba dive. This area is described as “an experienced diver’s dive” due to the strong currents and large fish.
However, with diving opportunities in the UAE and the surrounding areas being limited, Musandam is a welcome addition to any diver’s log book. On a dive, you can swim with the larger species of sharks, barracuda, tuna and, if you are lucky, catch an occasional glimpse of whale sharks!
For mountain lovers, you can take a 4X4 and drive down a panoramic journey into the barren interior or head to Jebel Harim and enjoy the dramatic scenery that Musandam offers, complete with mountains speckled with fossils dating back several million years. Other excursions are available for camping and kayaking as well.
All in all, Musandam is a fantastic add-on to anyone’s tour package – either from Muscat or Dubai. But if it’s relaxing and unwinding that you are after, your hotel can afford just that in some of the most scenic surrounds in the region. However, accommodation is limited and the Golden Tulip Resort is, probably, your best option. This four-star hotel is nestled within a cove in the mountains of Khassab with spectacular views of the sea and mountains from all 60 rooms. The rooms are fully equipped with all the amenities one would need including cable television but who needs that when you can look out of your window and get a view to die for.
Tours and accommodation can be organised through Musandam Sea Adventure Tourism run by Abdulfatah bin Ahmed Al Shebi.
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