On the southeast border of Saudi Arabia lies a 1000-mile expanse of coastal plain, home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the Arabian Peninsula. The Sultanate of Oman offers an insight into its ancient culture, wildlife and archeology through a huge selection of stone forts, tribal mountain villages, rugged terrain and dramatic natural wonders. If like me, you are a keen photographer, Oman is more than just a pretty picture. After leaving my hotel in Muscat I saw that Oman is an open canvas of panoramic views, wondrous shape and vivid colour.
- Capture the mountain views
The dramatic heights and historical importance of the stunning Hajar Mountains are a perfect setting to capture the beauty and expanse of Oman’s diverse landscape. Reach the 3000 metre peak of Jebel Shams, Oman’s very own Grand Canyon, and feast your eyes on miles of barren land, interjected by vibrant green springs. Discover the mosques and dominating hill-top fort of the birthplace of Islam, Samail, and experience the fruitful slopes of the The Green Mountain, around 10,000 feet above sea level. Hajar’s peaks boast a pleasant climate, homing a variety of fruit trees, rose fields and lush grass, for your photographing pleasure.
- Make a splash
There is no better place to experience the beautiful marine valleys of Oman than the Wadi Shab. Located in the Al Sharqiyah Region, this idyllic ravine is a photographer’s haven, boasting fresh water pools, elegant waterfalls and colourful wildlife. Famed for its 2012 appearance in Red Bull Cliff Diving, this is a popular spot for extreme sports, and a great opportunity for an action shot. For further nature-based photography, visit Ain al Kasafa in Rustaq, a warm healing spring thought to cure those with rheumatism who bathe in its waters. The surrounding mountains are full of picturesque caves with their own springs, waiting for your discovery.
- Mix in local markets
The traditional markets of Oman are a perfect location to photograph the bustling activity of local life. The Muttrah Souq, located in the capital, near many of the well know Muscat hotels, is one of the oldest and most beautiful markets in the Arab world, offering an array of household goods, shoes, garments and silverware. This souq is a classic example of the old Eastern markets, with crafted narrow winding alleys and timber roofs. Known locally as the Market of Darkness, its countless alleys and packed shops block the sun during the day, allowing the colourful offerings to jump out of the dull stalls. Capture the chaos of market life and focus on intricate design in this vintage building.
- Love the landscape
Oman is home to a coastline stretching over 1700km and smooth rolling sand dunes hosting a diverse array of plants and animals. Relax on the golden sands of Marjan Beach, marvel at the stunning view of the Indian Ocean and sail out to meet the dolphins. For a natural shot, venture to the ‘sand sea’ of Wahiba Sands to experience a 360 degree landscape of waving desert. Snapshot daring sandboarders, watch the sun set and experience the peaceful shifting sands on a late night adventure. After a busy day, relax in Qurum Natural Park, featuring coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps, vibrant flower beds and a buzz of bird life.