Incentive in Oman
This month we visited Oman to explore the possibilities when organizing an incentive in Oman. Happy reading!
The sultanate of Oman – a place rich of history and culture. The second largest country of the Arabian Gulf. The diversity in the landscape of Oman is both alluring and astonishing. From quaint villages to modern cities, Oman has embraced the modern world, yet has held on to its culturally rich heritage. For men the national dress is an ankle-length collarless gown with long sleeves. You can recognize local Omani men by their hat embroidered with colorful patterns and personalized details, unlike other GCC nationals who wear a thobe. Women wear hijab and abaya. In order to respect local customs, knees and shoulders should be covered in public and both men and women should observe this.
“Ahlan wa sahlan” = welcome
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton hotel
A very important part of Omani culture is hospitality. When Omani people invite you into an Omani house, a visitor is likely to be greeted with a bowl of dates and “qahwa” – coffee with cardamom.
Upon arrival at the newly refurbished Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz Carlton hotel we were welcomed the typical Omani way. Omani coffee and dates – served by staff dressed in traditional clothing.
Find an alluring blend of old and new, local and global at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton hotel, one of Oman’s most distinguished luxury hotels. Nestled between the Al Hajar mountain range and the sea of Oman, it is the ideal base to experience Oman.
Day 1 – Visit Haramel, The National Museum of Oman & Mutrah
Our local tour guide Salim picked us up from the hotel in a 4×4 and we drove direction Mutrah. During this tour we stopped in the fishermen village of Haramel, located on a beautiful rocky coast. Afterwards we visited the National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman. This museum showcases the nation’s heritage from the earliest human settlement in the Oman Peninsula some two million years ago through to the present day. We saw beautiful Omani clothing, accessories, furniture and home accessories… very inspiring!
We ended the day with a dinner at Bait al Luban, a typical Omani restaurant. They serve delicious Arabic food like eggplant salad, lentil soup and rice dishes in a lovely environment. Very recommended for your incentive in Oman!
Day 2 – Road-tripping Oman: visit Nizwa
In the morning we departed for a full day tour. It is a 2-hour drive from Muscat to Nizwa. Before the sultan came to power in 1970, Oman had just one sealed road; fast forward 45 years and, among his other accomplishments, the sultan has delivered a network linking all the cities, towns, and many villages. Can you believe back in the 60s this journey would take 4 days by camel?
Once we arrived at Nizwa we visited the souk. This extensive marketplace is dedicated mostly to fruit and vegetables, meat and fish and part of the souk is dedicated to handicrafts I loved the shop where they sold dates and tahin! Again, we were welcomed with typical Omani coffee.
One thing I noticed is that there were no women in this market. Not one. I asked our guide why there were only men at the market and he simply said that traditionally the men did the shopping and the women took care of the children. I asked him if the women or men cooked at home and he said that traditionally the women cooked meals. This was a first for me – a souk full of men doing the shopping. As a woman though you are free and welcome to visit it – just dress respectfully and cover your shoulders and knees.
Bahla, Al Hamra and Misfah
After visiting the souk of Nizwa we drove to the other villages: Bahla, Al Hamra and Misfah. During the drive we could enjoy the beautiful landscape of Oman – a mix of desert, mountains and palm trees. Like the country’s diverse terrain, architectural styles vary in Oman with the change of scenery. From traditional to modern here are a few unique to see the architecture of the Omani houses in the villages along the road.
In Misfah you can find a bed and breakfast in the little village where local people are mainly farmers deep in the mountains of Oman. As a guest you can experience the authentic culture of Oman as Omani food is cooked by local families. Therefore, you will feel like being in an Omani house between Omani people.
We had dinner at Kargeen Cafe to finish our day off. Kargeen is the old Omani word for a little wooden cottage and this restaurant combines this with a modern lounge experience. The menu consists of a rich variety of traditional Omani dishes, all infused with great Arabic spices such as cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg & cardamom. After a long and hot day in the Omani sun, Kargeen is the perfect place for a sundowner and Arabic dinner.
A few local traditions:
- Food is shared from communal dishes.
- Meals are served in and from dishes placed onto the floor. Guests sit cross-legged (yoga-style).
- Men and women eat separately.
- Food is eaten with the fingers. Only the right hand should be used for eating.
A special thank you to Salim – our local partner in Oman – for teaching us about this authentic destination.
In 2 days we didn’t have the chance to see everything as there is so many more to discover in Oman:
- Jebel Shams Arabic: جبل شمس , (mountain of sun) is a mountain located in northeastern Oman north of Al Hamra town.
- The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the main mosque in the Sultanate of Oman located in the capital city of Muscat.
- The desert and Wadis: Visiting the Sharqiya Sand and Wadi bani Khalid
When organizing any kind of event in Oman, whether it is a meeting or an incentive, this destination offers many possibilities. For more info please send us a message.