MICE Program 2

The Sultanate of Oman - Experience authentic Arabia

The Sultanate is a treasure trove of places to see with ten thousand years of living history. Located in the Arabian Gulf, a 2 hrs 30 minutes flight from Chennai, Oman has for centuries attracted travelers from across the seven seas...this is the land of Frankincense, Sinbad the Sailor and Sheherazade’s "Tales of 1001 Nights".

The Sultanate of Oman is situated on the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula bordering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman could well be called a microcosm of almost every geographical and topographical feature found around the world starting with stark, rugged mountains in the north of the country, sweeps its way through vistas of golden sands, wadis and fertile oasis. Approximately 1700 kilometres of coastline provides Oman with some of the most beautiful beaches to be found anywhere in the world.

Day One: Sunday

Arrive Muscat International Airport via Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha or Bangkok.

Your friendly and efficient Airport Representative will be there to assist you with the visa payment and immigration formalities. (Australians are required to pay an entry visa of OMY6 (USD25).After Immigration guests will be directed towards the baggage collection area, where guests can identify their luggage and then proceed through customs. Guests then enter the arrival area to be welcomed by our Representatives. As guests arrive they will be showered in rose petals by young Omani men wearing traditional dress.

Transfer by air conditioned luxury coach to your selected hotel.
Arrive and check in at your hotel. (Shangri La Al Bandar or Al Bustan Palace)
Guests have time to relax and enjoy the Resort. A light lunch is offered.

Afternoon

We depart the Hotel and head for the Bait Al Zubair Museum to discover more about Omani history and life. The Al Zubair family donated their home to enable visitors to Oman to learn more about the 6000 years of history and heritage. The Museum contains one of the best collections reflecting the splendid Omani Heritage.

The collection includes traditional Omani weaponry, jewellery, costume, household utensils and furniture, early European maps and prints of the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa, early photographs, satellite images, coins, stamps, musical instruments, documents, manuscripts and books. The Museum also features traditional Omani architecture, a falaj and traditional fishing vessels.

Enhancement: Exclusive private banquets or events can be booked within the traditional setting of Bait Al Zubair Museum. Enjoy an event in the beautiful gardens or inside traditional Omani buildings and feast on an impressive international menu to suit all tastes.

Al Muttrah Souq

Muttrah Souq – one of the most popular souqs in the Arabian Gulf. Take a walk in its labyrinthine alleyways beckoning with a myriad of merchandise, from imported fabrics to exotic Oriental spices, perfumes and richly handcrafted artifacts.

A visit to this frenetic, pulsating hub of Muscat’s old quarter makes for a delightful experience. Here, scents of exotic Arabian perfumes and spices float through the air. Other shops specialise in famous Omani khanjars (daggers), antiques, traditional silver jewellery, and handicrafts in copper, camel bone, wood, leather and hand-made Omani costumes.

Enhancement

Can you suggest an activity for the group in the Souk?

There will be time for shopping. We then continue to the Marina Bandar to board our traditional Dhow – an Arabian evening awaits us!

Dinner:
Set cruise on the water of Oman in an unforgettable Arabic Dhow. The dhow is traditional wooden boat and these were used from Oman, UAE to India, Iran and the other neighbouring countries. See Muscat coast through the eyes of ancient seafarers who plied this route for centuries. Have a brief stop at a natural cove before we return back to the pier for the transfer to the hotel. Dinner will be served in the Dhow.

The Dhow is furnished with Arabic carpets and low seating. During dinner guests will feast on sumptuous Middle Eastern delicacies served by staff, relax on rich carpets and soft cushions while soaking up the pulse of traditional music (drummers) and watching the elegance of belly dancer.

After enjoying dinner return back to Marina and transfer to hotel

We return to the hotel.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice

Day Two: Monday

Breakfast at leisure.

Arrive Marina Bandar and board luxury catamaran Azzura. 'Azzura' is a state of the art, 75-foot day charter catamaran built by the world famous French shipyard Fountaine Pajot. Azzura's facilities include seating for up to 50 people; a bar; kitchen; Electric toilets and shower on board. The two huge nets on the front allow an up close and personal view of marine life that is unmatched in another craft.

Enjoy dolphin watching and snorkelling to discover the aquatic life. Swim over multi-colored coral reef and among exotic tropical fish as you experience one of the best snorkeling adventures in the waters of Oman. The lucky may even come across one of the many species of whales that can be found just a few kilometers from Muscat’s rugged coast.

Not every trip guarantees a sighting, but you are sure to enjoy a trip out to sea and enhance your knowledge of nature’s most fascinating marine mammals. Enjoy water sports & beach activities such as banana boat rides, beach volley ball, beach foot ball etc.

12:00 hrs Lunch options
Option 1: Lunch on board Catamaran
Option 2: Lunch on the beach with full Arabic set up

Dinner: Kargeen is an old Omani word meaning "little wooden cottage."

This is the place to experience traditional Omani culture and cuisine. Just sit back and relax …a place where time stands still. You may choose to dine inside or experience a beautiful candle light dinner on the lawns, accompanied by myriad stars or a cozy meal under the canopies.

Build with wood and wrought iron adding to the decor the place has been decorated with bright rugs. The guests are seated in traditional Eastern style with classical Western Culture, creating a cozy environment. A meal at Kargeen Café is an experience in itself. Please note the restaurant does not serve alcohol.

Day Three: Tuesday

We will start our day with tour of the Grand Mosque the most exquisite Mosque in Oman. The development of the site, including the fully developed areas and landscaping, covers 416,000 square metres. The Mosque complex (covering 40,000 square metres) is constructed on a raised podium in keeping with the tradition of Omani mosques that were built elevated from street level.

Dress Code
  • Ladies visiting the mosque are required to cover their head with scarf and do not wear shorts, beachwear or sleeveless outfits as they are to be fully covered.
  • Men are also to be fully covered. Slip on shoes recommended

We continue our journey as we rejoin the freeway to the picturesque Wadi Bani Khalid. It comprises of small pretty villages embedded in the mountains. Sandwiched between high cliffs, this beautiful wadi is approached across stepping stones adjacent to the flowing water running under the shade of many palm trees.

There are vantage points above the water from which to enjoy the peaceful scene and look down on the reflections of the dramatic scenery in the limpid pools. The Wadi has clear deep blue water and is a perfect place for a swim – simply a “once in a lifetime” experience!

We leave the tranquility of Wadi Bani Khalid mid afternoon and continue to our overnight stop at the Desert Nights Camp in the heart of the Wahiba Sands.

The Wahiba Sand is a long, narrow strip of high dunes and sketchy woodland about 110 miles from north to south and about 50 miles from east to west along the unspoiled coastline of eastern Oman. On arrival at Desert Nights Camp we are greeted by local staff and offered a refreshingly cool drink and towel!

Desert Nights Camp

Desert Nights Camp is an oasis in the golden sands and the untamed spectacular open spaces. Surrender to the spirit of the Wahiba sands, and enjoy the ultimate in personalized service and an adventure that caters to your whims and fancies.

The camp is only a two hour drive away from Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. It is sprawled across 10-acres of silken sands, secluded 11km within the vast isolation of the Omani desert. 30 luxurious Bedouin style tents await those who seek the ultimate desert adventure vacation. We usher you into a world of unparalleled luxury and comfort. On arrival refresh yourself with cold towels, relax in the Omani styled majlis, and enjoy fresh Omani dates and “khawa”; traditional Arabic coffee. Then make your way to your luxury abode in the Desert.

After check in, we meet in the Lobby to rejoin our vehicles for the “bash” to the top of the dunes so we may enjoy a classical desert sunset! Celebrate with a cold beer or chilled glass of wine! (please confirm if alcohol is permitted? If not, a fresh fruit juice or soft drink!)

As we return to the Camp, the dusk turns to night and a different setting awaits us! Dinner!

Taste the rich, magnificent culinary creations of the Camp’s chefs – they dazzle and reawaken your taste buds. You may choose to dine in air conditioned comfort but dining under starry skies as the gentle desert breeze whets your appetite is another amazing Omani experience. Settle around the camp fire as you feast on a traditional Omani Lamb barbecue and enjoy Omani hospitality and entertainment.

After dinner, the centre of conviviality is the Oasis Bar which can accommodate 50 people and is open for a refreshing drink. Mellow music accompanies the joy of camaraderie and the enjoyment of amazing cocktails, fine spirits and liqueurs.

Day Four: Wednesday

In the cool of the desert morning, just after sunrise, enjoy a sumptuous breakfast!

We set off on our return to Muscat but take one or two incredible detours on the way!

In the north of Wahiba Sands are the most incredible sand dunes, some reaching a colossal 300 feet high and separated by enormous depressions. These beautiful dunes stretch as far as the eye can see and it is a spectacular sight especially in the evening and the morning, when the warm colours of the desert become much richer and the long shadows accentuate the splendor of these giant forms. Our experienced drivers will take us dune bashing – and we may even see the famous Omani racing camels on their exercising ritual!

After dune bashing visit a Bedouin house in this wilderness. The Wahiba Sands is also home to the traditional Bedouins Anybody who chooses to live in the environment of Wahiba Sands must be hardy and resilient to tolerate its potentially harsh climate – and bedu are just that. There are over 3000 Bedu of varying tribal origins who live here amongst the woodland on the fringes of the sands.

As we leave the Beduoin families and the Wahiba Sands area, we rejoin the road to Muscat. We make another “detour” – this time to the small market town of Ibra, where we are treated to yet another incredible Omani experience – “the women’s souk”!

The women of the Wilayat of Ibra in the Sharqiyah Region formed the now popular souk many years ago, as a collective establishment where women from all areas could come to purchase all their traditional tools for beautification, fabrication and a host of other items.

Ibra Souk is an open shaded area. On Wednesdays the souk takes on a life of its own, becoming a living breathing entity, as women from the nearby regions make their way to Ibra Souk to obtain all their sewing, cosmetics, local perfumes, frankincense and traditional fabrics needs.

We return to Muscat late in the afternoon.

The rest of day is at leisure – either to enjoy one of the restaurants in the Resort or venture back to the Muttrah area to dine in one of the more traditional eating houses!

Overnight – hotel of your choice.

Day Five: Thursday

Day at leisure – Optional tours to be offered including:-

Nizwa – the Pearl of Oman!
Drive along the famous route once traveled by renowned travelers like Ibn Batuta and Marco Polo, to Nizwa. It is the traditional capital of the vast interior region of Oman. As you approach Nizwa it could be a scene straight from the pages of ‘The Arabian Nights’ greets you.

At the far end and through the gate – which leads to restored Nizwa Fort. The 17th century round tower fort nearby is Oman’s most impressive tower. Built on a solid base of rock, the huge tower was designed to withstand the vibrations of 24 cannons. From the top, a superb panoramic view gives visitors a bird’s eye view all around Nizwa and the surrounding plains – a sure delight for all avid photographers!

Then we drive through the lush green oasis village of Birkat-Al-Mauz, stopping for a photo stop in front of its unique two-tiered Falaj system and tiny castle before returning to Muscat!

Assemble at hotel lobby and depart to Qantab Beach for Gala dinner celebrations!

All the mystery and romance of the exotic East where guests will discover that the tales woven by Shahrazad are true! Guests will relish being in luxurious perfumed air in a cocoon of silk and vibrant colours under a clear Arabian night sky.

The design for the décor is almost anything one wishes to conjure up — Bedouin tents, silk drapes, rich carpets and cushions, lighting that reflects the mysteries of Arabia, cut-outs of Arabic architectural features (windows, screens etc.), cut¬outs of dunes, lanterns and flaming torches lighting the scene. There could also be camels strolling in the background. As guests arrive they will be showered in rose petals and walk through a mist of aromatic frankincense.

Sumptuously dressed models and handsome boys in traditional dress will greet them. Arabic music will be playing in the background. Pre-dinner drinks will be served amidst Arabian décor by exotically dressed staff, and an oud player will strum traditional airs in the background. Stilt walkers and 'genies' will provide entertainment. Special cocktails and mocktails with flavours of Arabia (rosewater, orange blossom water etc) will be served in glasses.

During dinner guests will feast on sumptuous Middle Eastern delicacies served by staff clad in flowing costumes, relax on rich carpets and soft cushions while soaking up the pulse of traditional music (drummers) and watching the elegance of belly dancers. Following dinner, delicate pastries and Arabic coffee will be served and shisha pipes brought in to relax with while strolling musicians will provide music to sooth the senses. This is a dream come true! After enjoying this wonderful night on the beach we return back to hotel

Day Six: Friday

Buffet breakfast at leisure
Check out from the hotel and transfer to Muscat International Airport.
Arrive at Airport and check in at your Airline counter. After check in our Airport representative will guide you to the immigration.