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Leisure, Entertainment and Sport

Oman - Leisure, Entertainment and Sport

Visitors to Oman will not be short of something to do as there are a wide variety of activities which means that there is something for everybody. The coastal areas offer many sandy beaches and water sports are very popular at the moment. Visitors will find a number of private sports clubs where members can take part in sports such as water skiing, fishing, swimming and sailing. Those who enjoy fishing will need to obtain a fishing permit from the Directorate General of Fisheries.

Caving is also becoming a popular pastime in Oman. The country is home to Majlis-al-Jhinn which is one of the world’s largest caves and attracts a large number of visitors each year.

Expats can also find a number of health clubs which offer gym facilities, tennis courts, swimming pools and squash courts. Some of the most popular spectator sports in the country include hockey and football. Oman is probably not the best place for golf fanatics although there are a number of sand courses. Horse and camel racing is also a popular pastime.

There is a wide choice of restaurants in the larger cities which serve a variety of cuisines. Alcohol can be served in some restaurants and smoking bans are not yet in place, though some restaurants may have non-smoking areas. There are also large shopping areas with a mix of designer and high street shops.

Nizwa Castle is a popular tourist attraction and is set in the town that was the country’s capital until the 17th century. It is an impressive structure and was once used as a strategic defence. The castle at Nakhl is situated on top of a 200 metre high rocky cliff and is believed to pre-date Islam. Sincen 1990 the structure has been undergoing restoration work.

The Wahiba sands stretch for 180km and are exactly what the visitor would expect from a desert area. There are a number of organised tours across the sands and it is not recommended that an inexperienced driver should attempt to cross the sands without help. Sohar is an ancient trade city and there is archaeological evidence which suggests that trade may have been carried out there as long ago as 5000 years. It is popular with tourists as it can offer clean beautiful beaches as well as historical monuments.

For those who prefer less energetic activities, a number of the hotels offer spa treatments and there are cinemas and theatres, although most shows will be in Arabic.

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