a perfect trip from dubai
If you are in Dubai for business of for pleasure you should find at least one day for a wonderful trip to the nearby Musandam Peninsula, where the Hajar Mountains throw themselves in the Strait of Hormuz creating magnificent panoramas that will remind you the Norwegian fjords.
Separated from the rest of Oman, this spectacular land seems to an area totally inhospitable but, instead, it has been inhabited for thousands of years and only recently it's getting popular as a tourist attraction where you can admire the powerful beauty of Nature and authentic Bedouin traditions.
The Musandam Peninsula is an exclave of Oman in the United Arab Emirates and it is one of the eleven Omani governorates, whose capital is Khasab, which is located in the northern part of the peninsula and it represents the main harbor from where boat trips to discover Omani Fjords start. Online you can find many local travel agencies that organize the typical Dhow trip among the Omani Fjords, we chose the Dolphin Khasab Tours since it one of the few that offered an afternoon cruise ( departure from Khasab at 1 PM and return ad 4.30 PM ) at a total price of AED 300 ( € 80 ).
Is it possible to reach the Musandam Peninsula by car ? Yes, absolutely. If you rent a car in Dubai or in any place in the United Arab Emirates you have to communicate your intention to visit Oman to the rental agency so that it can give you all the mandatory documents to enter in Oman and it will charge you AED 100 for insurance purposes. Assolutamente sì. Khasab is 196 kilometers from Dubai, an almost 3 hours drive to which you must add a stop for passport controls at Al Darah / Tibat to enter in Oman. We were lucky and the process just took us 15 minutes, including the payment of AED 64,26 to exit from UAE and of other AED 100 to enter in Oman.
To sum up, these are the things to do to reach Khasab from Dubai by car:
- Car Rental: Inform the rental agency about your intention of visiting Oman at the pick up so that they can give you all the documents needed.
- Distance: 196 kilometers
- Travel Time: 3 hours plus half an hour at custom.
- Costs: AED 100 on car rental, AED 64,26 to exit from UAE, AED 100 to enter in Oman.
- Cruise Cost ( Half a Day ): AED 300.
wonderful omani fjords
Once in Oman you will immediately find yourself on the road that leads to Khasab bestowing 50 kilometers of amazing bays, harbors, mosques, forts and beaches. Despite a strong mist prevented us from fully enjoying the views, we could perceive the beauty of the landscape.
Along the road you can stop for a swim in one of the sandy beaches overlooking the Strait of Hormuz, or for cultural trips at Bukha Fort o at Tawi to visit the rock carvings, but probably the most beautiful things are the scenes of everyday life: an harbor with wooden boats or a football math on the beach taking place in an almost unique setting.
This Omani scenic road end in Khasab, a large village where the most lively places obviously are the souk and the harbor. The only real attraction of the city is the Khasab Fort overlooking the bay, offering interesting photographic opportunities. If you want to spend more than one night in the Musandam Peninsula, Khasab is the only place in you can stay.
The real magic, though, is offered by the arid and harsh wilderness of these places where the pristine and apparently placid sea has carved for centuries a path through the Hajar Mountains building a true piece of art! The Dhow cruise is a must, you can not miss it ... the wooden boat is really charming and welcoming, decked with carpets and cushions where guests can lay down to enjoy the navigation.
The view of the Musandam Peninsula rugged coastline is amazing and entering the inlet of Khor ash Sham it is surprising to see small villages on the steep slopes in the distance.
The main destination of an afternoon cruise is Telegraph Island, a tiny island in the fjord where you can snorkel and see different kind of colorful fishes. The island is almost famous because it once housed an old English telegraph station that was used to improve communications between London and Karachi. Nowadays there are only few ruins and nothing more.
During the cruise, if you are lucky, you can bump into amazing and playful dolphins. We already tried to see dolphins in Namibia without any success, the waters of the Strait of Hormuz and the Musandam Peninsula, on the contrary, offered us the opportunity a couple of these amazing dolphins that played for while with us following our dhow.
At Telegraph Island you'll spend almost 45 minutes, then your dhow starts the return trip that is truly relaxing with drinks, snacks and fruit on board ... and you can enjoy the firs beams of sunset before heading back to Khasab and driving back to the UAE leaving the spectacular Musandam Peninsula.
a single day in the musandam peninsula
Is a day trip to the Musandam Peninsula doable starting from Dubai? We did it, so it is doable. No doubt that it would be better to spend a night in Khasab in order enjoy this experience without being in a hurry and avoiding so many driving hours in a single day. If you have only one day, though, don't miss the Musandam Peninsula and get some inspiration from this post!
For those who want sto spend more nights in the Musandam Peninsula, you can enjoy a full day cruise that will take you far beyond Telegraph Island exploring almost all the fjords in the area. Then you could visit the inland, climbing the Jebel al Harim ( "Women Mountain ) from where the view all over the Musandam Peninsula should be truly amazing!
What do you think about ? Tell us!