We looked at what the different beaches in Oman have to offer as well as beach etiquette and different activities by the shore.
18 July 2013| Last updated on 11 December 2017
It’s no wonder that tourists from the Gulf and the world over flock to Oman for a weekend getaway or a beach holiday. It is one of those few remaining untainted countries where the beaches lie in their natural state, with many a shore still unexplored. The coastline is dotted with islands that make a great reprieve from civilization or a place to let your adventurous spirit really come alive. The Omani coastline spans for 1700km with very few parts of the beach being private, in fact the only areas of the beach that are private belong to beach resorts, or those that are attached to military or official property. The marine life is vast and is great for families with children to snorkel and explore.
Oman is very tourist friendly and the Omani nationals are some of the nicest people that you will ever meet. That is why it is important to show respect with regards to their conservative culture. It is important to cover up when you are out and about on the town. The general rule for men and women is to keep knees and elbows covered. Even if you are going to the beach, do not wear shorts and a string top on your way there.
If you are going to a private beach that is attached to a hotel or resort it is acceptable for women to wear a two piece swim suit, so long as it is not too revealing (no thongs or tiny tops). Men should wear swimming shorts as opposed to the much preferred European speedo. On a public beach it is advisable to cover up more, no two pieces for the ladies and men should also be conservative. If you are unsure of the beach attire then look around you and see how the other swimmers are dressed.
Be aware of the signs around the beaches as some are open only to families, this means that single men or bachelors are not allowed onto the particular beach at all. It is important to be aware of these little quirks when out and about on Omani beaches. If you are a group of women buy a parasol so that you can angle it away from prying eyes if you are particularly bothered by passersby that may stare and ogle, it is all part of the experience when you are a western woman on the beach.
Exploring the Sultanate’s beaches can be whatever you want it to be. It can be relaxing, fun, adventurous and heartwarming (especially when you see a dolphin or a turtle close by). Here we take a look at some of Oman’s beaches where people can swim, play and picnic to their heart’s content:
Aviation Beach, or Shell Beach
True to its name, this beach is abundant with starfish and shells that lay scattered along the shoreline. If you are a collector of sea shells and the like than this beach is for you. It is located near the Civil Aviation Club in Al Azaiba, however one needs a four wheel drive to access the water’s edge
Qurum Beach is one of the longest beaches in Oman and the coast line spans four kilometers at low tide making it a perfect beach for those that enjoy a long walk with their feet in the water. This is also one of the most popular beaches due to its close proximity to shopping malls and many hotels can be found here. Halfway along this beach, around the Intercontinental hotel your inner wild child can emerge as you can rent a jet ski in this area and have a blast with it in the water. If you are contented with relaxing there are numerous chairs and beach loungers available for you to soak up the sun. The beach is dotted with palm trees that create a bit of protection from the Omani sun, it also makes perfect cover for a family picnic. Qurum beach is one of those places where residents and tourists mingle and have a lot of fun in the sun.
Bandar Jissah is a rocky and secluded bay located a short drive out of Muscat, on the way to Al Bustan. It is one of those secluded beaches where families can explore the rocky shore when the tide is low. It is also one of the best places to catch a “fisherman’s taxi” for a couple of rials and take an exhilarating ride out to sea where you can be left to your own amusement at a secluded beach or taken around the interesting rock formations close by. If you have kids this there is a snack shop and playground that will, no doubt keep them entertained.
Marjan beach tends to quite quiet during the daylight hours, however this beach is perfect for the novice snorkeler and those who want to see some colourful marine life without venturing too far out to sea. The coast offers dazzling coral reefs, sea cucumbers, Nemos (clown fish) among others. This beach is also great for tourists to see the fisherman at their best spearing cuttlefish for the freshest seafood one can eat. Marjan is also a great beach for taking it all in and unwinding.
Ras Al Hadd Beach
This beach has been proclaimed a turtle reserve by the Omani government and is one of the premiere beaches to watch turtles lay their eggs when they migrate to the Omani coast for their seasonal frolic. This beach is located 60 km outside the city of Sur and is said to have had human activity for millennia. It also seems to be the hub of marine life activity with some of the best snorkeling to be found here.
Al Sawadi Beach
Al Sawadi beach has the reputation for introducing the wonders of snorkeling to the rest of Oman as its corals are rated as some of the world’s best. This is a great beach for taking a relaxing stroll and collecting the exotic and interesting sea shells that are regurgitated by the sea each day. This beach is located about an hour and a half drive from Muscat and many uninhibited islands are visible from its coastline, these islands are accessible by boat. The island beaches are a perfect place for a lazy afternoon picnic.
Al Bustan Beach
This beach is named after the sprawling Al Bustan Palace Hotel that shadows its shores. It overlooks the mountains surrounding Muscat. This gives the beach a feeling of privacy, and somehow tends to make you forget that you are in the desert as the mountains look so cool and inviting.
Dhofar has some of the most beautiful beaches that are often flecked with the bright pink of the flamingoes that like to flock there. Lagoons and caves make up a large part of the landscape here. Furthermore these beaches are great for water-sports enthusiasts who enjoy a bit of water skiing and diving. The beaches are made easily accessible to the public by well paved roads and other transportation services.