I AM STAYING WITH FAMILY IN DUBAI LATER THIS YEAR AND WOULD LIKE TO DO A 4-5 DAY SIDE-TRIP TO OMAN. SUGGESTIONS FOR BEST OPTIONS WOULD BE APPRECIATED. SHOULD I FLY TO MUSCAT AND DO A TOUR? I HAVE HEARD THERE ARE NOW CRUISES. I WILL BE DOING THIS ALONE. I AM FEMALE AND NO SPRING CHICKEN.
A. GRAHAM, DULWICH HILL.
Autumn chickens need have no fear in Oman, even when in free range mode and alone. Tours in Oman tend to be fairly undemanding. This is also one of the easiest of the Arab countries for a woman travelling solo. Thanks to the richness of its culture, which has not been diluted by oil wealth, it's also one of the most likeable.
Time is not your friend. Most all-inclusive guided tours of Oman are for a week at least. World Expeditions has a four-day Musandam tour that takes in the jagged fingers of this rugged peninsula that reach down from scorched peaks into the sea. You'd be taking a dhow cruise for one day and exploring aboard a four-wheel-drive. While you'd be seeing some amazing scenery, you would not get an overall picture of Omani culture, but this is one of the very few multi-day guided trips I can find that would fit into the time you have available.
A better option might be to base yourself in Muscat and do a series of day trips. In that case you could contact local tour operator Zahara Tours, and use their day trips to stitch together your own itinerary. Zahara has several attractive tours that you can do in a single day, some of which take you to remote parts of the country, and Oman's excellent road network makes it easy to cover several hundred kilometres easily.