The Sultanate of Oman is a fabulous land full of surprises, a splendid example of original Arabia that extends from the Straits of Hormuz to the southern Dhofar. Up until the 1970s, the third largest country in the Arabian Peninsula was only accessible by various caravan routes but today, it boasts an abundance of mysterious desert towns and splendid palaces.
The white city of Sohar is the historic harbor of the Islamic world and the 'Gateway To China'. It is still guarded by the white Sohar Fort, a mighty four-story structure that dates back to the 14th century.
The Hajar Mountains extend for almost 600 kilometres from the Musandam Peninsula in the north to its eastern sections. They are also known as the Oman Mountains and divide the coast from the inland. Oman covers around 300,000 square kilometres and is one of the most sparsely settled countries in the world with only 1.5 million inhabitants.
Nizwa, the religious center of the Omans, has a moving past that manifests itself in the city's defensive fortress. Until the 12th century, it was the capital of the Desert State of Oman. Even today, this oasis city and trading metropolis has lost none of its former importance.
Al-Hamra is the name of a 400-year-old oasis village that dates back to the reign of Imam Saif Bin Sultan. At the end of the 17th century, members of the Abriyin Tribe settled here, the descendants of who still live in the Jebal-Akhdar Mountains. Al-Hamra means 'The Red One', an Arabic name that is also to be found in the word 'Alhambra', in Spain's Granada.
The Sultanate of Oman is a treasure trove of rarities. Its 12,000-year-old history is visible throughout the entire country and the beauty of the mysterious Arabian Peninsula is a truly captivating experience.