It might seem as if the whole Middle East is going up in flames, but at least for the time being, Oman remains calm and welcoming to tourists. One of the country’s main attractions is the “Empty Quarter,” a vast stretch of desert made more hospitable by the camps and resorts sprinkled throughout.
Joshua Hammer of the New York Times recently visited this region of Oman, staying in the 1,000 Nights Camp. Here’s how he described the area:
The Sharqiya Sands, or Ramlat al-Sharqiya, of the Empty Quarter is one of the world’s most desolate and starkly beautiful regions: 4,800 square miles of rippled, undulating dunes that rise as high as 300 feet above the desert floor. It is also one of the not-to-be-missed attractions of Oman, an oil-rich and peaceful sultanate, bordered by Saudi Arabia to the west, Yemen to the south and the United Arab Emirates to the north.
The 1,000 Nights Camp tempts tourists with delicious food, luxurious accommodations, and lots of peace and quiet. Oh, and horses. I adored the Black Stallion series as a little girl, and the thought of riding horseback across the sand dunes is like a childhood dream come true.
To get to Oman, you’ll need a valid passport and an Oman visa. US citizens can get a 30-day, single-entry visa at the border, but you can also apply ahead of time for a multiple-entry tourist visa. Read the rest of this entry »