Salalah & the Empty Quarter

Salalah and Empty Quarter Holidays: an Overview

Oman may now appear on most people's travel radar, but many visitors restrict themselves to the coastline around Muscat in the north. Now, however, the lush city of Salalah - the southern capital - and the 'sand sea' of the Empty Quarter are opening up for exploration.

Kiah, Eleanor and Ra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Southern Oman's Frankincense Trail was carved out by camel caravans departing Salalah over 7000 years ago in search of the Boswellia sacra; the gnarled tree whose resin was once more valuable than gold.

More on Travel to Salalah and the Empty Quarter

The lush oasis of Salalah has finally arrived on the luxury hotelier map, with exciting resorts opening in 2016 and 2017, allowing luxury travellers to explore this lesser visited but nonetheless fascinating corner of Oman in complete comfort.

For those looking for something a little different, Original Travel has helped to develop, and has exclusive access to, a luxury 4x4 safari with overnight stays at private camps that are set up in advance each night. The safaris start with arrival into Salalah via Muscat. After a lunch of fresh seafood, there's the chance to snorkel over vibrant corals, go boogie-boarding or join a fishing party. The evening is spent around a campfire on the beach before supper under the stars and overnight in a comfortable tent.

The next day can either be spent relaxing at the beach camp, or visiting several sites of historical interest around Salalah. Original Travel has exclusive access to the private camps on the beach near Salalah and the Empty Quarter.

The first stop is Mirbat Beach, which is found in a deserted cove just along the coast from Salalah. After a lunch of fresh seafood, there's the chance to snorkel over vibrant corals, go boogie-boarding or join a fishing party.

The evening is spent around a campfire on the beach before supper under the stars and overnight in a comfortable tent.

The next day can either be spent relaxing at the beach camp, or visiting several sites of historical interest around Salalah, including Job's tomb, the Mughsayl blow holes, Al Balid (the ruined city once visited by Marco Polo during his travels), Khor Rawri (thought to have been the Queen of Sheba's palace), Mirbat with its traditional merchant houses famed for their intricately carved doors and windows, the fort and mosque at Taqah, and the ruins of the fabled Lost City of Ubar.

Day three takes you into the 'sand sea' of the Empty Quarter where a mobile camp awaits. Spend the late afternoon walking in the dunes, enjoying evening drinks and watching the spectacular sunset. After a delicious three course supper, sleep under canvas surrounded by the silence of the desert.

The next day, explore the unique and exceptionally photogenic desert environment. Ride camels, sandboard down the steep-sided dunes, or just relax and admire the scenery of a place few travellers have ever been.


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Original Highlight

Of Wilfred Thesiger fame, this is desert as it should be, with soaring dunes as far as the eye can see.

Amelia, Original Traveller

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 21°C / 69°F
  • Rainfall — 2cm / 1.0 inches
  • Water Temp. — 24°C / 75°F
Flight from London

7:00 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +4 hrs


We had reasonably high expectations of Original Travel (reputation proceeding and all that) but the reality truly exceeded them all!

Katharine

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