It’s a land of emerald green sinkhole pools, mountains that stretch for horizons, russet dunes that swallow you and a coastline that invites you to swim.
It’s Oman, and it’s a country that won the hearts of 30 travel agents from Australia and New Zealand this month.
But it wasn’t just the scenery, it was the people. This famil was split into groups to tour in 4WD across the terrain that immediately feels adventurous. Like expeditioners in these cars, fast bonds were formed between the driver guides and the agents, all Omani locals.
One guide even invited the group into his family home, where they met generations, from grandfather to grandchildren.
Part of the cohort were luxury travel agents, so a stay at the five-star Alila Jabal Akhdar was very much in order. Research, of course. The property is as good as it looks.
Treated to a multi-course dinner that night with the hotel management, agents were reluctant to leave after breakfast the next day. But it brought with it a return to Muscat, via the ancient villages sprouting with date palms that are scattered across the country.
There was a site inspection at new property Dunes by Al Nahda, luxury tented accommodation new to the market for agents to sell. That night the group stayed at the Millenium Hotel Mussannah, found on the waterfront, where sailing conditions are more than perfect, making it more than a hobby.
Back in Muscat, the luxury properties are just that: luxury. There was a site inspection at The Chedi as well as Al Bustan Palace.
Lunch was at a cooking school Bait Al Bilad Qantab and dinner was at the final hotel of the trip, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa.
The final day was spent on luxury 75 foot catamaran Azzura, before flying home via Doha with Qatar Airways.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as the agents tell the story of the famil in their own words and advise you how to sell Oman to clients. You never know, it could be you on an Oman famil next year.