Oman’s Top 5 things to do in May 2017

May can often be Oman’s hottest month and temperatures over 40c are frequent. This means that activities need to be selected to take the heat into account.

Ice Skating Oman
Ice Skating Oman

Though spending time in one of Oman’s almost innumerable shopping complexes would be an easy suggestion there is one that far more healthy, the Ice Rink. Fun Zone at Al Qurum is over 1000sqm of chilled bliss. From 9 in the morning to after 11pm (more details page 100 Bradt Guide to Oman)  at night the rink offers 90 minute sessions where beginners and the skilled can enjoy themselves. With a cost little more than a coffee and cake this great for your health and wallet. The rink welcomes people at any stage of their ice skating ability.

Opera Royal Muscat
Opera Royal Muscat

The Royal Opera House has 2 performances of an early Opera by Bizet ‘The Pearl Fishers’ which is set on the island of Ceylon. This is a lengthy opera with a classic story of competition by two men for the heart of a woman, of course it ends well. With such a long performance your meal will need to be planned carefully, however good availability of seats in the opera should mean that you can get your preferred choice.

Jabal Shams north side Oman
Jabal Shams north side Oman

Despite the heat outdoors, there are still places in Oman that offer a comfortable environment for outdoor activities. The drive up to Oman’s Grand Canyon is a well-tested route. I suggest that instead of taking the turn to the canyon’s edge (read page 233 of my 4th edition of the Bradt Guide to Oman for route & accommodation page 234) carry on straight ahead to Krub and beyond. There are old walking tracks and some spectacular views, though neither are quite as good at at the Grand Canyon, however the plus – you might be alone. However, there is a another distinct advantage at this time of year; the elevation is about 300meters higher than the highest part of the Grand Canyon’s rim of around 1900m and noticeably cooler.

Tombs Hafit Period Tombs Ibra Oman
Tombs Hafit Period Tombs Ibra Oman

An alternative high altitude getaway will be to visit the marvellously located tombs listed on page 250 of the Bradt Guide. These are set on an undulating plateau of around 1700m with clusters overlooking vast horizons. Without doubt, the route needs a good condition 4×4 vehicle and is perhaps best visited with overnight camping on the plateau. The reward will include, as well as the scenery, dark skies to views the heavens above.

Beach Masirah Island
Beach Masirah Island

Unlike the two other outdoor locations, the 5th activity is very much at sea level. Masirah island will ideally need at least a couple of nights spent on the island as it is several hundred kilometres away from Muscat (read from page 285 in the Bradt Guide with accomodation on page 287). There are options for the route to drive to the island, including a journey through the Wihibah Sands. The island benefits from its maritime location which is enhanced from May through to September by the Monsoon or as it’s called in southern Oman, the Khareef. The wind cools the island by as much as 10degrees, making this a tempting destination. There are a few hotels and of course camping is an excellent alternative.

Author: Tony Walsh

Book author including the current Bradt guide to Oman – edition 4

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