If you are ever in Dubai, you’ll miss out big time not visiting Musandam, which is just a 2,5 hrs drive away. The peninsula belongs to the Sultanate of Oman, being completely cut from the rest of the country by some UAE emirates.
The boat trip to Musandam is a great escape into pure tranquility and remoteness. The little villages which you will see on your way can be accessed only by water, but don’t be surprised if they would have internet and electricity there. Now you know what I mean by being a fan of Sultan Qaboos!
Check out Oman visa permission, because with one entry visa to UAE you might not be able to come back after exiting the borders. UAE residents won’t have any issues though, Omani one-entry visa can be issued for them at the border (50 AED + 35 AED exit tax). However check your nationality eligibility online or call the Oman embassy in Dubai, things might have changed since I last visited Musandam in 2013.
If living in Dubai or other emirates it might be a good idea to get an Omani multi-entry visa at their embassy/consulate in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Visit this beautiful country as often as possible, it is really worth it.
The flat gulf waters on the way would suddenly border with curved mountains. The barren rocks appear in layers and layers. It is a greaaaaat drive! Zig-zagging and wondering what is coming after every turn!
And here you go, after some time there is Khasab, the capital of the peninsula, with a large bay.
In Khasab it is possible to take the dhow cruise along the fjords. Dhows are traditional Gulf boats beautifully carved and painted, with pillows and cushions to make your journey comfortable. Booking the tour from Dubai would be much more expensive than simply driving to Khasab and arranging a deal with the guys here directly. Another disadvantage of booking the tour in Dubai is that they would pick up people from different hotels on the way, which will make the journey long and tiring.
Local sweet mint tea and Arabic coffee is offered on the boat. They will usually have a lunch or dinner buffet (fish, biriyani rice, fruits etc).
The cook will prepare the fish while you will be snorkeling or enjoying the scenery.
… dramatic cliffs … turquoise water…
There are several small islands on the way. The Telegraph island is one of them, which used to be a British military base in the past. The water around the island is crystal clear, offering a good chance for snorkeling. Spot the zebra fish!
Just across from the Telegraph island there is a remote village which is camouflaged in the landscape.
Yeah, dolphins! You will definitely spot at least 4-5. If lucky, even a dozen!
Dolphins like to chase the boats!
Hey, another one!
And one more!
Crazy fish fighting for bread …
Sunset in the strait of Hormuz in the Arabian peninsula!
Musandam boat trips is a must-do! This place is a small paradise among the arid desert …