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The Residence

Mauritius, Indian Ocean

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For those who want a bit more culture than Dubai has to offer

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Fact File

  • Flight time: 7 hours to Dubai Airport or Muscat Airport
  • Best time to go: October - May 
  • Time difference: GMT +4 hours 
  • Currency: Omani Rial 
  •  Visa requirements: Not required for UK passport holders

Family Holidays to Oman

Oman is a lovely, less developed alternative to Dubai and is a country of vast deserts, pristine beaches and soaring, rugged mountain ranges. It is separated into two parts, the main country of Oman and the Musandam Peninsula which is nearer to Dubai than it is to Oman. The capital, Muscat has modern boutiques alongside ancient, bustling souks. It is an easy to reach destination for some much needed winter sun with the family. The hotels are of a very high standard with long, white sandy beaches, great facilities and wonderful service. After a few days at the shops and hectic lifestyle that is Dubai you can drive the 1 ½ hours to the utter relaxation of Zighy Bay on the Musandam. Alternatively if you want to have a week of relaxation followed by a bit of culture it is worth combining Zighy Bay with the Chedi hotel just outside Muscat. The real draw of Dubai and Oman is the short flight time from the UK and regular airline schedules.


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Oman

Zighy Bay is located on a headland on the northern Musandam Peninsula in the Sultante of Oman, best reached from Dubai rather than Muscat. A 2 hour drive from Dubai Airport finds you arriving at the mountain top with the breathtaking sight of Zighy Bay below you. The resort is designed to look like a traditional Omani fishing village, admittedly one that has wonderful restaurants and private pools for each home!! For anyone worrying about long flights then this is a fantastic option. It is also our top recommendation for new mothers wanting a winter sun break.

Suitable for: Non-mobile babies (due to plunge pool) & children happy with limited entertainment

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Zighy Bay

Our rating: Utterly Fab Rating explaination
Rooms: 82
Interleading rooms: No
Childrens facilities:Basic
Setting: Beach
Style: Flintstone Chic
Kids club: No
Baby sitters: Yes
Nightly rates from:
Per Person: £229
2 Adulst & 2 children B&B: £508
Complimentary age sharing: <7yrs

When to Travel

We wouldn’t recommend Oman in the summer months when temperatures can be well above 40C and the humidity is uncomfortably high. But for the rest of the year, from October to April the weather is lovely. Rain is are and is short sharp bursts in the winter.

  • January - Best
  • February - Best
  • March - Best
  • April - Best
  • May - Good
  • June - Not at its best and hot
  • July - Not at its best and hot
  • August - Not at its best and hot
  • September - Good
  • October - Best
  • November - Best
  • December - Best



Kids

Oman is a lovely destination for children. It works very well with families wanting an easy beach holiday or for parents with older children who all want to experience Omani culture or adventures in the desert.  Our hotels are all very children friendly and the staff are always particularly good with children.  Zighy Bay on the Musandam peninsular is accessed from Dubai and therefore benefits from the numerous direct flights there.

Country Info

Flights: Omani Air has direct flights, British Airways have a stop down in Addis on the way (but you don’t leave the plane)

Oman is an ideal destination for guaranteed winter sunshine, Muscat is the perfect base from which to enjoy the spectacular coastline, with beautiful white sand beaches, turquoise waters and wonderful diving. From here the rugged interior mountain ranges, Al Hajar and Al Jabal al Akhdar, can be easily explored.

As tourism is relatively new and undeveloped in Oman you benefit from escaping the tourist hordes and experiencing untarnished Arab culture.  However it does mean that the standard of service is not as slick as other destinations and they have a policy of employing local Omanis where possible.  So long as you are aware of this before you travel you will know what to expect and can appreciate the charm this country has to offer.

Dhofar: The Dhofar region around Salalah is worth exploring for a couple of days. The mountains dominate the Dhofar hinterland and are home to the spectacular pass called the ‘Furious Road” so called for its 8 hairpin bends and rise of 400 metres in only three miles.

Muscat: In the heart of Muscat is old Muscat, a walled city with a natural harbour guarded by the twin fortresses of Jalali and Mirani, where the Sultan has his palace.

The Wahiba Sands: The large desert area of Wahiba Sands is a four hours drive from Muscat and is worth a visit to see it wide variety of fauna and flora and the traditional Bedouin who call this area home.

Food & Drink: Hotels serve a mixture of international cuisine and cater very well for children’s palates.  Outside the hotels most restaurants are either Indian or Lebanese.  Omani food is traditionally quite simple. 

Out and about:  Oman remains very traditional so whilst shorts are fine on the beach you shouldn’t wear them out and about. Women should wear clothes which cover their upper arms and their legs at least to their knees, both men and women are expected to dress conservatively in public places. It is also essential to obey local customs and manners as Oman is still a very conservative country. Hence when taking photographs of locals, especially women, always ask permission first.  And during Ramadan, do not eat, smoke or drink in public.  Although these restrictions done apply if you are staying in one of the international hotels

Things to do

Please find below a range of activities available in Oman.

Suggested Itineraries

We know it is often difficult, with the huge number of hotels out there, to know which one to go for, which combines with which and what sort of costs they are going to be. Here we have put together a few of our favourite options to give you a starting point. Any of these options can be changed, tweeked or added to so please do ask. The prices are per person and include international flights and private transfers. As the rates at all hotels change a great deal from their High Seasons (i.e the most popular times of the year to be there) to their Low Seasons (they often have great discounts at this time) we have based the 'From' costs on a good time of year to be in the country, the dates are included in the text at the bottom. Please do call us for a quote based on your dates.