You probably read the title and thought that I had a time machine ready to deployed to take you for a ride with Michael J. Fox. Truth is, I don’t have a time machines nor the means to make one. What I do know is that it does not take much to relive the pre-glamour life of modern day Dubai. If you have ever ventured to the Tiffany’s of Arabia you could tell that it lacks much of the culture or the touch of an Arabian getaway experience. What was once a gem of the desert now has now been turned to extravagant displays of wealth and tourists everywhere. Lucky for you I found a way for you to relive that experience before the waves of modernization wreak havoc in their way, just 4 hours away from Dubai!
There Are No Times Better Than The 90’s
Four hours away from Dubai lies Muscat, the capital city of Oman. Muscat, Oman carries most of the cultural elements of real Arabian travel as was mandated to be preserved by the king himself. This aspect is coupled with it being land of the most hospitbale place in the world and being primarily consisting of untouched territories of nature. This country offers all the cultural travel elements you need from camping in the desert to dining on delicious edibles with the locals. It is a place for all type of people! Here is how $249 dollars will get you a 90’s Dubai experience when you need a break from Dubai’s hustle and bustle lifestyle this weekend.
$60 1-Night Stay at Park Inn Hotel
- Park inn Hotel by the Radisson is a 4 star hotel in the center of Muscat with a unique experience of providing the only rooftop bar and pool in Muscat. The hotel is 10 min away from the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and 7 minutes from the Royal Opera House. It is is the best place to spend the night upon arriving to Muscat while you unwind with some wine while observing the desert trenches of the city lit by street lamps and neon signs.
$120 For a 1001 Nights In The Desert
- Sama Al Wasil Desert Camp offers a night stay in a luxurious desert camp for $80 a night. Arabian camping is more luxurious than you would expect as this camp comes with bed-in-tent, private bathrooms and a shower with running water. Just 2 hours away from the city you would find yourself at Wahaiba Sands; the infamous sand dunes where Toyota cruisers are seen bashing into endlessly during the day. You could use the remaining $40 off your budget to buy a ride for sand dune exploration, camel riding and souvenirs from the local Omani Bedouin.
$39 To Break Your Summer Diet
- A popular theme for anyone with a gym within 2 miles radius is that summer is always around the corner. The pressure is real and the Instagram competition is immense. Not the case for you because $39 dollars would satisfy all your cravings this summer with street food from all over the city. Shawarma sandwiches start at $2.5 for a one foot long piece of garlic sauce-infused heaven. With that as dinner your lunch gets even better as you visit the local Indian and Pakistani joints for an under $5 meal consisting of lentils, bread, roasted chicken and drink (maybe even a coconut if you’re lucky!) Better yet treat yourself some saffron tea (50 cents) and a Persian buffet ($12) while you take the day to feast before your next day’s hike.
$30 Hike The Jebel Akhdar
- Jebel Al Akhdar, translating to Green Mountain, does not refer to a mountain but rather an entire area 2000 meters above the sea that encompasses a field of mountains and wadis. For the first time visitor it might be overwhelming to visit but by following the tourist guides (under $30) or provided tourist paths you would navigate the mountainous area to uncover the treasure that the mountain keep hidden within from Apricots, Pomegranates to remarkable flower fields. Keep in mind to bring a sweater as the winter weather drop to -5 celsius while the summer atmospheres still remains on the cooler end. It is sight similar in might to the Grand Canyon where one is left speechless at the beauty of mother earth.
Now that you have made it this far I confess that this blog should’ve been named Visit Oman for $249. But for a price this low you probably stopped for a second and thought “why have I never heard of this place before?” Trust me, it is the place to be for all types of people! There are better experience this region has to afford in addition to extravagant building while visiting the Middle East. Take a second to consider and let’s discuss over lattes on our way for the 7am hike towards Jebel Shams!