A large strip of the UAE territory separates the rest of the country from the Musandam Peninsula, which is situated at Oman’s northernmost tip. Covered with an expanse of dramatic mountains and fjords or khawrs, Musandam is famously defined as the ‘Norway of Arabia’ and considered to be the most scenic place in Oman. The best way to discover the place is by taking a Musandam Peninsula tour on a dhow cruise in traditional Arabian style along the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean.
Khor Najd , Musandam Peninsula, Oman
The bustling town of Khasab
Musandam’s large settlement is in Khasab, the town that is located quite close to the peninsula’s tip. The town is one of the most visited tourist places in Oman and is divided into the New Souk and the Old Souk, the former being the bustling town and the latter being its historic counterpart. Visit the 17th-century Portuguese-built fort that also has a unique miniature museum, which is part of most Khasab tours. Just outside the fort is the harbour, which was formerly used for the smuggling trade activities with Iran.
The spectacular road to Bukha
Most of the Oman tours ensure that the tourists are driven along the 28-km coastal road connecting Bukha to Khasab, which spectacularly winds around the khawrs and the sea cliffs along the coast. The initial stretch reveals vivid sedimentary layering around the mountains of Khawr Qida. As you continue off the Bay, you will pass through Wadi Tawi that has petroglyphs featuring sheep, hunters and camels. The road leads you to the Strait of Hormuz from where you can witness a spectacular view up to Iran. Continue on for 12 km and you will make it to the impressive seafront fort of Bukha.
Road to Bukha, Musandam Peninsula, Oman
Cruise down Khawr Sham
You will find the best dhow cruise deals in Musandam, where taking a cruise from Khasab along the magnificent Khawr Sham is a must. This is Musandam’s biggest fjord, circled with red-rock mountains. Over half a dozen villages dot the Khawr, and can be reached only by boat. Of all the Oman tourist places, the Khawr is a sight to behold with its batches of frolicking dolphins and calming boat rides. Don’t miss a visit to the Jazirat Telegraph, which is the rocky Telegraph Island, named after the British-established telegraph station.
The isolated town of Kumzar
The remote but popular town of Kumzar is just a dramatic boat ride away, either by a two-hour dhow ride or a 45-minute speedboat ride. Even though you can no longer enter this town, the visit is worth it for viewing the magnificent marine scenery. The sea view contains distant islands, rocky headlands and heavy oil tankers making their way up and down the Hormuz Strait. Continue on the boat ride to the Strait before entering the little town of Kumzar, which is a huddle of colourful buildings hidden beneath cliffs.
On your Musandam trip from Dubai, stop to immerse yourself in Musandam’s ancient landscapes, feast on a scrumptious buffet on board the dhow cruise, and enjoy swimming and snorkelling in the waters.
Our concierge desk at DAMAC Maison, will be able to recommend tours of Musandam for the guests. Treat yourself to scenes of rugged coastal mountains and traditional wooden dhow cruise as you take a dip in the water. The day trip includes lunch.