"KHASAB - MUSANDAM PENINSULA" Khasab by lynnehamman

Khasab Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 94 photos

Our visit to Khasab, in the Musandam Peninsula of Oman, was the highlight of out vist to Oman.
Geographically separated from the rest of Oman by part of the UAE, Musandam, with Khasab as its main town, juts into the Straits of Hormuz, across from which lays Iran (see the map). Distance between two countries is 55kms.
We flew to Khasab from Muscat, a two hour flight, and from the air, as we approached Khasab, the fissured landscape and topography was dramatic.
Inlets with sparkling blue water cut into the Hajar mountains, and I understood immediately why this part of Oman is called 'Norway of Arabia'. The gorges and mountains , clearly showing their geological stratification, have cliff-hugging roads that offer magnificent views of the cliffs, plunging into the turqouise sea , and the inlets and fjords that give the peninsula its very distinctive footprint.
Just a boat ride form Khasab is a small village called Kumzar. Interestingly, it has its own particular dialect, formed centuries ago and influenced by foreign maritime contacts. A mish-mash of many languages and quite unique. The Kumzari are mainly fisher-folk.

Khasab town itself is small. The houses are fortunately still quite traditional, but town centre had a square, a souq, and a beautiful mosque. Shops there are a few of, and there are a couple of banks. The drive from the small airport took just a few minutes. The main roads are paved, but many are still just dusty strips. Real modernity has yet to reach Khasab. I hope not too soon. It has a quaint charm and peaceful atmosphere that would be spoiled if much changes here.
Most of the local people wear traditional dress, women in black and men in white (dishdasha)
The busy little port was interesting- it bustles with activity. The colourful dhows that cruise out amongst the fjords (khors) leave from here, as do the fishing boats.
Smuggling is rampant- high speed modern boats, with fierce looking modern day pirates aboard, carry imported cigarettes and alchohol to Iran across the Straits of Hormuz, and return to Khasab loaded with Irani goats. Piracy has been traditional between these two countries for centuries, and brings revenue into Oman. Authorities 'look the other way' in Khasab. What happens in Iran is anyones guess.

The coastline around Khasab, which is 650kms long, passes through many small rural villages, the houses made of stone- and is worth exploration.
At nearby towns like Bukha and Tawi, there are ancient ruins with pre-historic rock carvings- and 16th century forts still standing proudly.

Khasab is not very easy to visit- unless one lives in UAE. Even then there are a number of border posts to negotiate. On weekends the nearby resort Golden Tulip is packed with visitors from UAE & expats, seeking some respite from the chaos of Dubai.
From Muscat- it can be reached by air, sea or road. It is, however, about a seven hour drive.
Other than cruising around the fjords and snorkeling, visiting the remote fishing islands, and driving in the mountains not much else seemed to be happening here. That was fine by us. We saw exactly what we came to see, and were happy with that.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Difficult to get to this city
  • Cons:Worth the trouble-
  • In a nutshell:Hope that it stays just as it is.
  • Last visit to Khasab: Mar 2010
  • Intro Updated Apr 15, 2010
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Reviews (9)

Comments (29)

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    This looks like a beautiful place. Great photos and tips. Best wishes, Irene

  • csordila's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Hi Linne! Interesting page you have here. Best L.

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    Interesting page Lynne. Oman isn't somewhere that I had ever really considered before you mentioned it on a forum a few days ago, so thanks for a fresh idea! Regards Cathy

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    As always Lynne, your lovely pages are helpful with such wonderful details. Khasab looks absolutely beautiful!

  • Elisabcn's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    Very inspiring page and trip, Lynne. I enjoyed your descriptions a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dec 9, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    ohh oman looks awesome! the dhow cruise would be so relaxing, and i'd definitely love to explore the mountainous region. lovely page lynne!

  • mallyak's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    I regret not visiting this part of the world when my brother was employed here.

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    I travelled in the Oman mountains few years ago, and I see I missed the sea!:) Khasabs looks very nice and I am jealous of your dhow trip Lynne! Beautiful pictures of this remote place.

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Happy Birthday Lynne! Hope you have a great day today!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Stunning photos and interesting tips on the 'Norway of Arabia'.

lynnehamman

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.- Rudyard Kipling”

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