DUBAI AND OMAN
Day 1 – Saturday 5th November
Fly London to Dubai with Emirates Airlines departing Heathrow at 09.10 arriving 20.00
We transfer to our deluxe rooms at the first-class Manzil Downtown Hotel for a three night stay on room and half board basis.
Day 2 – Discover Al Ain and Dubai
After Breakfast we take a look at the city of Dubai itself and then head to Al Ain known as the ‘Garden City’. This desert oasis was originally known as a stop on a caravan trail from the Persian Gulf to Indian Ocean but today it is a university city and an agricultural centre. We begin at Hili Gardens to view Archaeological digs which date back more than 5000 years. You will then proceed to Al Ain Palace Museum to view fascinating displays, including a collection of family portraits that offer an insight into the lives of the royal family. Next, to Al Ain National Museum which provides an overview of the country’s traditions and culture. Before returning to Dubai, we stop at Jahili Fort, where various exhibitions are often hosted. We return to our comfortable hotel for overnight and dinner. (BD)
Day 3 – Sarouq Al Hadeed
Today we visit the Sarouq Al Hadeed Archaeological site where we will meet with our great friend Mansour Boraik who many of us know from his outstanding work in Egypt. Mansour is now working at this extensive site close to Dubai and has agreed to show us around the working excavations.
We will learn that it is one of the important archaeological sites in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one of the main centres of copper manufacturing of various tools in the region since the beginning of the Iron Age. The site contains large amounts of metal ore, and thousands of rare artefacts have been excavated including swords and daggers, showing that this was a vital economic and religiously important site. (BD)
Day 4 – Muscat Oman
After breakfast we head to the airport and take our flight to Oman. On arrival in Muscat International airport we will transfer to our hotel the Al Falaj. We have a relaxing lunch in Bait Al Luban Omani restaurant before taking a Muscat City Tour. Time to view the Grand Mosque, before visiting the old part of Muscat city. We enter Muttrah souk - a traditional Omani market and the Bait Al Zubair Museum. Then to the Sultan’s Palace and the two Forts of Mirani and Jalali built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. (BLD)
Day 5 – NIZWA to JEBEL SHAMS
An early start for our journey to visit Nizwa the Oasis city of that was once the capital of Julanda Dynasty in the 6th and 7th Century AD. We visit the Nizwa fort where from the top of the tower one can get a spectacular view of the city. On to the Souk which is renowned for its intricately hand-carved Khanjar and ornately designed silver jewellery. Then we drive to Wadi Nakher, Jebel Shams (Sun Mountain) and the Oman Grand Canyon. This amazing canyon is situated amidst the rocky terrain of the 700km long Jebel Shams Mountain Range and Jebel Shams, at over 3000m height it is the highest mountain in Oman. We overnight in chalet rooms at the Jebel Shams Hotel.(BD)
Day 6 – Bat – Beehive Tombs
Today we drive to Al Hamra. On the way we stop at the Oasis of Tanuf springs where the mineral water “Tanuf” is bottled. Next the Bahla Fort for photos and then to Jabreen castle, the finest of Oman’s castles. We continue to Ibri and the area of beehive tombs dating to 3000 BC where the builders of the tombs and local inhabitants lived during the Bronze Age. It is remarkable that 5000 years separates the builders of the beehive towers and the modern inhabitants of Bat.
The towers resemble beehives and were built in stone in a well-structured manner. Bat archaeological site is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Al-Khuṭm (al-Wahra) is 2 kilometres from Bat to the southwest of the city. The Wadi al-Ain tower tombs are situated 30 kilometres northeast of Bat on rocky hills on the north bank of Wadi al-Ain. There are twenty-one beehive tombs, similar to those at Bat, that form a semi-straight line and date to 3000 BC. We continue to Nizwa and overnight at the Golden Tulip our deluxe hotel built in traditional Omani style and set in the rugged Hajjar Mountain range. (BD)
Day 7 – Al Lizq
Today we travel through a landscape of gentle hills until we arrive at Al Lizq. On a hill to the southwest of the modern village is an impressive stone staircase dating to the Iron age. This is the only one of its kind found so far in Oman. Samad in the Shaqiayh province is steeped in history with several fine forts and archaeological sites. We return to our hotel the Al Falaj in Muscat for our final night in Oman. (BD)
Day 8 – Saturday 12th November 2016
After breakfast we fly with Emirates Airlines via Dubai arriving Heathrow later the same day. (B)
Guided throughout by Medhat Saad
B=Breakfast – L=Lunch – D=Dinner