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Dubai and Oman: Modern Riches, Ancient Treasures

Program Number: 19635RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/29/2015 - 11/12/2015; 11/26/2015 - 12/10/2015; 1/7/2016 - 1/21/2016; 2/25/2016 - 3/10/2016; 3/10/2016 - 3/24/2016; 10/27/2016 - 11/10/2016; 11/24/2016 - 12/8/2016;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Oman/United Arab Emirates
Price starting at: $4,987.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 33; 12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat    

The Arabian Peninsula is a place of contrasting experiences, from standing in awe of an ultramodern skyscraper or a 300-foot sand dune to sharing mint tea and dates in the shade of an oasis. Explore the United Arab Emirates and Oman, walking through fragrant spice markets, sailing aboard dhows, finding great natural beauty and learning about the history and complexities of this important region.




Highlights

• Venture into the Wahiba Sands region to visit a Bedouin village and spend the night at a desert camp.
• Board a traditional wooden dhow to sail into the fjords of Musandam
• Absorb the amazing architecture of Dubai including the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day; some uneven terrain and stairs without railings.



Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.




Date Specific Information

10-29-2015, 11-26-2015, 1-7-2016, 2-25-2016, 3-10-2016, 10-27-2016, 11-24-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Muscat (Oman), 3 nights; coach to Ras Al Jinz, 1 night; coach to Nizwa, 2 nights; fly to Khasab, 2 nights; coach to Dubai (UAE), 4 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Muscat (Oman)
3 nights

Explore Muscat with a local expert and take a field trip to the Royal Opera House and the grand mosque, which can accommodate 20,000 worshippers. Visit Muttrah Souq, one of the most popular markets in the Middle East. Join an Omani professor in an informative lecture to learn about the history and culture of Oman.



Coach to Ras Al Jinz
1 night

At a dhow factory, learn how these traditional Omani boats are built by experienced craftsmen. Join experts from Ras Al Jinz Scientific Center to observe turtles nesting in the sand.



Coach to Desert camp
1 night
Coach to Nizwa
2 nights

Journey into the desert to Wadi Bani Khalid, considered one of the most beautiful wadi’s (valleys) in Oman. Along the way, pass through the Wahiba Sands — a land of colossal dunes — and learn about Bedouin life in the desert. In Nizwa, learn about village life amid Oman’s plantations and orchards, savor some traditional mint tea and dates, and even swim in one of the pure, natural pools.



Fly to Khasab
2 nights
Coach to Dubai (UAE)
4 nights

Board a traditional wooden dhow to sail into the fjords of Musandam. Contrast the old with the ultramodern in Dubai. With an international architect, learn about the amazing modern buildings, including the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest. Examine artifacts inside an 18th-century fort at the Dubai Museum. Journey to Abu Dhabi and its magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. At the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital meet the national bird and learn about the sport of falconry.




Accommodations
Muscat: A centrally located quality hotel. Ras Al Jinz: Quality hotel. Wahiba Sands: Luxury tent camp amid golden sand dunes. Nizwa: Quality hotel surrounded by spectacular mountains. Khasab: Four-star hotel with panoramic views of Musandam Shoreline. Dubai: Elegant hotel in Arabic theme.
Meals and Lodgings
   Park Inn Muscat
  Muscat, Oman 3 nights
   Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve
  Ras Al Jinz, Oman 1 night
   Arabian Oryx Camp
  Wahiba, Oman 1 night
   Golden Tulip Nizwa
  Nizwa, Oman 2 nights
   Hotel Atana Khasab
  Khasab, Oman 2 nights
   Arabian Courtyard
  Dubai, United Arab Emirates 4 nights
 Park Inn Muscat
Type: Hotel
  Description: Among hotels in Oman, the Park Inn Muscat stands out with its ideal location near the airport, along with its superb amenities including rooftop pool and modern, classic design. Situated on the main highway linking Muscat International Airport to Ruwi, the city's central business district, Park Inn Muscat hotel guests enjoy easy access to the Al Ghubra beach, businesses and attractions. This comfortable and stylish Muscat hotel offers first-class amenities that include the exceptional rooftop swimming pool, business center, parking and 24-hour front desk assistance.
  Contact info: P.O Box 1635 PC 133
Sultan Qaboos Street Al Khuwair
Muscat,   Oman
phone: + 968 2450 7888
web: www.parkinn.com/
  Room amenities: Standing out among Oman hotels in Muscat, the Park Inn features 175 rooms, decorated in bright hues and equipped with modern, convenient amenities. Guests may choose from Standard rooms, Business Friendly rooms and One Bedroom suites. All of these Muscat rooms and suites offer first-class amenities including Free high-speed, wireless Internet access, coffee and tea making facilities, and in-room safe. Enjoy free access to Fitness Center facilities. Book one of these Oman hotel's guest rooms or suites and discover what sets the Park Inn apart from other Muscat accommodation.
  Facility amenities: This Muscat hotel is nearby the city centre and lies 15 kilometres from the Muscat International Airport. Guests enjoy easy access to Shatti Al Qurum, the main commercial and diplomatic quarter. 175 guest rooms, along with seven suites offer in-room safe, hair dryer and coffee and tea making facilities. Savour a variety of light meals and drinks at the all-day buffet restaurant. Visit RBG Muscat The Sama Terrazza bar serves a fine selection of international refreshments. High-speed, wireless Internet access available throughout the hotel. Relax at the rooftop swimming pool. Utilise the fully equipped fitness center. Shopping enthusiasts revel at retail outlets located within this Muscat hotel. Stay in touch with the hotel's business center. Five versatile meeting rooms are available.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve
Type: Hotel
  Description: Situated in Ras Al Jinz, Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is the perfect place to experience Sur and its surroundings. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. Offering hotel guests superior services and a broad range of amenities, Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is committed to ensuring that your stay is as comfortable as possible. Restaurant, bicycle rental, elevator, car park, smoking area are just a few of the facilities that set Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve apart from other hotels in the city.
  Contact info: PO Box 296, Ras Al Jinz, Ras Al Jinz
Sur,  411 Oman
phone: +00000000000
  Room amenities: The hotel features 31 beautifully appointed guest rooms, each including satellite/cable TV, seating area, shower, refrigerator, complimentary bottled water. Besides, the hotel's host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay. Discover an engaging blend of professional service and a wide array of features at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Arabian Oryx Camp
Type: Tents
  Description: More than 10 years ago, Hamdan Al Hajri, owner of the Arabian Oryx Camp, set out to provide an authentic Bedouin experience for visitors to Oman: “I wanted to create a welcoming environment where I could share the beauty of the desert with my guests. And there is no better way to do that than sitting around a camp fire, listening to traditional music, sampling wonderful food and sharing stories among friends.” At the beginning of it's life, the Arabian Oryx Camp was presented by a very simple traditional bedouin woolen tents with no air-condition. Today, from humble beginnings, our Camp has grown into an efficiently managed camp that expertly balances modern and traditional elements. Guests stay in one of 37 air-conditioned cabins equipped with modern bathroom facilities. They may dine in their cabin or with other guests in a large covered dining area. Sumptuous food is prepared in traditional ways, for example, baked in the sand or cooked over a camp fire. And, as night falls, visitors can enjoy traditional entertainment or simply star gaze the night away. Guests don’t have to go far to enjoy the beauty of the desert at the Arabian Oryx Camp since it is surrounded by sand dunes. Arabian Oryx Camp operates year round and the team prides itself in providing guests with top class service any time of year.
  Contact info: P.O. Box 333, PC 421, Al Wasil
Bidiya, Sharkiya, NA  Oman
phone: +968 995 18 882
web: www.oryx-camp.com/about.html
  Facility amenities: - Two separate queen size beds - Split air condition with remote control - Fridge - Free tea/coffee facilities in the room - Hair dryer, Socket for shaving - Bath slippers and towels - Free toiletries
  Smoking allowed: No

 Golden Tulip Nizwa
Type: Hotel
  Description: Only an hours drive from Muscat International Airport and a short distance from Nizwa city, the Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel is surrounded by rugged Hajar Mountain ranges and is ideally located for adventure tours through Oman's exciting nature. The spectacular mountains and villages around the hotel give a true flavour of the country.amid this Arabian splendor stands Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel, an Oasis of peace and tranquillity set against the magnificent Hajar Mountains. Just a short drive from Nizwa, the ancient capital, with its pottery town of Bahla, ancient houses of Birkat Al Mauz, facinating Jabrin and Nizwa forts, the picturesque mountain villages of Al Hamra and Misfah. It is also perfectly placed for adventure safaris deep into Oman's interior. At the end of all the hectic exploration you are welcomed into the warmth and care of Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel, indulging you with traditional hospitality discreetly blended with the hotels modern facilities.
  Contact info: P.O. Box : 1000
P.C. 611
Nizwa,   Oman
phone: +968 2543 1616
web: www.goldentulipnizwa.com/default.aspx?Language=EN
  Room amenities: The Standard rooms feature: Individually controlled air-conditioning, LCD TV, International direct dialing facility, Mini bar, Laundry service Hair dryer and Satellite TV, Rooms with garden, mountain and pool view wake up call service, Tea/ coffee maker in the room, Wi fi internet access on request, All other modern amenities.
  Facility amenities: Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel has 120 rooms and are well furnished and equipped in order to meet all needs, with individually controlled air conditioning, direct dialing facility, high speed wireless internet, hair dryer, mini bar, in-room tea/coffee maker and satellite television with more than 24 International channels. We have a business centre with secretarial service, internet café, 24 hour room service and 2 live entertainment bars. Other Food & Beverage outlets include the newly renovated Sports Bar.Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel has an elegant restaurant serving authentic International cuisine. There is a lobby café serving round the clock, poolside café with bar-be-cue for special occasions. We also provide complimentary shuttle service to Nizwa downtown.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Atana Khasab
Type: Hotel
  Description: Perched on a rock face, this 4 star resort offers the most panoramic views of the famed Musandam Shoreline. The 60 rooms resort is elegantly furnished with its very own private terrace or balcony offering breathtaking panoramic views on the Gulf of Oman.
  Contact info: P.O.Box 434, PC 811
Khasab,   Oman
phone: +968 267 30777
web: www.atanahotels.com/AtanaKhasab.aspx?Division=2&id=9
  Room amenities: Hairdryers, Iron & Board, High Speed Wifi Internet, Satellite TV channels, No Smoking Rooms/Facilities, Turndown Service, Safe deposit box, Coffee Maker in Room, Refreshment centre, Air Conditioned, International Direct Dial
  Facility amenities: Golden Tulip Resort Khasab is a great choice, where you can enjoy: - Sea view rooms - Dibba restaurant - Darts Bar - Cappuccino cafe - Swimming pool - Children pool - Children play area - Table tennis - Gym - Conference and meeting facilities - WiFi Internet
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Arabian Courtyard
Type: Hotel
  Description: Ideal location in old Dubai opposite the Museum and a stone’s throw away from many historical, cultural and shopping attractions such as heritage village, historic bastakiya, Dubai creek & abra (water taxi), meena bazaar, textile market, electronics shopping, computer street and a whole lot more. With 173 elegantly furnished rooms in traditional Arabic theme including 23 elegantly furnished suites and 41 executive rooms, the hotel offers all the latest amenities for discerning travelers. A variety of dining and entertainment options as well as conference & banquet with the latest technology are on offer. Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa also offers a fully equipped health & recreation center as well as a Wellness Spa.
  Contact info: Al Fahidi Street
Dubai,  P.O.Box 46500 United Arab Emirates
phone: +971-4-3519111
web: www.arabiancourtyard.com/about.aspx
  Room amenities: 01 large or 02 single beds with wired and Wi-Fi internet access in rooms, tea/coffee maker, 2 mineral water bottles, work desk, voice mail, IDD telephones, multi channel TV, in-room safe, iron & board, mini bar, individual temperature control, electronic door locks & smoke detectors. These rooms are en-suite with shower & bathtub combination.
  Facility amenities: Business facilities at our hotel include a business center, conference & meeting rooms as well as secretarial services. Other facilities include Airport transfers, Currency exchange, Laundry / Valet services, Baby sitting, Catering services, Safety deposit boxes, Rent-a-Car assistance, Tour assistance, Valet parking, Beauty salon, Barber shop, Gift shop.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBA To book additional nights, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 for rates and availability.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
In the morning of Day 3 at the group orientation at the hotel. You will be staying at Park Inn Muscat that night.
  End of Program:
After lunch on Day 15 of the program. You will be staying at Arabian Courtyard the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Muscat
  Transportation to site: Taxis from Muscat International Airport to Muscat are available and can be easily booked on site or by phone or email. The Taxi Counter can be contacted at +96824518780 / 1 Email: email taxi@omanairports.com The rate is about 14 Omani Rials (night fares are higher). Important: The taxis are not metered and fares should be agreed upon before you start your transfer. You can prepay at the Muscat International Airport Taxi Counter. Tipping is not common, but if exceptional service (assistance with luggage...etc.) is provided, a tip will be appreciated.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Dubai
  Transportation from site: Taxis are readily available just outside the hotel. Metered cabs from Dubai Transport Corporation, recognized by their cream color, are efficient and have well-trained drivers. Taxis cost about 15 USD (55 Emirate Dirhams) to the airport, but this could be higher at night.
Elevation Note: On Day 7, the group will go to Jebel Al Akhdar, which is 2000 mts (6, 561 feet) above sea level.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: International Flight to Oman
(Thursday, November 26)
   
 In Transit Overnight: Overnight flight to Muscat, Oman.

Day 2: Arrival at Muscat International Airport and Transfer to the Hotel
(Friday, November 27)

Note: Airport transfer times will be published in the final mailing that you will receive five weeks prior to departure.



   
 Arrive To: Arrive to Muscat International airport and transfer to the hotel.
 Dinner: Enjoy meeting and socializing with your fellow participants at the Welcome Dinner.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Muscat
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Introduction to Oman Culture and History
(Saturday, November 28)

Note: Women should bring a head scarf or shawl to cover the head and arms if a short sleeve shirt is worn. Shorts above the knee for men and women inside the mosque are prohibited. Bring your sunglasses and/or a hat as there will be a good amount of walking today. In addition, always keep a bottle of water with you to ensure hydration.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will gather in our private meeting room where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Afterward, we will depart by coach to visit the Grand Mosque, the most exquisite mosque in Oman. The developed part of the site, including the fully consolidated areas and landscaping, covers 4,477 square feet. The Mosque complex (covering 430 square feet) is constructed on a raised podium in keeping with the tradition of Omani mosques that were built elevated from street level. It can accommodate up to 20,000 worshipers and consists of a main prayer hall, ladies prayer hall, covered passageways, a meeting hall, and a library which will eventually contain up to 20,000 books.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will visit Muttrah Souq (traditional market), one of the most popular souqs in the Middle East. Take a walk in its labyrinthine alleyways beckoning with a myriad of merchandise, from imported fabrics to exotic oriental spices, perfumes, and richly handcrafted artifacts. Here, scents of exotic Arabian perfumes and spices float through the air. Other shops specialize in famous Omani khanjars (daggers), antiques, traditional silver jewelery and handicrafts in copper, camel bone, wood, leather, and hand-made Omani costumes. Afterward, we will return by coach to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Muscat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Exploring Muscat
(Sunday, November 29)

Note: Today's activities include standing in the Royal Opera House and in the Bait al Zubair Museum.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach to visit the Royal Opera House in Muscat to learn how classical music and the architecture of building has influenced the local culture. The organization serves as a laboratory for creativity as well as intellectual exchanges and its high-tech venue pays tribute to and presents diverse artistic and cultural expressions from the Sultanate, the region, and the world. The Opera House features world class and local performances throughout the year. Afterwards, enjoy a guided visited of the Bait al Zubair Museum to experience the splendid Omani heritage. The collection at the museum includes traditional Omani jewelry, costumes, traditional weapons, and more. You will have time to explore the museum on your own before enjoying a panoramic tour of Muscat.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture providing an overview of Omani history with a focus on modern and contemporary history, politics, economy, and international relations. The lecture will also discuss a select topic from Oman's society and culture that are typically of interest to tourists and visitors such as architecture, cuisine, and ethnic make-up.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Muscat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Transfer to Ras al-Jinz
(Monday, November 30)

Note: Today's activities include coach travel as well as walking and standing at the Bimmah Sinkhole and the Ras al-Jinz Scientific Centre. Please wear comfy footwear!



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will check out of the hotel in Muscat and take a scenic drive to Sur. We will stop at Bimmah Sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom. Located in the Hawiyat Najm Park, the sinkhole was created by a natural process of erosion. There is also the possibility to climb down the 100 steps to take a quick swim. Following the visit, we will continue on to Sur, historically known as a regional hub for building wooden ships. Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic tour of the city.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will visit the Dhow factory of Sur, where Omani traditional boats were built and traveled to China, India, Zanzibar, Iraq and many other countries. This will be a unique opportunity for you to witness the making of traditional Dhow by the experienced craftsman.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: We will assemble at the hotel lobby and depart to Ras al-Jinz Scientific Centre to watch turtles nestling on the sands.
   
Accommodations: Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Explore Wahiba Sands
(Tuesday, December 1)

Note: Today's activities include 4x4 vehicle travel across the Wahiba dunes towards the camp where you will spend the night. This is a dune bushing day! Please inform your group leader if you prefer high or low dunes. Our drivers are professionally trained to do dune bashing, so sit back and enjoy the roller coaster feeling!



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will visit Wadi Bani Khalid, considered to be one of the most beautiful wadi’s (valley) in Oman. The drive to Wadi Bani Khalid is through the Eastern Hajar Mountains, which offers a panoramic view of the landscape below. We will pass many pretty villages embedded in the mountains, where the road winds down to the wadi alongside a large, shallow pool fringed with vegetation and ends at a village. We will continue on a short trek to the deep blue pools of the wadi. If you wish, you can swim in these pure natural pools.
 Lunch: En route to the camp.
 Afternoon: In the north of Wahiba Sands are the most incredible sand dunes, some reaching a colossal 300 feet high and separated by enormous depressions. These beautiful dunes stretch as far as the eye can see, and it is a spectacular sight especially in the evening and the morning. If you have a sense of adventure, drive over the dunes, known as dune bashing, to experience the roller coaster like feeling with the experienced drivers. After dune bashing, we will visit a Bedouin house in this wilderness. The Wahiba Sands is also home to the Bedouins who are used to this harsh climate. There are over 3,000 Bedouins of varying tribal origins who live here amongst the woodland on the fringes of the sands.
 Dinner: At the camp.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Arabian Oryx Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Transfer to Nizwa
(Wednesday, December 2)

Note: Today's activities include travel by 4x4 vehicle and by coach.



   
 Breakfast: At the camp.
 Morning: We will check out of the camp and transfer by 4x4 vehicles to Nizwa. On the way to Nizwa, you will come face to face with the enormous desert. We will stop in Sinaw, passing numerous small enclosures on the way made of palm fronds that nowadays house goats and sheep. Behind the wall is the Sinaw Souq where you will find local jewelry, food, artifacts, and bedouin makeup for sale.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Hear the story of the high peaks of Jabal Akhdhar in the Western Hajjar Mountains of Northern Oman which were once at the bottom of a huge tropical sea. These rocks are limestones, rich in calcium carbonate, formed during the Permian and Triassic periods between 290 and 240 million years ago. Over time, billions of dead creatures, from tiny microscopic plankton to larger shells and corals, fell to the sea floor and were gradually buried and became fossils. This fine-grained limestone can be up to 9,842 feet thick. About 90 million years ago, it was pushed up 8,202 feet above sea level, where masses of fossils can now be clearly seen. We will arrive in Nizwa in the late afternoon and check in at the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Golden Tulip Nizwa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Explore Nizwa
(Thursday, December 3)

Note: Today's activities include walking and standing in Nizwa as well as at the Al Hamra plantations and sitting during Al Barazah.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a panormic tour of Nizwa and a guided field trip to the 17th century round tower fort near Nizwa, which is Oman’s most impressive tower. Built on a solid base of rock, the huge tower was designed to withstand the vibrations of 24 cannons. From the top, visitors will enjoy a superb bird’s eye view of Nizwa and the surrounding plains – a sure delight for all avid photographers. Afterward, we will visit Jabreen Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Oman. It is different from other Omani forts due to it not being built during war time in addition to it not being a fortification that was expanded by different Imams overs centuries. It is essentially a palace constructed in times of peace by a ruler who was passionate about science and art, which consequently made it the most beautiful historic castle found in Oman. Later on, enjoy a panoramic tour of Bahla, a beautiful town, famous for its ancient fort and pottery.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will depart for Al Hamra date plantations. Walk through the narrow streets where little has changed over the last hundred years. Discover the ancient Omani daily life including Qahwa (coffee) making, the making of Omani traditional bread, percolating of rose water, grain grinding, extraction of Alshoa medical, making of perfumes and frankincense, hand tailoring the making of Omani Kumma (Man head cover), palm lives industries, the making of hand-made fans, butter extraction and the making of dates and lemon drinks. Experience Al Barazah, a name that refers to the Omani gathering where people sit to exchange views and news. Al Barazah sitting is conducted in a traditional environment where Arabian coffee (Qahwa), Omani Halwa (sweets), Omani bread, dates Malook, and other Omani traditional dishes are served and frankincense is released. A host will describe the way of living while you enjoy coffee and the traditional dishes.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Golden Tulip Nizwa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Flight to Khasab
(Friday, December 4)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will check out of the hotel and transfer by coach to Muscat Airport to board the flight to Khasab.
 Lunch: On your own at the airport.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival in Khasab, check in at the hotel and enjoy some leisure time to enjoy the hotel facilities.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Atana Khasab
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Explore Khasab
(Saturday, December 5)

Note: Today's activities include travel by coach, walking and standing at the Khasab Castle and at Qadah, and travel on the dhow.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for a city exploration of Khasab, the capital city of Musandam. The field trip will include a visit to the Khasab Castle and the neighbouring village Qadah. The Khasab Castle was originally built by the Portuguese in the seventeeth century and certain parts of the old castle can be seen through the circular tower located in the center of the castle. The present castle built by the Omanis has fourth strongholds which we will see during our visit. At the village of Qadah, we will view the petroglyphs, which are prehistoric rock carvings depicting camels, ships, and warriors. Afterward, we will transfer to Khasab harbour to board the traditional Omani dhow and start cruising into the spectacular fjords of Musandam, passing small fishing villages, and the famous telegraphic island.
 Lunch: Onboard the Dhow.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time. There is the possibility of swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters if you are interested. It is also possible to see Humpback dolphins. This type of dolphin is listed by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) as endangered. We will return to the hotel by coach in the early evening.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Atana Khasab
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Transfer to UAE, Discover Coastal Cities of Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah
(Sunday, December 6)

Note: Today's activities include travel by coach to all visits, walking and standing in the museums, and crossing the international border to the UAE. Please ensure that your passport is kept in your purse or hand bag that you will bring with you onboard the bus and NOT in your suitcase. The drive from Khasab to Ras al Khaimah is about one hour and 30 minutes. The drive from Ras al Khaimah to Sharjah is about one hour and 30 minutes. The drive from Sharjah to Dubai is about 30 minutes.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided visit to the National Museum of Ras al-Khaimah with some time to explore on your own. It is located behind the Police Headquarters in a fort that was the residence of the ruling family until the early 1960s. The National Museum houses a collection of archeological and ethnological artifacts. The Qawasim room on the first floor contains documents, manuscripts, and treaties between the rulers of Ras al Khaimah and the world, as well as some traditional weapons belonging to the ruling family.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will transfer by coach to Sharjah, considered to be the center of Islamic civilization in the UAE. You will explore the one-of-a-kind Islamic civilization museum in Sharjah with your guide with some time to discover on your own. The museum opened in 2008 and covers Islamic culture, with more than 5,000 artefacts from many Muslim countries. Displayed objects include calligraphy, carvings, ceramics, coins, glass, manuscripts, metalwork, and scientific instruments. Afterwards, explore Souq al-Arsah in Sharjah, the oldest souq (market) in the country. Later, stop at the traditional coffeehouse for a mint tea and a plate of dates.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Arabian Courtyard
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Exploring Modern Dubai
(Monday, December 7)

Note: Today's activities include travel by coach and monorail, as well as walking around free form pools to reach the fountains. Please ensure that you keep your valuables, including your passport in the safe located in your room. Keep a copy of your passport with you at all times. Burj Khalifa is often crowded and requires walking a couple hundred yards to reach the elevator that takes you to the 124th floor.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: With an international architect, explore some of the most amazing modern architectural landmarks of Dubai. At the end of the tour, the coach will bring you back to the hotel. Later on, we will take the coach to the monorail to visit the Palm Islands, which are two man-made islands. Enjoy the spectacular view from the monorail while the architect explains the architecture.
 Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine.
 Afternoon: Visit Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It is named after UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed and it broke many world records. This tower has the highest outdoor observation deck in the world. The group will have a chance to enjoy a unique view of Dubai from this deck (124th floor). Later on, watch the awesome Dubai fountains. This is a record-setting choreographed fountain system set on the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake at the centre of the Downtown Dubai. Illuminated by 6,600 lights and 25 colored projectors, it is 902 feet long and shoots water 490 feet into the air (equivalent to a 50-story building), accompanied by a range of classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Arabian Courtyard
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Visit Abu Dhabi
(Tuesday, December 8)

Note: Today's activities include visits by coach with minimal walking. All sites are on the ground floor and easily accessible for people with limited mobility. The drive to Abu Dhabi is about two hours without traffic. Please note that in the mosque, women must wear headscarves and shorts and t-shirts are prohibited for both men and women.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Learn about the UAE national bird, the falcon, through a field trip to the worldwide-known Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, which opened its doors to visitors in 2007 to experience the fascinating world of falcons and falconry. This is a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget; it will give you a deep insight into the world of the majestic bird, the history of falconry, as well as the life of falcons in modern times.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided exploration of the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi and gain a different perspective of the culture and architecture of the UAE. This mosque is the largest in the country and its design and construction unites the world, using artisans and materials from over 12 countries. The 60,570 square feet carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world's largest carpet. The mosque is large enough to accommodate over 40,000 worshippers. Afterward, we will have a guided visit by coach of the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi as well as Saadiyat Island. Enjoy the picturesque architecture.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Arabian Courtyard
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Introduction to UAE Culture and History, Explore the Old City of Dubai
(Wednesday, December 9)

Note: Please note that women must bring a head scarf or shawl to cover the head and arms if a short sleeve shirt is worn. Shorts above the knee for men and women inside the mosque are not permitted. Please wear comfy shoes and bring your sunglasses and/or a hat as there will be approximately two miles of walking. In addition, always keep a bottle of water with you to ensure hydration.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will begin with a walk through the Al Fahidi Historic district and head to Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) to have a cultural discovery and Q&A session on the UAE culture and Islam. Afterwards, we will depart by coach to learn about Dubai traditions. Dubai has a number of souqs scattered all over the city. Dubai souqs are bright, colorful, noisy, and fascinating like any other market place. Dubai's Gold Souq is where narrow streets are lined with shop windows glinting with ornaments. The Dubai spice souq is located just next to the gold souq. The colorful array of spices and their heady aroma is tantalizing.
 Lunch: At the SMCCU.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided visit of the Dubai Museum with some time to explore on your own. The museum was built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. The museum was opened by the ruler of Dubai in 1971, with the aim of presenting the traditional way of life in the Emirate of Dubai. It includes local antiquities as well as artefacts from African and Asian countries that traded with Dubai. It also includes several dioramas showing life in the emirate before the advent of oil in addition to artefacts from recent discoveries as old as 3000 B.C. Afterwards, return to the hotel on foot and take some time to pack and rest before your departure.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Arabian Courtyard
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15: Departures
(Thursday, December 10)

Note: Transfer to the airport and departures early morning



   
 Morning: Transfer to the airport very early in the morning for your flight back home. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
 Brunch: On flight.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A History of the Arab Peoples


Author: Albert Hourani


Description: Called a landmark, masterpiece and essential to understanding the Middle East, Hourani's acclaimed chronicle of the political, spiritual, religious and cultural traditions of the Arab peoples is brought up to date with an afterword by noted Islamic scholar Malise Ruthven.



A Peace to End All Peace


Author: David Fromkin


Description: Indispensable to understanding current tensions, alliances and the colonial legacy of the region, Fromkin's vivid tale of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the making of the modern Middle East is out in a 20th anniversary edition.



Arabian Sands


Author: Wilfred Thesiger


Description: The last of the great British traveler-explorers, Thesiger (1910-2003) journeyed among the nomadic camel-breeding peoples of Southern Arabia in the late 1940s, falling in love with the desert and ways of life of the Bedouin. This eloquent book is his tribute to them.



Behind the Veil in Arabia, Women in Oman


Author: Unni Wikan


Description: An insightful and remarkable look at the role of women in Oman based on Wikan's fieldwork as well as her personal experiences and impressions of the place.



Dubai, UAE, Qatar & Bahrain Dubai and United Arab Emirates Map


Author: World Mapping Project


Description: A double-sided map of these Arabian Gulf countries at a detailed scale of 1:470,000.



Islam, A Short History


Author: Karen Armstrong


Description: Armstrong brings authority and experience to this vivid, clear-headed survey of the history and impact of Islam from the birth of Muhammad to present-day challenges. The best short introduction to the subject.



Lonely Planet Dubai


Author: Terry Carter, Lara Dunston


Description: A practical guide to Dubai featuring maps and detailed information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing. With a few color photographs and excellent travel information.



Nine Parts of Desire, The Hidden World of Islamic Women


Author: Geraldine Brooks


Description: A highly readable overview of the role of women in Islamic society, drawn from the author's many interviews with women throughout the Arab World.



Oman, United Arab Emirates Map


Author: Gizi Map


Description: Oman and the UAE at a scale of 1:1,250,000.



The Road to Ubar, Finding the Atlantis of the Sands


Author: Nicholas Clapp


Description: A fascinating day-by-day account of Clapp's search in the 1980s for the ruins of Ubar, an ancient Arabian trading center on the frankincense route in Oman's Empty Quarter.





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