Monday, October 18, 2010

Norway! (of Arabia)

For my birthday Sam arranged for a weekend getaway in the Musandam peninsula in Oman, more specifically at the Golden Tulip resort just outside the village of Khasab (about a five hour drive from Abu Dhabi).

As you can see above, the hotel is built on a hill jutting into the Persian Gulf, but since we arrived after dark Thursday evening we only experienced the full impact of the view from our room when we pulled back the curtains Friday morning. Check it out-

We spent most of Friday on a traditional Omani dhow cruise through the fjords which have earned Musandam the nickname, “Norway of Arabia.” The tour included a stop at Telegraph Island for snorkeling, a delicious lunch of local fare, including freshly-caught fish grilled right on the boat, and ample time to soak in the sun and scenery, swim, and enjoy the occasional dolphin sighting. It was possibly the most relaxing day I’ve ever had. The coastline of Musandam is stunning in its intrinsic beauty and also its wildness; it is a land yet to be touched by the kind of extreme development we see in the UAE, so for now anyway, you can experience the natural beauty of the fjords and surrounding waters without much interference.

Telegraph Island

Feeding the fish from the dhow

Fresh from our snorkeling adventure


The guide said we would probably get to see dolphins, but we had no idea the dolphins would be waiting to put on a show for us! The action was too quick to capture with our amateur photography skills so bear with me as I now share a “home video.” And yes, the person you hear laughing in the video is me – apparently I was quite delighted by this unexpected birthday present!

Ellen, we thought of you!

Before driving back to Abu Dhabi on Saturday morning, we stopped at a couple of beaches to take more pictures and just enjoy the sound of waves crashing ashore. True, we do live on an island, but the city of Abu Dhabi is protected from any real waves by a manmade breakwater offshore, so our beaches, while lovely, do not have quite the same effect.

Happy birthday to me!


  1. I love sharing your delight over the antics of the dolphins. I'm happy you have such a happy memory of a totally relaxing day in this unusual setting as a special birthday celebration. Way to go, Sam!

  2. Last week i was in Dubai for short trip i really enjoyed Musandam Khasab