The Musandam peninsula is the most northerly region of Oman, covering approximately 3,000 square km of land. This province is separated from the rest of Oman by a 70 km stretch of the United Arab Emirates. Due to its geographical position and mountainous terrain it was long isolated from the rest of Oman and the region developed at its own pace.
Graded roads cut across the mountains have now made this region accessible. The grandeur of Musandam can best be explored by sea. This mountainous land mass juts out into the Straits of Hormuz giving it strategic importance over one of the busiest shipping lanes on the globe.
The Hajar mountain range, known as the “backbone” of Oman (stretching from the south at Ras al Hadd), reaches Musandam and ends with the Ru’us al Jibal (Heads of Mountains), plunging with dramatic and awesome effect into the sea.
Musandam Peninsula has an abundance of sheltered fjords, some only connected to the mainland by narrow cliffs. Fjords created by fragmented rock stretching claw-like into the sea and massive overshadowing cliffs towering above are magnificently reflected in the water below. Small villages nestle along the tortuous shoreline, most of them only accessible by sea.
Dolphins can be sighted playing in the tranquil waters. Exploring this beautiful area is best done with a dhow cruise or boat trips. There are ideal spots for swimming, diving and snorkelling.
Khasab, the main town, overlooks the Gulf of Oman and the Straits of Hormuz. The economy is diverse: fishing, agriculture and trade. There are various tribes in this region, some living in the interior mountains, occupying stone dwellings perched precariously on the side of the mountains. During summer they migrate to the coast to harvest dates and to fish.
There are sites of ancient settlements with prehistoric tombs and rock carvings, ancient forts and watchtowers, picturesque villages, islands and ports. Friendly inhabitants of this region complete the picture.