Arabian Oasis – Oman, Writes National Geographic Adventure
Date: 10 January 2009
The popular American international magazine, National Geographic Adventure (NGA) has featured Oman as a world-class destination in their December 2008 - January 2009 edition - BEST OF ADVENTURE - World Class: Lodges + Escapes. Renowned travel writer Costas Christ in his report on Oman titled, 'Arabian Oasis – Oman' has eulogized Oman's pristine beauty and world-class facilities.
Oman Air's Corporate Communications and Media Head, Usama Karim Al Haremi, notes that National Geographic Adventure, winner of four American National Magazine Awards, is the fastest-growing magazine in the outdoor category and the ultimate guide to the adventure lifestyle. Published 10 times a year, with a rate base of 600,000, National Geographic Adventure has 2.4 million readers.
Costas Christ is an internationally recognized American expert on sustainable tourism and serves as the Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which recognizes leading examples from around the world of environmentally and socially responsible travel. He is a founding member and former Chairman of the Board of The International Ecotourism Society. He writes a regular column for National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
Says Costas in the recent edition of NGA: "Move over, Dubai - Oman's rugged riches are catching on. When I asked the late explorer Wilfred Thesiger how to retrace his 1949 route across Oman, he recommended setting out during the same month he did, in December. It was sound advice. Winter brings crisp nights and pleasant (read: not hot) days, making it an ideal time to scramble along the Hajar Mountains’ sunbaked wadis and trek across the sand dunes of the Empty Quarter. Oman, as I found, is more than the sum of its desert parts: The country’s 1,300-mile coastline boasts world-renowned diving, and its monarch, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, makes a point of safeguarding traditional cultures and the environment."
Costas also recommends that tourists can go on hikes into the Ru’us Al Jibal plateau—one of the last remaining wild areas on the Arabian Peninsula. Al Haremi highlighted that The Hajar mountain range runs 640 km from the south of Oman to end in the Musandam, where the aptly named Ru'us al Jibal , or Heads of Mountains, plunge dramatically and dizzily into the sea. "While offshore, the sky blue Gulf of Oman draws kayakers into a maze of hidden caves and secluded coves. Sixty-one years after Thesiger’s journey, off-the-beaten-path Oman still awaits discovery. A Must-Do: The month long Muscat Festival kicks off in January. Wander amid clouds of frankincense and myrrh while taking in Arab music, art, and cuisine" Costas writes.
Al Haremi also noted about the positive attention that Oman has been receiving from the travel and trade industry specialists. He brought to notice the comments by G.A.P Adventures, the largest adventure travel company in Canada that is known for their offer of socially and environmentally sensitive travel.
In their Destination Guide on Oman, the simple foreword read thus: "One of only two Sultanates in the world, Oman is like the best theme park version of itself one can imagine. Thanks to the total control of a benevolent leader, Oman is a trip back in time coupled with all the advantages of the future. Cruise past immaculately restored 16th century fortresses, while driving shiny land cruisers on perfect roads. Everywhere traditional flowing dishdashas are the clothes of choice, and there is not a mall in sight. Simply put: one of the best places to experience traditional Arab culture, anywhere."
Al Haremi also noted that Bruce Poon Tip launched G.A.P Adventures in 1990 with the intention of offering travelers authentic adventures in the real world. As of 2008, the company has over 500 employees worldwide and offers more than 1000 adventure tours to over 100 countries on all seven continents. G.A.P Adventures was the only travel arrangement company included in the respected list of Canada's Top 100. G.A.P Adventures is named the number 1 "Do It All Outfitter on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure magazine's survey of Best Adventure Travel Companies in the World.
Furthermore, on the awards front to name but a few, Bruce Poon Tip won The Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year award, as well as the New Pioneers award in the Entrepreneurship category. National Geographic selects a G.A.P Adventures tour for its 25 Best New Adventures of the Year, marking the sixth consecutive year one of its tours has made the list.