Neighbouring outdoor experience you shouldn't miss out on
Explore the mountain of women The rocky mountains of Musandam, an Omani enclave beyond Ras Al Khaimah, are home to Jebel Harim, or the ‘mountain of women’, which at 2,087m high is the highest in the peninsula. This is a steep, narrow, winding drive ideal for those who have done a bit of off-roading in the past. Alternatively, various local tour firms can take you up.
The views of Musandam’s capital Khasab and Dibba are spectacular and the rocks here contain preserved fossils of fish, clams and molluscs. While Khasab isn’t particularly well serviced when it comes to hotels, the Golden Tulip has a decent all-day-dining restaurant where you can pull in for refreshments, and is popular with bikers who visit the area to ride the winding coastal roads. Follow the E311 to Ras Al Khaimah, and continue on Al Rams Road, then the 02 Khasab Coastal Road.
Climb the Dibba cliffs Keen rock climbers can test their mettle against the seafront cliff faces of Dibba with climbs that skirt the coastline. Absolute Adventure organises excursions on request between September and May, with expeditions lasting anything from four to eight hours, ending in a drop directly into the deep water below. A thrilling day out, all equipment, boats, water recovery, first aid and life guards are included in the price. If this isn’t quite your thing, Absolute Adventures offers a huge range of activities in both Oman and the UAE, including scenic treks, dhow cruises, kayak excursions, mountain biking and much more. Dhs495-695. Absolute Adventures, Dibba, www.adventure.ae, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn to surf With surfing lessons currently not allowed on Dubai’s beaches, Ignite Surf School UAE is now running surf safaris to other locations, such as the Maldives, as well as much closer to home in Oman. According to the school, the surf is typically found on the lower east coast, around three hours south of Muscat – all the way along the border to Yemen. Peak times fall between June and September, and more hospitable temperatures make it a great escape from the UAE heat. Email for details of upcoming trips. Safari prices vary. Ignite Surf School UAE, Al Manara Street, Dubai, www.surfschooluae.com, email@example.com (04 379 1998).
Spend a weekend on the water Until the end of February, tour company Sheesa Beach is offering overnight dhow cruises with free catering and a discover scuba diving experience for all aboard. The trip takes place in Musandam, cruising the coastline where – if you’re lucky – you could spot dolphins swimming alongside your dhow. The package includes free use of snorkelling equipment, hand fishing lines with bait, kayaks and banana boating. From Dhs4,450 for private hire for approximately 15 people. Until February 28. Sheesa Beach, Musandam, www.sheesabeach.com (+968 2 683 6551).
Go caving near Al Hamra Head to Oman’s mountainous middle section to explore beautiful caves. Gulf Leisure runs all-day excursions for groups of a minimum of four, with the option to explore the likes of Hoti Cave (ideal for beginners, with an underwater lake), Kitam Cave (near Ibri, containing rare flowers and crystals formed by rainwater), or Kahf Hoti, the longest known cave in Oman, stretching up to 5km. For the truly adventurous, there’s also the option to go cave diving. Price on request. Gulf Leisure, locations across Oman, www.gulfleisure.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.