When Time Out turned up at the guest house run by Nomad Ocean Adventures in Dibba, we weren’t convinced that the weekend ahead would be a winner. On Oman’s side of Dibba, at the north-eastern tip of the Oman/UAE peninsula, the air was filled with the stench of the local fishermen’s most recent catch, which had been laid out in the sun to dry and was undergoing a trampling by various goats. It all seemed a little unappetising, and had attracted a great many flies. But Time Out learned a valuable lesson that weekend: first impressions do not always last.
The guesthouse has a touch of the rustic about it, divided into two and three-bed rooms with simple, communal lounge and bathroom facilities. It’s like a grown-up version of a backpackers’ hostel, and is all the more fun for it. Run by dive master Christophe Chellapermal and his wife Manisha, the couple are the warmest, friendliest hosts you could ask for. Each night they put on a barbecue for guests to enjoy in the sitting area outside, making for a sociable evening of meeting and trading stories with the vast array of people this guest house attracts (we met a French publishing powerhouse, an English girl who grew up in Bahrain, numerous Germans and a playboy from Abu Dhabi).
The food is prepared by Christophe’s parents, who also join in the festivities, and beverages are the most fairly priced you’ll find in the region. We had a thoroughly fantastic time, and somehow ended up in a club with all our new friends in Fujairah – and all this before the main point of the weekend: deep-sea diving.
The next day we were taken out to dive, not with Christophe but his friend and fellow dive master Alfonso, a Spanish magician. Far out into the waters of Musandam we travelled, the surrounding mountains so beautiful that no one on the boat could take the daft grin off their face. The dive was spectacular, the water completely clear of the recent red tide and home to all manner of wildlife (apparently a whale shark regularly hangs out near our dive site, but he didn’t show).
Nomad’s priority is to preserve local flora, fauna and culture, so all wildlife was treated with respect, and all litter came back home with us. It was exactly the break from Dubai we were looking for: quiet, unspoiled natural beauty, and new, friendly faces with conversation outside of work/rent/traffic. Highly recommended.
See www.discovernomad.com for full price list and range of activities. +968 268 36 299 or +971 50 885 3238. firstname.lastname@example.org.