Everyone living in Dubai craves weekend getaways to somewhere quiet and I am not exception.
We decided to explore a new part of Oman, particularly the mountain of Jebel Akhdar.
The mountains boasts being the highest point in the Gulf and has an awesome authentic feel there.
Unlike driving to Muscat, we took a different road there, passing via Al Ain.
We didn’t have any problems on the border, the line up was a lot smaller than in Jajaja and we were through quite quickly.
A lot less tourists on the Al Ain border.
Once you cross into Oman, for a long time you are in a sort of no mans land until you approach the Oman side border check point where you can purchase Oman insurance if you don’t have any already.
On route there is so much cool stuff.
Little forts, mosques, Palm groves and just overall a really cool old school Arabic authentic vibe with a lot of history.
There are ruins of old buildings all over and some big forts too.
We were a bit pressed for time and just one driver so we didn’t make too many stops.
Once you reach the base of Jebel Akhdar there is another checkpoint and you will not be let through unless you have a 4×4 vehicle.
Rightfully so, because the driver is really difficult with a very steep climb that lasts a long time.
There are some awesome views along the way with really breathtaking canyons and mountain ridges, covered with shrubs and trees.
On the mountain there are 3 really expensive but really awesome hotels – Anantara and Alila Jebel Akhdar that cost upwards of 500$ per room per night for 2 with half board.
For something more budget, there are plenty of spots for camping and another hotel called Sabah Hotel where we stayed, which was decent, but a little basic.
Wadi Bani Habib
A very interesting place to explore is Wadi Bani Habib, an old village in a scenic wadi located in the mountains which is now abandoned.
Apparently, once a thriving village, it began being increasingly affected by land falls which the very superstitious Omanis took as a sign that they should leave.
The village is a little difficult to access and takes a little climbing but it has room for exploring the old houses which used to be there that are very pretty on the inside and outside.
We found one houses totally intact and really awesome to explore the inside to see how they traditional way of life was here, decades ago.
Old Omani House
Exploring the inside of the house was very cool as it was very much intact and unlike just rubble was actually liveable.
The village is split into 2, with another section about a kilometre further away from the access point ‘entrance’ however our trip was cut short as I was stung by a wasp right in the forehead.
It was a very strange bite and got me right in the middle of the forehead.
Due to the swelling, this basically ended our exploration of Jebel Akhdar, however we definitely plan to go back because there is a lot of cool stuff still unexplored.
It is an awesome area to get away from Dubai to, despite a bit of a long drive.
I would recommend more than 2 days stay there, unless of course you really enjoy long drives and especially if you have 2 or more drivers to rotate.