My favourite Oman photography from Muscat, Sur, Wahiba Sands, Nizwa, and beyond! Here are 59 photos to inspire you to visit Oman.

Sweeping deserts, shimmering souqs, mountain mud villages, grand mosques, Arabian sunsets. Welcome to Oman. A heady mix of excitement and anticipation greeted us as we arrived in Oman, the first time either of us had set foot in the Middle East.

Our 10-day road trip around Oman turned out to be absolutely epic and one of our top travel experiences of all time.

A little more modest than its flashy neighbours in the UAE and Qatar, Oman is one of the few places in the region that has managed to hold onto its heritage. The landscape is breathtaking in the truest sense of the word, and incredibly varied, from coast to mountains to desert.

Driving in Oman was by far the best way to get out and explore. As our road trip progressed, we were constantly blown away by what we saw and experienced. Warm hospitality greeted us at every turn. The natural light and colours and the sheer scale of Oman’s landscape made it a challenge but a joy to photograph.

I had no hope of adequately capturing Oman’s immense beauty on camera, but I hope this photo collection gives you an idea of how this Middle Eastern gem looks and feels. Here is a collection of my top Oman photography.

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A silver car parked in the desert in Oman.
A rocky mountain road in Oman.
Bahla Fortress in Oman.
Omani rial.
A blue gate in Oman.
Two Omani men sit on the waterfront in Sur at sunset.
Two men walk amongst the palm trees in Nizwa.

Oman photography: Muscat’s Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Oman’s biggest and grandest house of worship, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, is an absolute giant. Muscat, Oman’s capital, revolves around this massive mosque, whose call to prayer can be heard in every corner of the city, setting the pace of life in the souqs and beyond.

However long you are planning to spend at the mosque, triple it. The white marble forecourts are absolutely mesmerising, and you can easily spend hours studying the archway detailing, the intricate carvings and roof paintings. And don’t get me started on the carpet.

An engraved arch at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman.
A marble courtyard at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman.
A detailed mosaic at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman.
A man sits on the carpet at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman.
Two men walk through an archway at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman.

Wadis & wide open roads

Oman is made for road trips. The first part of our drive from Muscat along the coast led us to wadis and desert oases, filled with palm trees and aquamarine swimming holes. It’s pretty much mandatory to stop off at every available wadi for a quick dip. The perfect salve on a hot summer’s day.

Tall palm trees in Oman.
Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman.
Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman.
A woman swims in the Bimmah Sinkhole.
A man swims in a wadi in Oman.
People play football on the beach in Muscat, Oman at sunset.
A silver car parked against a backdrop of mountains in Oman.

Oman’s Empty Quarter

The edge of the great Arabian, Oman’s Sharqiya Sands is every bit as vast and glorious as you might imagine one of the world’s biggest deserts would be. The shifting dunes and rippled sands are a photographer’s delight.

Bright pink flowers grow on a fence in the Omani desert.
Footprints in the sand in Oman.
Oman's Empty Quarter desert.
A luxury desert camp in Oman.
Sand dunes in Oman.
Oman's desert landscape.

Mountains & mud villages

Rising out of the desert, Oman’s rocky Jebel Shams mountains could easily be mistaken for a giant quarry. Clusters of brightly plastered houses and groves of date palms cling to the sides of the mountains.

Ancient villages of crumbling mud structures built on top of stones blend seamlessly into the landscape. Wandering around Misfat Al Abriyeen, Oman’s most famous mud village, was one of the highlights of our Oman experience.

A small village in the mountains in Oman.
A mud houes in Al Hamra, Oman.
A marked hiking trail in Oman's Al Hajar mountains.
Clay jugs hang from a window in Misfat Al Abriyeen.
A traditional Omani clay house in Misfat Al Abriyeen.

Oman photography: Nizwa Fortress & Souq

Oman’s inland city, Nizwa, is famed for its clay pottery. Vessels of all shapes and sizes are sold at the Nizwa Souq, the city’s biggest marketplace. Rendered in a similar sandy palette, the adjoining Nizwa Fort is one of the most spectacular structures in Oman.

I’ll always remember the shadow patterns the searing sun cast over the geometric fort as we wandered around.

The minaret of Nizwa Mosque.
A man walks through the courtyard at Nizwa Fort in Oman.
A clay pot in the garden at Oman's Nizwa Fort.
A man climbs the stairs at Nizwa Fort.
Clay pots on ropes hang from the ceiling at a shop inside Nizwa Souq.
A clay pottery shop inside Nizwa Souq.
Nizwa clay pottery.

Oman photography: Muttrah Souq

The biggest bazaar in the biggest city, Muttrah Souq has a long history as Oman’s main marketplace. Traders sell saccharine dates, henna powder, glittering jewels, and a treasure trove of antiques and beautiful objects.

When the sun goes down, the souq comes alive.

Green dried henna for sale at a shop in Oman.
Antique oil burners at a shop in Oman.
Woven baskets at a restaurant in Muscat, Oman.
Colourful mosaic glass lamps.
Embroidered caps for sale at Oman's Mutrah Souq in Muscat.
Colourful trimmings for sale at Muttrah Souq in Muscat.
An Omani incense burner.
Traditional Omani hats.

Sur & Oman’s epic coastline

Dhow boats in various stages of construction and decay line the shoreline in Sur. This pretty coastal village of white and cream houses is the perfect place to base your stay on Oman’s coast.

From Sur, you can drive all the way out to the tip of the Arabian Peninsular to see the turtles at Ras Al Jinz.

An Omani dhow on the water in Sur.
Whitewashed houses and a blue sea in Sur, Oman.
A man in traditional Omani dress stands on the seafront at sunset.
Dhow boats on the shore in Sur, Oman.
A traditional house in Sur in Oman.
Sunset over the water in Oman.

Where to stay in Oman

  • Muscat: Levatio Hotel – Plush suites and an outdoor pool close to Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
  • Sur: Sur Hotel – retro rooms with friendly staff and walking distance to restaurants.
  • Ras Al Jinz: Sama Ras Al Jinz – glamping-style cabins close to the beach.
  • Wahiba Sands: Desert Nights Camp – luxury tents and the most incredible buffet dinner in Oman nestled in the dunes.
  • Misfat Al Abriyeen: Misfat Old House – a family owned guesthouse inside one of the village’s heritage mud homes.
  • Nizwa: Nizwa Heritage Inn – a splendid little boutique hotel with mud architecture, terrace cloisters, and Omani rugs sprawled over every floor.

Have you been to Oman? Where was your favourite place to photograph in the country?

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  1. Fantastic photos Emily!
    We are considering moving to Muscat and our initial research somehow brought us here. After sending this reply I need go to search for jobs in Sur.

  2. Emily, these photos are wonderful. I hadn’t realised just how spectacularly photographic Oman is. Happy to have stumbled upon your blog – it’s certainly improved my morning commute – and look forward to reading more in the future.

  3. Your photos are just simply stunning!! I love the Middle East, and haven’t been to Oman yet…I’m convinced I need to go now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I don’t want to be to gushy, but these photos are seriously an inspiration. What a beautiful place! Thanks for showing me a new place to be excited about 🙂

  5. Beautiful photos! Oman is such a wonderful country. It has such a unique culture from all the other countries in the region. Largely because, as you say, it has retained a lot of its culture. Will be pinning and checking out more of your articles 🙂

  6. Honestly, I did not know much about Oman. I know a couple friends who have Oman on their bucket list but I never thought about it much myself. After looking at these photos, I now know why Oman is so attractive to my friends. It’s so stunning! Your photography is amazing. I love the delicate feeling of your captures.

  7. I will be briefly stopping in Oman on my way to Egypt. Will definitely try to visit some of the places you mentioned. Nizwa Fortress looks spectacular.

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