Useful Arabic Phrases
Favorite thing: I have compiled a list of useful words and phrases that may help you on your journey: (they are phonetical)
1. As Salaam alykum = Hello or Peace Upon You
2. Sabaah al Khair = Good morning
3. Sabah al Noor = Good Morning to you (reply)
4. Tisbah al Khair = Have a good night
5. Masalma = Good Bye
6. Yoam Saeed = Have a good day
7. Lau Samaht (ee) = Excuse me (ee is for women)
8. Ana As'if = I am sorry
9. Ahfwan = Your welcome
10. Ma Ismak? = What's your name?
11. Min wayn inta? (anti) = Where are you from?
12. Ismee = My name is ....
13. Tatkallam inglizee = Do you speak English?
14. Afham = I understand
15. La Afham = I dont understand
16. Naam = Yes
17. La = No
18. Minfadlak = Please
19. Shukran Jazeelan = Thank you very much
20. Cum Hazza = How Much?
21. Ana Mareed = I am sick
Favorite thing: Summertime in Oman is absolutely brutal and there are not many ways to escape it. No matter what you read in books experiencing is a completely different experience and an experience you wont soon forget. Friends and family always ask me what it is really like and the easiest way to explain it is (my view of the interior where I live) is the air temperature in May feels like someone is putting a blowdryer on you, June is like walking in front of an oven and July is liking walking around or near a blast furnace. The true temperatures according to my experience no matter what Lonely Planet says is January is around 22 cel during the day , June has daily temps around 44 degrees and July has daily temps ranging from 49 to 56 degrees celsius. Carry an umbrella and stock up on sunscreen and water before heading out.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Fun for women
Favorite thing: Women have limited options (I mean finding a place to have fun soley for women) but there is a shop in al Shatti (near the beach in Muscat) called Nails and you have total treatment for only 7 to 10 rials. You can get your feet or hands done among other treats and I know my female friends in Oman took full advantage of the place due to good servivce and price. There is a good mix of expat women and local women who frequent the place so if you have time and looking for another way to beat the heat then try this shop out.
Beaches in Oman
Favorite thing: Oman has some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen and there are hardly anyone using them which makes it even better. In Muscat alone, there is the Qurum Beach and there is another nice beach near to the Al Bustan Hotel. Outside of Muscat, there are many beautiful beaches such as the beaches at Tiwi, Ras Al Hadd, Ras Al Jinz, Barka etc. In southern Oman, the beaches in the Dhofar region near to Salalah are also fantastic.
Favorite thing: No matter what you have heard or told when you enter the country bargaining for a hotel is a fact of life. Through my experience you can generally knock off about 15 to 20% if you are persistent enough and dont push your luck. If the staff is Indian then you may be able to get even more but generally speaking you can get a 15% discount. You can bargain for more if you stay longer as well and this holds true with almost every hotel in the country.
Plants & animals
Favorite thing: Even though the weather is dry and hot, many plants & animals still can survive in Oman. It is not easy to spot the animals because most of them are nocturnal. However, there is an orynx sanctuary somewhere in the middle of Oman where you can spot these huge animals. As for plants, you will find date trees, frankincense trees (in the south) and many other desert shrubs such as the ones shown in the photograph.
Favorite thing: The Times of Oman and the Oman Observer are the local English language newspapers. Foreign newspapers and magazines are available but they are extremely expensive. The newspapers are a great source of information regarding weather and current regional events.
Favorite thing: Oman extends from the northern fijords of the Musandam peninsula to the annually green Dhofar region in the south.
Most of the population is based on the Batinah coast, a semifertile plain running from the border with the UAE to Muscat, and separated from the rest of Arabia by the Hajar Mountains. The highest peak being Jebel Shams (Mountain of the Sun) at 3075m. Nearby, on the slopes of Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) there is fruit growing!
Between the Hajar Mountains and Dhofar, a lot of the country is comprised of flat rocky desert with sand dune areas. Notably the Wahiba Sands, also known as Sharqiya (Eastern) Sands. There is thriving and diverse marine life off Oman's 1700km coastline.Related to:
- Road Trip
Muscat, ice-skating and bagpipes
Favorite thing: In greater Muscat we not only visited the older parts and museums, but we also went to some modern shopping malls. We even visited an ice-skating hall, the coolest place in town ! In one of the shopping malls we heard bagpipe-music.
So you can really say, Muscat is a place of contrasts and surprises !!Related to:
The camel race
Favorite thing: The camel race is very popular in Oman as in other parts of Arabia. In a way, this is like horse racing in other parts of the world. As such, do visit one of the camel races in Oman if you have the chance. Actually I nearly visited one of such race but it was held early in the morning that day, so I missed it :( However, I managed to visit the camel race track and took a photo for remembrance :)
Muscat, week of the traffic
Favorite thing: In the shopping mall, where we heard the bag-pipe music, were some festivities because of the ''week of the traffic''.
We saw a lot of officials of the ministry of traffic. Like legally is required, all the employees of the ministry wear the traditional dishdasha, a long dressshirt, mostly white for the government.
They were also wearing their traditional khanjar (knife) and a turban.
Muscat, radio interview
Favorite thing: Also the press was present in the shopping mall during the festivities of the ''week of the traffic''.
The reporter of the local radiostation made a interview with someboby of the ministry. They told us, it was the minister himself.
Also the reporter is wearing the traditional dress.
Favorite thing: Visit the picturesque city of Suhar and the quaint little town of Nizwah. Nizwah has a fort, which has a Souk (local market). Caution: Don't enter the Souk on your cars for the lanes are extremely narrow.
Fondest memory: Ability of females to go places with our families and not being bothered that we are being watched. The picture shows 3 of us families standing in front of the Fort on the way to Nizwah. I am on the extreme right side wearing an Abaya, the traditional covering black robe of the Arabian peninsula.Related to:
- Family Travel
Spend time exploring some of...
Spend time exploring some of the small villages as well. If you go into the mountains, you will be rewarded with beautiful scenic views such as this. I love the contrasting colors of green against the sand colored mountains.
Doing stunts on the camel
Favorite thing: We have seen people doing stunts on motorbikes, horses, cars etc, but this is the first time I have seen stunts being performed on top of a camel ! The Bedouin friend of my Omani guide performed a few of such stunts when we visited his home at the Wahiba Sands.
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