Oman is hot! As I write this post, at night, it’s 37 degrees Celsius (98 Fahrenheit). Yikes, that is hot. But it’s only hot in the summer (May-September), and there are many fun way to beat the heat if you do decide to visit during the hot season. Below are my 13 way to beat the heat in Oman.
D’s 13 Ways to Beat the Heat in Oman
1. Jebal Akhdar
Known locally as “Green Mountain”, Jebal Akhdar sits at about 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) above sea level which means it’s always cooler than the bottom of the mountain, often times 20 degrees cooler! A number of wonderful villages with terraced farming fields exist here including hiking trails, perfect for a few days of exploring.
2. Jebal Shams
Further along the Hajar Mountians sits Jebal Shams, or “Sun Mountain, another altitude induced way to beat the heat in Oman. Here you will find Oman’s Grand Canyon and a number of hiking and camping options. The best activity on Jebal Shams is swimming at As Sab village after hiking along the easy Balcony Walk hike.
Again, altitude is your friend in the summer and the Selmah Plateau is another great way to beat the heat in Oman. Camping is your only option here but there are a number of adventurous and cultural activities like visiting the Jaylah Tower Tombs or entering the 7th Hole Cave… spooky.
4. Beach Time
Oman has fantastic beaches no doubt, but the summer heat makes visiting the beach almost unbearable. However, you will be happy to know, there are certain times and locations that could make the beach a suitable place to beat the heat. August is a time when temperatures start to cool and a nice breeze develops around Muscat, meaning it could be possible enjoy an afternoon at the beach. As Sifah and my Secret Beach both are shaded later in the afternoon. Shade, breeze, and the ocean come together to make an enjoyable afternoon at the beach; it’s hot but bearable. Further outside Muscat you will find any beach from Ras al Hadd, south to Salalah, having “cool” breezes thanks to the fringes of the Khareef monsoonal flow.
5. Ras al Hadd
Here is where the Gulf of Oman stops and the Indian Ocean begins. Anything south of this geographical feature will be blessed with the effects of the Khareef monsoon, meaning possible clouds, stiff breezes, and lower temperatures. Expect to find daytime highs of 33C (91F) and night-time lows of 24C (75F) in August. In addition to cooler temps, Ras al Hadd is known for its turtle nesting, and summer is high season for egg laying. There are a number to hotels and camping options here.
6. Masirah Island
This wonderful island is my go-to spot for beating the heat when I need some beach time. Here you will find a mostly desolate island ripe with interesting beaches to explore. Summer highs hover around 30C (86F), but what keeps the felt heat down most is the consistent wind of 20 knots+. I froze my ass off here on my first visit in August 2011 as I didn’t have a tent to shelter from the wind at night. Also, Masirah Island is a mecca for kite surfers and there are a few serviced camps supporting this activity. You will also find a few hotels of varying quality on the island.
Visiting Salalah is the kings way to beat the heat in Oman. No, really; His Majesty Sultan Qaboos is from Dhofar and keeps a palace in Salalah. The Khareef Monsoon squarely hits Salalah, bringing loads of misty clouds and wet, tropical weather. Salalah hosts a Khareef festival which brings in tourist from all over the gulf looking to beat the relentless summer heat. This September I plan to visit just after all the throngs of tourist have gone, inshallah.
8. Ice Skating
Here is a fun way to beat the heat in Oman. Located in Qurm, Muscat; the Fun Zone is a place to literally chill out.
In the 5 years I have been living in Muscat, I have seen three malls built, two malls remodeled/expanded, and one ginormous mall announced. Oman is clearly looking to catch up to Dubai in the mall department, but still there is a long way to go. Avenues Mall and Muscat Grand Mall (MGM) are the newest and lie directly next to each other. Recently expanded Muscat City Centre features some nice shops, however it is not in the city center.
10. Ice Cream
The best way to beat the heat! I mostly hit up the petrol station store or small grocery cold store for my favorite; a rich, creamy, cone shaped pistachio ice cream called kulfi malai pista made by Emirati company Kwality. Other options in Muscat include the shops: Ice Cream Mama in MGM, Cold Stone Creamery, and of course Baskin Robbins.
11. Juice Shops
Keeping with the theme of cool treats, stop buy one of the ubiquitous juice shops to get yourself a fresh juice or falooda juice cocktail. What’s great about juice shops is you will find them in every decent size city in Oman. Just look for the line of impatiently waiting Omanis honking their horn at the attendant. This is the true local way to beat the heat.
A number of hotels offer day use of their pool facilities for a fee. So, staying at a budget hotel but want to use the pool at the Hyatt? No problem; they even have a poolside bar serving up cold beer. Haram!
13. Lazy River
I have to mention the lazy river at Shangri-La, because who doesn’t like a lazy river? What’s nice about this lazy river is you don’t need to be a hotel guest. You pay for a pool/lunch package and have use of all the pool/beach facilities. Is there a better way to beat the heat in Oman?