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on 19 September 2007
I would echo Ms/Mr László's comments. While I'm aware that all guidebooks have their limitations, this guide (the first Bradt one I've used) is the first to have left me not just dissatisfied with the book but disappointed with the holiday as a whole. Of course, I take my share of the blame for that; but if you do rely on this book as your sole source of information, you'll end up finding Oman rather staid.

Even travelling with a car (which I did), more or less anywhere between Muscat and Salalah seemingly doesn't exist as far as the book is concerned. Taking the book at face value, we attempted the North-South coast road marked on the map: a wasted 500km later, we felt it might have been useful if tarmac and non-tarmac roads were differentiated; if the town of Duqm - marked on the map as equivalent to Salalah - had even a sentence of information stating that there is nothing there but a handful of houses and tents; if the intriguing 'purple lagoon', which turned out to be (and I'm not geologist) a smattering of caked salt just off the sea, had any information given other than a marking as a 'site of interest' on the map. We also almost missed a rather wonderful hill village (whose name I shamefully forget) not far from Nizwa, because the book (which I bought purely because it had been published, apparently, a month before my trip) warned us off it as it had only a dirt track. In fact, this rare piece of road information turned out to be wrong, and the road was perfectly tarmac-ed. Fortunately, our faith in the book had by now been removed completely.

I ramble, but seemingly this book is designed not only for wealthy car-driving tourists, but for those with an interest only in pre-packaged tourist sites, in urban areas, and most certainly not anything off the Muscat-Coast-Fort-Salalah beaten track. It felt as if various things had been marked on the map and/or given a cursory description - the poorly described Shisr being another example - without the author having been there or even researched the place in question. Perhaps even more damningly, given that not everyone wants to trek off into the wilderness, the book is riddled with inaccuracies (the Yemen border issue mentioned in the aforementioned review being another one, and an experience I've lost because the book put me off attempting it), and has only the sketchiest of practical detail. Thankfully, the Omani people are indeed as friendly and forthcoming as the author (repeatedly, as if with nothing else to say) asserts, and saved me from death in the desert/by tedium of shopping mall.
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on 14 February 2012
I visited Oman in February 2012 and used this Nov 2010 edition. It is OK for developing a framework for a tour but it is sadly out of date in many respects. A few errors, which we found are to do with the fast development of the road network - roads/tracks are being asphalted so are no longer restricted to 4x4s and hence you can now get to some sites with a saloon car, road routes are changed and hence some maps were wrong. Also airline routes have changed etc etc. Many sites were not open due to rennovation.
Oman is fast developing its tourism and it is difficult to keep up. Any visitor should get (very) recent update on any plans.
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on 3 January 2007
Despite claiming to be written for expats and backpackers alike, this book is one of the few near useless Bradt guides that were written only with wealthy expats and package tourists in mind.

What it does have is extensive info on sights and endless lists of very expensive, upmarket accomodation options - even those put into the "budget" category often costing over a hundred dollars!

There is almost NO information whatsoever on public transport in the country. The author listed some companies running buses to the UAE and to a grand total of four (4!) Omani cities in the introduction chapter, and then gives no information whatsoever about how to get to to destinations she describes without your own car (which she obviously has and can't imagine living without) throughout the rest of the book. Such is her ignorance of public transport that the locations of bus stations and shared taxi stands are not even marked on the town maps! As for the shared taxis, the true workhorses of Omani transport serving most towns throughout the country at fixed, low fares, she won't even tell you of their existance - never noticed them herself, maybe???

About crossing the country's border with Yemen, she claims it is impossible as the border is closed. In reality it has been open for many years, with regular buses connecting the two countries - but you wouldn't know from this book.

Activities? Oman has an excellent system of marked trekking trails in various parts of the country, one of its main highlights actually, but this book won't tell you a thing about any of them.

So if you are an expat living in Oman and looking for info on where to drive your car for the weekend, this book may be OK for you. Anyone planning to explore this fascintaing country on their own should look elsewhere - I found the 66 pages on Oman in Lonely Planet's "Arabian Peninsula" guide contained far more useful, practical info than this entire 280 pages long book. That book gives fares and details of buses and shared taxis, and hints on camping and other important tips for budget travellers, too.
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on 10 November 2011
Contains lots of information but like anything to do with Oman it will need updating soon as the changes in Oman are quick and massive. I enjoyed this book and still use it for reference.
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on 18 March 2010
Very useful guide but already needs updating. For example important new roads have been built since the guide was published - Oman is a fast-changing land.
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on 18 September 2007
I visited Oman for the first time this year and this book was invaluable. Unfortunately I could not travel as extensively as I had liked and I am not in to trekking, mountain biking or communal bus trips as another reviewer seemed to be so cannot comment on that content. All I know is that the guide to hotels, restaurants and places to see was spot on for me and the description of the country and photos I found excellent. I think for those visiting Oman, or going there to take up a position of work, this book would be a very good companion.
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on 4 March 2007
Loved this book! Well written with lots of useful information.Obviously the writers knew their stuff and this new updated version by Sandra Shields brings Oman to life. Beautiful photography with clear information of where to go, where to stay and what to do.
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on 22 November 2007
This book covers all aspects of Oman, i have not been but will do due to this book.

Very informative for the novice traveller, Sandra Shields seems to have the knowledge and captured the culture and sites to a tee. Seems to be very well well informed in local knowledge. I wonder if the author will show me the way personally. Well recommended.
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