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Oman (Bradt Travel Guides) Paperback – 22 Dec 2016
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About the Author
Tony Walsh has written extensively about Oman for local and international media as well as for Oman government publications. He has lived in Arabia since 1986, for most of that time in Muscat. Though initially managing retail businesses in Oman and Saudi Arabia, he has also worked in tourism since 1993, exploring Oman from the Straits of Hormuz to the Yemen border and beyond. His Arabic can justifiably be called 'street Arabic' as, although he learnt to read and write in a class, it was the man on the street who taught him the language. His coffee table book on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Oman covers each of the thirteen locations which are spread throughout the country. ABOUT THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR Diana Darke has known Oman for over 30 years when she first worked there for the Omani government in 1980. She still has many Omani colleagues and friends in the country. With a BA in Arabic (Oxford) and an MA in Islamic Art and Architecture (SOAS, London) her in-depth cultural background knowledge is second to none, and is rarely found in guidebooks. She is the author of sixteen guidebooks on Turkey and the Middle East.
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The Guide was well up to date for visiting Muscat, especially Museums and Restaurants.
Salalah it was totally invaluable to me, it Sadly omitted my Hotel, The Inter City in Central Salalah...(it opened in June 2016) The Restaurants it mentioned were all First class especially The Baalbeck Lebanese Restaurant...
Oh yes !! When you exit Salalah Airport, turn right towards a glass office where you can arrange and pay for your Taxi to your Hotel.
This is a readable guidebook, and the author lived and worked in the region for 30 years. This is not a set of listings and things to see and do, but a structured guide to the country, with things to see and do integrated into the chapters.
The Contents are -
P001: General Information
P003: Background Information (geography, history, natural history, people, etc.)
P039: Practical Information (The touristy stuff - “When to visit", red tape, health & safety, shopping, accommodation, cultural etiquette, etc)
P073: The Guide
P137: Al Batinah Coast
P189: The Adh Dhahirah & Al Buraymi
P203: Ad Dakhiliyah
P239: Ash Sharqiyyah
P269: Al Wusta
P334: Further Information
I bought this book to help decide upon if to Oman for a vacation and where to stay and what to do. In the book the hotel guide sounds like Tony Walsh/Diana Darke the authors actually seem to know them all quite well and give you some detailed descriptions (good and bad points) about them. My only criticism is that the main concern about their location seems how far the hotels are from the airport and they give the distance for each hotel in a different single measure such as actual distance in kilometres, drive time and sometimes not a clue, however you can, with diligence, work out where it is from the surrounding text and maps. At first glance, the maps, nearly all small black and white line diagrams, look a bit casual and they certainly are not designed to navigate you around the streets but for identifying where places are and how far away from other places, they are excellent. Each map has a scale on it.
The history of the country, which was very difficult to visit as a tourist until the 1990s, is very well described and gives you a good feel of the recent difficulties the country has had to overcome to be a modern outward looking state.
The descriptions of the places of interest is much better than in most guides, again the authors know these places.
General travel information, Electrical, weather, currency is well covered in brief paragraphs.
The photographs are good but crammed in two small sections rather than illustrating the text to which they may relate.
Overall the book seems to cover more detail than the better known ones in less space.