Al Riyam Park

Al Riyam Park

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha

Old Muscat

Old Muscat

Mutrah Souq

Mutrah Souq

Marina

Marina

Corniche

Corniche

Mutrah Souq

Mutrah Souq

Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House

Talif, policeman

Talif, policeman

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said

Oman

Muscat

October 2014 • Oman is one of the best-kept secrets in the entire Middle East, if not the world. Hugging the eastern edge of the Arabian peninsula, it's no dessicated landscape roiled by political instability and economic extremes. Oil and gas revenue plus a beloved, visionary sultan have guaranteed Omanis an infrastructure and standard of living that are in line with the 21st century—but nowhere near as cartoonish as the Emirates next door. A variety of mountain range, desert, and coastline refutes any preconception of barrenness. And more important for visitors, Oman has an incredibly welcoming culture of hospitality and generosity, uncorrupted (so far) by foreign interference and mass tourism. Sultan Qaboos has no heir and is reportedly ill, so the line of succession is murky. I'm holding my breath and hoping the best for this extraordinary country.

Al Riyam Park

Al Riyam Park

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha

Old Muscat

Old Muscat

Mutrah Souq

Mutrah Souq

Marina

Marina

Corniche

Corniche

Mutrah Souq

Mutrah Souq

Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House

Talif, policeman

Talif, policeman

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque