A short trip away from the bustling city of Dubai and the dramatic Hajar Mountains is Oman’s breathtaking Musandam Peninsula. An enclave of Oman which juts out into the Straight of Hormuz, the peninsula is one of the Gulf’s least accessible areas, but also one of its most magical. Historically, the inhabitants of the area earned their living mainly through fishing, boat building and a number of traditional crafts – remnants of which are still visible and appreciated such as when one spots a lone dhow fishing boat on the Indian Ocean.
The isolated and harsh environment of the peninsula is dominated by the magnificent Hajar mountain range which extends about 640 kilometers from R’as Al-Haddad in the south, up to Khasab before it concludes in Ru’us Al-Jebal creating deep fjords and inlets which jut out into the sea – natural characteristics for which the area has often been called “the Norway of the Middle East.” But a trip to Musandam is worthwhile not only for the area’s natural beauty, but also for the many outdoors activities such as paragliding, diving and hiking which can be experienced on the peninsula’s rough terrain. It is thus an area to be visited by all.
Six Senses Zighy Bay
Located within Musandam is also the region’s renowned Six Senses Zighy Bay Resort. Acclaimed throughout the Middle East for its serene and peaceful ambiance, guests arrive by a soaring paraglide ride, a fresh-air speed boat or a car drive over the rough Hajar Mountains. The resort is set on a stretch of sandy beach and resembles a traditional Omani village, with narrow passageways between individual villas juxtaposed by palm trees and sandy roads. The resort is the epitome of “barefoot luxury” – a term which adequately describes the simple yet stunning and also, environmentally-friendly ambiance of this special abode.
A brisk walk around the serene property reveals 82 villas complete with built to resemble traditional Omani style residences. Quaintly decorated with white walls and dark wood interiors, each villa features its own infinity pool situated away from public view in order to ensure privacy and tranquility. From out on the deck, which is surrounded by wicker gates, one can revel in the stunning view of golden sands and the Arabian Sea set before them. In addition, charming touches such as chessboards, his-and-hers bicycles and a small collection of literary classics grace the interiors of each residence adding a personalized and intimate ambiance.
Just being surrounded by Musandam’s breathtaking natural landscape is enough to relax and revitalize. Yet Six Senses heightens the experience by offering one of the region’s premier spas. Featuring a host of treatments in addition to personalized wellness programmes available in three, five and seven day packages according to varying themes, the spa also provides courses such as Yoga and meditation classes as well as workshops conducted by visiting specialists in health and wellness.
Yet relaxing and revitalizing goes beyond just a spa experience. Six Senses promotes a healthy way of life through organic foods and sustainable fishing practices. A walk through the property will reveal the resort’s charming organic garden, where fresh fruits and vegetables are cultivated daily and used in cuisine prepared in the resort’s restaurants. Abiding by sustainable fishing practices prohibits the resort from serving of hammour and king fish, both which are overfished. So adamant it is on eating and fresh and healthy, you’ll be ensured of delicious home-made cuisine at whichever eatery you select. A definite restaurant to note is The Edge, a restaurant situated on top of the Hajar Mountains overlooking Six Senses and the stunning beachfront below.
A destination which calms the mind and the body, Six Senses Zighy Bay is about another kind of luxury. Here luxury comes in the form of the experience of simple earthly pleasures – such as watching a magnificent sunset on the beach, devouring fresh, home-made ingredients, long walks or a serene boat ride along the coast. The resort is a gem within the Gulf – a naturally hidden enclave which provides the much-needed escapade from bustling city centers.