Arabian Adventure in Oman, Dubai & Abu Dhabi - 2017

Doha • Muscat • Dubai • Abu Dhabi
  • HEAD OUT TO THE AL MAHA CONSERVATION RESERVE TO ENJOY AN UNFORGETTABLE 4X4 DESERT ADVENTURE
  • VISIT A UNIQUE AVIAN VETERINARY CENTER, THE ABU DHABI FALCON HOSPITAL
  • THRILL TO THE UNIQUE SPECTACLE OF A CAMEL RACE
DATES & PRICES
Five
Single Supplement: Call
Base prices are factored using double-occupancy rooms; supplemental fees may apply for those traveling independently.
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Petra & Amman, Jordan

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Itinerary at a Glance

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DAY 1:

Depart home / Overnight flight to Oman

This evening, you’ll fly overnight Muscat, Oman.

DAY 2:

Muscat, Oman

Arrive today in Muscat and transfer to your hotel for dinner and check-in.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Muscat

Muscat has been an important port since the first century A.D., and its history is layered with the influences of indigenous tribes as well as the Abassid, Portuguese, Ottoman, and Persians who once ruled Oman. Today, Muscat is it is still a multicultural hub and you will get acquainted with it during our exploration, starting with the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Oman’s national mosque. Cultural Discovery: The mosque’s giant prayer hall can hold 6,500 worshippers, and is illuminated by the world’s largest chandelier; you’ll also enjoy a lecture here given by a local Omani woman. Enjoy lunch before an evening at leisure today.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 4:

Muscat

This morning you’ll get a taste of a different region when you head to Nakhal village to explore its massive fort, a structure that dates to pre-Islamic times and is built around an irregularly-shaped rock. Nakhal Fort boasts imposing watchtowers and battlements, as well as the living quarters of the ruling wali, including many antique furnishings.

Cultural Discovery: On your way north, explore the fishermen’s village of Seeb. Set on the Arabian Sea along a broad, park-lined corniche, Seeb offers a breezy, easygoing contrast to the modern bustle of Muscat, and is a good place to see how everyday Omanis relax.

Then, in Nakhal, take in the fort’s commanding views, and then ride through the surrounding date palm plantations to observe the interesting irrigation system and hot spring that creates this lush oasis. There’s also a tranquil geothermal spring, where you’ll enjoy a picture-taking opportunity. Your next stop is at the Amouages perfume factory, where we see how these coveted international luxury fragrances are made.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 5:

Muscat

Today you’ll visit Nizwa Souk and Round Tower Fort. Leaving early affords you the opportunity approach Nizwa at dawn, and experience a scene straight out of “Arabian Nights.” The souk bustles with activity, and you can hunt for old khanjar daggers, silverware, Bedu jewelry, and yes, even frankincense, gold, and myrrh. Or just marvel at the goats, sheep and cows.

Cultural Discovery: Later, you’ll drive to the village of Birkat Al Mauz, strolling through lush green date plantations. Relax before journeying on a stretch of scenic winding road to Jebel Akhdar, the green jewel of the Al Hajjar Mountains, the highest range in the eastern Arabian Peninsula.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 6:

Muscat / Dubai, United Arab Emirates

After breakfast, we’ll fly to the city of Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirate of Dubai and the region’s largest and most populous global economic hub. After settling into your 5-star hotel you’ll enjoy an orientation tour that acquaints you with the surrounding Deira neighborhood, which is Dubai’s historic center, and the lovely waterfront promenade, the Corniche. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel, which has three award-wining restaurants among its 10 distinct eateries.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 7:

Dubai

Our city exploration begins with a photo stop at Burj Al Arab, a stunning luxury hotel built in the shape of a 1,053-foot tall sail evoking the classic Arabian dhow boats. Nearby we also see Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago that extends into the Persian Gulf and is built in the shape of a palm tree. Each of its “fronds” is a distinct neighborhood of luxury hotels, homes, and marinas. Nearby we see the Dubai Marina, a two-mile man-made canal lined with luxury towers and parks. Next is the Dubai Museum, housed in the old Al Fahidi Fort where we’ll admire ethnographic displays and dioramas that present traditional Dubai life before the discovery of oil made transformed the emirate into the global powerhouse it is today.

From here, we ride a traditional wooden abra boat across Dubai Creek to explore the old Spice Souk, with its eye-popping displays of herbs and spices piled in colorful mounds; and the equally eye-popping Gold Souk. Then, hop aboard the Dubai Monorail to our lunch spot at a popular Italian restaurant in the city center. Afterwards, our touring concludes with bird’s-eye views of Dubai (and well beyond) from the observation deck of Burj Khalifa. The world’s tallest building, this spiraling tower pierces the sky at more than 2,716 feet. You’ll have some time back the hotel to relax before we reconvene for dinner in the popular Souk al Bahar dining district.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Dubai

Take the morning to relax or explore as you wish. This afternoon we’ll head out to the Al Maha Conservation Reserve to enjoy an unforgettable 4x4 Desert Adventure. Boarding all-terrain safari vehicles, we’ll ride into the undulating dunes, perhaps spotting Arabian oryx and gazelle, and watching as the shifting light casts shadows and colors across the sands. As dusk approaches, we’ll toast the occasion with a sundowner, then adjourn to a desert camp. Here you will experience your own Arabian Nights-style fantasy in a billowing tent where we enjoy a typical barbecue dinner, and are entertained by musicians, belly dancers, and a desert sky full of twinkling stars.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 9:

Dubai

This morning you’ll travel to Sharjah, widely considered the nation’s cultural capital. The heritage area is on the creek from which the city originally developed, with traditional homes and museums where you can learn about Emirati customs and culture. You’ll visit Sharjah Fort, a 19th-century royal residence turned local history museum. You’ll visit the impressive Islamic Civilization Museum; the heritage area; and the Central Souk, also known as the Blue Souk, for its stunning tiles and architecture capturing the character of a traditional bazaar, nestled on the shores of Khalid Lagoon.

Transfer back to your hotel this afternoon and enjoy an afternoon at leisure before dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Dubai

Skating rinks and aquariums inside malls … buzzing beaches… exciting nightlife with twinkling lights and dazzling architecture at the Marina. There’s so much to see and do here, and today you’ll enjoy a free day to relax at your hotel, or wander out and see how the locals live. Tonight, savor a Farewell Dinner at your hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 11:

Dubai / Abu Dhabi

Today after breakfast, we’ll transfer overland to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and its capital city, also called Abu Dhabi, which lies on a T-shaped island. After settling into our hotel, we’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and then get a tour of the neighborhood, which is close to Corniche Park, beaches and the business and shopping district. The balance of the day is at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Abu Dhabi

Fields of green may not be what you think of when you envision the Middle East, but prepare to be wowed on a full-day tour to Al Ain, also known as “Garden City.” Archaeological remains here date back 4,000 years due to the oasis that drew early settlers. Learn about their “beehive” tombs and farming methods using precious water in the desert. You’ll also visit a camel market; Hili Archaeological Park, the largest Bronze Age site in the UAE dating back to the third millennium BCE; and the National Museum, where archaeological treasures and the Bronze Age are further expounded upon.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Abu Dhabi

It’s hard not to be impressed by Abu Dhabi’s futuristic profile, but today we’ll step back in time at the Emirates Heritage Village, which re-creates a traditional oasis town. In addition to the goat hair tents, falaj irrigation system, and campfire area, there are workshops where traditional craftsmen demonstrate their skills. After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll proceed to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the most opulent in the world. Its bulbous domes may remind you of the Taj Mahal, but officials say the mosque “unites the world” because it incorporates design motifs and materials from scores of countries. The prayer hall boasts 96 marble columns inlaid with mother of pearl. Enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Abu Dhabi

Today we will visit a unique avian veterinary center, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, which treats about 6,000 of these revered raptors a year. While here, we will learn about the falcon’s importance in Emirate culture; and also learn about the other veterinary programs offered here, including a shelter for the rare saluki breed of dogs. From here we head to the Al Mina Fish Market, where the local color is as vivid as the mounds of wriggling blue crabs, pink shrimp, and silvery tuna. Appetites sufficiently whetted, we’ll head next door to the Al Dhafra restaurant to sample some of this supremely fresh fare. After lunch, we’ll see the more avant-garde side of the country when we visit some of the galleries participating in the Abu Dhabi Art program entitled Gateway. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 15:

Abu Dhabi

Enjoy a free day to do last-minute shopping, lounge at one of the hotel’s palm-fringed pools, or do some more exploring. Art lovers won’t want to miss the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, 450,000 square feet of international modern and contemporary art. If you are a luxury sports car fanatic, head to Ferrari World, a racetrack and theme park (with the world’s fastest roller coaster). Your Adventure Leader can help you with plans. Tonight, we’ll celebrate the end of our adventure with a festive Farewell Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 16:

Abu Dhabi / Return home

This morning you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home; or continue on to Jordan for your optional post-trip extension in Petra.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-800-848-5773

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