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November, 2016

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We did not know what to expect, Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi to the warmth of UAE. The 1st hotel was on Yas Island next to the racing circuit. Beautiful setting with lovely views of sea and city. 20 people in group visiting the spectacular sheikh zayed mosque which accommodates 40,000 worshippers, followered by sites of interest. On day 3 we went by coach to Dubai, a massive place, to me it looks like a building site( thanks to oil) but what they have built looks spectacular. we had a tour of the city calling in a large shopping complex ( 4000 shops and building more) for lunch and if you wanted you could go up the tallest building in the city. We visited the museum in al fahadi fort which showed the history of fishing and artefacts etc of emirates trading. Went on a water taxi to visit the spice souq, gold souq before having dinner on a dhow cruise being lit up like the other dhows on the river.

The hotel here was not of a good standard(best western) but the next morning was free until we were picked up in 4×4 to go over the sand dunes to a star lite campsite in the middle of the dessert stopping en route to see the sun set.

Day 5 we travelled though customs to the beautiful Omani enclave visiting forts and places of interest and admiring the scenery with its turquoise coastal sea. The hotel overlooked the sea and was very welcoming. Next morning we went on a 5 hour cruise visiting the local fjords with its dolphins diving and splashing in its wake, while this was going on we were enjoying lunch in the vicinity of telegraph island. On day 7 we are on the road again transferring to Oman proper to barkha to a hotel consisting of a group of flats scattered around the complex. You could either walk to the restaurant or be picked up by a buggy. This night we saw the very large moon which was spectacular. Next day we travelled in Muscat visiting Nizwa fort and its souq. Latter visiting Bahla a unesco listed village with a fort. The final stop was in a village by an oasis called al hamra to visit a tradional Omani house.

The last day we visited the grand mosque another colossal and impressive place of worship, adorned with artwork and a fantastic huge chandeliers. Latter touring and visiting places of interest is beautiful muscat including the al alam palace ( the official residence of his majesty sultan. Qaboos.)

On day 11 we returned to U.K. Catching flight to Abu Dhabi then Heathrow after a very interesting tour with the temperature in the 30c all the time. We were well supplied with water both from the hotel and all the coaches had a fridge with cold water bottles. We had taxi service to and fron the airport. An titan escort with us at all times and 3 separate guides for different sections of the tour. All hotels provided us bed and on 5 days a main meal was included in the price. We had plenty of opportunities to buy snack meals from the supermarket and plenty of opportunities to find the local restaurants.


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