So what were the overall impressions of the holiday?
Firstly it was the trouble taken by Holiday Architects (Oman specialists) with an itinerary to suit our requests as well as their suggestions. This was complemented by their Oman agents, Elite Travel. The other major factor was our driver/guide Saqr. What a star! Over the 10 days we were with him he became a friend. His English was nearly perfect, his driving skilful and safe and his knowledge of the places we visited extensive. He was ever willing to take us ‘off-piste’ to see places of particular interest to us from the time we had lived in Oman, and also to places he knew which he realised would appeal to us.
We knew that some of the development since then would be rather unattractive and that there would be some ‘urban sprawls’. However we had correctly judged that this would be outweighed by modernisation and restoration done in a sympathetic manner. We also knew for certain that the local people would be extremely welcoming. In our case they were fascinated by seeing some of our photos from 1972.
We stayed everywhere at comfortable hotels or ‘camps’, but we had ruled out five star luxury from the start. Tourism is increasing year by year and new hotels are springing up.
The final point was the advantage of a ‘tailor-made’ holiday with 4WD vehicle and driver which gave us the flexibility we wanted, and allowed us to see places without being rushed.