Luxury holidays in Muscat
Flanked by craggy ancient peaks and beach-fringed, diver-drawing seas, Oman's capital is as far removed from Dubai glitz as serving $817 ice creams is from reality. (Black Diamond at Dubai's Scoopi Café, if you've more money than sense.) Muscat, with its rich history, old fort and growing cultural kudos offers a 'real' glimpse of Arabic life, as well as serving up a thoroughly decent dining scene. Offshore, its winningly warm waters play host to some A-grade aquatic activities, with the desert and mountains inland providing more rugged adventure playgrounds.
When to go
To avoid temperatures that could make a camel wilt, visit in the cooler months between October and April.