... or welcome to our motorcycle tour through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
Once again, motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world have come together in Dubai for our Edelweiss Bike Travel Adventure Oman & Emirates to explore these two interesting desert countries on two wheels. More precisely, we have riders from Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Canada and the USA. We are all enjoying the warm, sunny weather, which means we can push the end of the 2023 motorcycle season two weeks further away.
There's a lot on the agenda today: pretty soon after leaving Al Aqah, we stop at a little gem of the Emirate of Fujairah - the smallest and oldest mosque in the Emirates.
Our route then takes us around the smallest part of Oman, which lies in the middle of the Emirates, separated from the rest of the country. We arrive in Hatta in the south of the Emirates via a short dirt road, which serves us to get used to riding on the dirt roads.
After our visit to the Hatta dam and a well-earned lunch, we cross the border into Oman. We spend the night today in Sohar.
We leave Sohar behind us and initially follow the Omani car drivers, who are speeding along the highway direction Muscat. Shortly after our morning coffee break, we turn inland again towards the Hajar Mountains. The nice twisty route that follows shortly afterwards makes us stop again and again for a photo at the side of the road - the mountains here in Oman, which are so completely different to the Alps, are absolutely impressive to our eyes.
The rest of the day's stage takes us along the foothills of these mountains on a well-maintained road. Perfectly well with the sun setting we arrive at our beautiful hotel right by the sea in Muscat.
The rest day in Muscat is one of the few rest days on Edelweiss tours where you don't want to ride your motorcycle that much. After all, the capital of the Sultanate has some beautiful and exotic sights to offer.
Well rested, we continue our journey further south today. Ras Al Jinz is the desired location to go, if you want to observe the green turtle, a species native to Oman. But there is also plenty to do and see along today's route.
First thing in the morning, we indulge our newly discovered passion for driving on gravel roads. The initial shyness has quickly turned into great fun.
We spend a relaxed lunch break at Bimmah Sinkhole. And as it's already so warm, we cool off in the water.
After that, we continued to the next highlight, the last remaining manufacturer of dhow boats in Sur. It is very impressive to sit in such an unfinished ship's belly, admiring the incredible handiwork.
Towards the end of the day, we arrive in Ras Al Jinz. After dinner, we are very excited and can hardly wait for our guide to take us to the giant tortoises.
Full of impressions from the previous evening, we set off for one of the deserts of Oman.
On the way there we stop in one of the wadis to have lunch by the watercourse.
We would love to stay here in the sand dunes for a while. The desert has an extremely calming effect on people.
As soon as we have got our motorbikes out of the parking lot, though, we continue our journey towards the highest mountains in Oman - the Hajar Mountains.
At the women's market, the 5 women in the group had the pleasure of immersing ourselves in the spirit of Omani women. Men have to stay outside.
The route up to Jebel Al Akhdar is a treat for the ambitious motorcyclist.
A well-deserved rest day, you might think, after so many kilometers and so many great experiences on our tour through Oman. But even today, almost the entire group gathers to explore the beauty of the landscape around Jebel Al Akhdar by motorcycle. However, as our hotel is also a real highlight, we will return after about half a day so that we can also enjoy some relaxation there.
Looking at the road map at this morning's briefing caused many questioning faces: "But that looks like a very short distance today? When will we arrive at the hotel?
Don't worry, we'll be busy all day!
First, we enjoy the wonderful winding road down Jebel Akhdar one last time. Then we drive via Nizwa to the town of Al Hamra. Misfath Al Abreeyn is our first highlight today. The place is one of the typical Omani villages that have been very well preserved in their original state, but have nevertheless been integrated with a little bit of modernity.
We then take a look inside one of these typical Omani houses. The Bait Al Safah, which is now a museum, is perfect for this.
But there is also no shortage of driving challenges today. We improve our driving skills on the dirt roads by adding a little incline to the mix. We head up the Jebel Shams and at its top, the 'Grand Canyon of the Middle East' awaits us with its breathtaking views.
A little sad on the one hand, as we are approaching the end of the tour, but mixed with anticipation for today's route in the morning, we leave our hotel with its breathtaking views and ride back down the dirt road into the valley.
As a final "treat" on this tour, we can, for a final time, put our skills of riding a motorcycle on unpaved roads to the test. The unbelievably beautiful nature turns this combination into an unforgettable experience for all of us.
As a final cultural highlight before we leave Oman again, we visit the beehive tombs dating back to pre-Christian times.
The last stretch of the day takes us through the 'Empty Quarter', the part of the desert shared by the three countries of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman. Our destination for today, Al Ain, is just over the border.
All's well that ends well! Even if the Al Ain-Dubai road is not exactly the most exhilarating motorcycle route, our visit to the sky pool in Dubai is a worthy conclusion to our enchanting tour through the Emirates and Oman.
"Freshly bathed", we roll into our hotel in Dubai City with the impressive sight of the Burj Al Khalifa.