is divided into three separate areas. The main part of Oman, situated along
the north east coast of the Arabian Peninsular and south along the Indian
Ocean coast to Yemen. There is a small enclave of Oman close to the UAE east
coast and Fujeirah, then the Musandam area which takes in the whole of the northern tip
of the UAE peninsular.
Musandam is known as the Norway of the Middle East as it is entirely
mountainous with deep fjords and very few roads.
three hour drive north from
Dubai, through the Emirates of Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al
Khaimah, then through the UAE/Omani border post north of
Ras Al Khaimah leads to a
winding coastal road with steep, barren mountains on one side and the Ocean
on the other.
usual trip called for lunch at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Khasab, the main
town in Musandam, followed by a four hour trip in a dhow through the fjords.
Dolphins were always present in the cooler months and occasionally we were
able to spot small reef sharks and eagle
rays in the shallower waters.
stopped to swim at Telegraph Island, previously a very remote outpost of the
British Army protecting the cable link between Great Britain and the eastern
Empire. During our first visits, the Omani military were manning this
"rock." In later visits we found that the Omani troops had also left and
dhows were now allowed to visit.
visit, as we returned on the dhow to Khasab port a large crowd had gathered
on the jetty. Amidst them all was a small fishing boat with an enormous
hammerhead shark, almost as large as the fishing boat. Quite a catch. To
this day we do not know how they landed it on the boat.
are some remote villages in the fjords only reachable by boat. During
the summer these are deserted due to the heat and the fact that fish have
migrated to cooler, deeper waters. In winter, fishing families
return to the villages from Khasab. Children then commute to school in
Khasab by boat.
Erecting the poles supporting
electricity cables over the mountains to the villages must have been an