I've just finished a 4,500 km trip around Oman. I took along a 1st Edition 'Lonely Planet: Arabian Peninsula' published in November 2004. It was OK but already going out-of-date. Roads are being built at a tremendous pace and the only non-asphalt I encountered was the road to Urbar (but this is graded and already has road signs so it's probably going to be surfaced soon), the Wahiba Sands (but the road through is already half completed) and the Sur to Muscat coast road (which again is under construction).
Tourism is clearly being taken very seriously. 'Tourism enriches' according to a government sign. As an example, there is an excellent new museum at Al Baleed (if you can stomach the pro-sultan propaganda that goes with the historical detail).
On the downside, there is a penchant for building neat little stone walls around everything to make it more touristy. E.g. Al Baleed or the natural sink hole at Bimmah. I'm sure it looked better without the wall!
Trip highlights: the Dhofar Mountains outside Salalah and Khor Rori, both very beautiful nature.
Trip low point: Ras Al Jinz turtle beach at Eid with 100+ insensitive morons rampaging and trampling around hatched turtles in the dark.
Oman is a great destination but get there fast if you want to see it in its natural state. Even the old forts and castles, in some cases, look about a month old.
If anyone would like a set of waypoints for a lot of the attractions mentioned in the Lonely Planet plus some of the best hotels that 10 riyals can buy, drop me a line.
Last edited by Stephano; 26 Oct 2006 at 21:22.