The best guidebooks/literature for the Arabian peninsula?
Anyone can recommend which are better or the best. Lonely Planet has the whole Aribian peninsula guide, i haven't ordered it yet, but it makes me wonder if it's too widely spread and not that detailed for speciefic regions?
Particulary i'm interested in the Yemen and Oman countries.
Are there any other better guides than the LP?
Thanks in advance, Margus
I have the LP guide for Yemen and was very satisfied.
They have one for Oman too.
Personally I recommend it.
Don'know other options. So. . . . .?
I was in Yemen for 20 days and been evetwhere except Aden. Every place was in the guide book and was really very helpul.
When I was looking for English language guides for Oman earlier this year many of them were not all that current. For example the LP was published in 2000. Fortunately, the pace of change has not been too dramatic, so there is still relevant information in even these dated travel guides!
I have used (ordered by publishing):
Mackenzie & Cruickshank's Oman Explorer: Residents' and Vistors' Guide 2ed (ISBN: 9768182075) published in late 2005.
Peter Ochs' Maverick Guide to Oman (ISBN: 1565546873) published in late 1999.
Dorothy Stannard's Insight Guide Oman and the UAE (ISBN: 0887292879) from 1998. FYI - There is a more current version available.
There is also an off-road Oman Explorer that I never got my hands on (ISBN: 9768182482) and Bradt (ISBN: 1841621684) is putting out their guide at the end of the year. I'm assuming Bradt will do a solid job based on their other guides.
Don't count on finding much material once you are in country. If you are passing through Dubai you may find some of the more recent books like the off-road Oman Explorer or the Insight Guide.
This regional forum doesn't get much traffic and I am very irregular visitor myself to the site in general, but if there is anything else I can offer please let me know.
I've got the LP as well. Quite ok. But not very detailed for bikers. I think the best guides are the local people.
I always prefer Rough Guides to LP, but that is just personal, and I don't think there is one for the whole peninsula. I would recommend Travels with a Tangerine by Tim Mackintosh-Smith, great insight into Arab culture and history, but not light reading.
Thanks a lot guys!
Yep, it seems to me there's no Rough Guides for those places, pity.
Looks like the LP will be the main target, i'll check out the others recommended here as well.
Thanks again, Margus
I like the following books:
Off Road in Oman
by Heiner Klein and Rebecca Brickson
Off Road in the Emirates, 2nd Edition
by Darius Zandi
UAE Off Road Explorer, 3rd Edition
I got them in bookshops in Dubai, but I'm sure you can find them elsewhere if you hunt around on the 'net.
The Insight Guide by the Discovery Channel is also quite good.
The Off Road in Oman books is out of date, it still has a lot of good info, but the roads have changed a lot and there are no way points as there are in the newer books. It also seems to be out of print, I have searched high and low for it in Dubai and hav`nt found one yet. I managed to borrow one, for our trip.
Here is a good website with some interesting Oman info http://www.squ.edu.om/lan/GuideToOmanSec4.html
I have the off road explore for the UAR 3rd edition quite good and covers a bit of the Oman, but not great for bikes
There is now a new Oman Explorer book out as well now, I think it has only been released in the last month or so, I got a copy the other day and it has some good routes listed.
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.
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