Fjords in the desert With its surreal landscape Oman wants

Fjords in the desert? With its surreal landscape, Oman wants to be famous like Dubai

At the tip of the strait, the Musandam Peninsula, the Portuguese built a fortress in the town of Khasab at the height of their dominance in the Middle East in the early 17th century. Two hundred years later, this was the case with the English, who represented European imperialism in the region. One bay is still named after a ruler of British India. There is an island called Telegraph because it was an important point on the telegraph line that connected London and Calcutta.

Khasab Castle in Musandam, Oman Khasab Castle, in Musandam, Oman Image: jacquesvandinteren/Getty Images/iStockphoto

In the 20th century, the British helped Oman, one of its former Middle Eastern colonies that had been independent since 1960, secure control of the peninsula. Today Musandam is an exclave of the Sultanate of Oman, surrounded by the sea of ​​the Strait of Hormuz and connected by land to Oman’s much more popular neighbor, the United Arab Emirates (as always is stated at the end of the text). a map of the region so you can see it better).

What kind of place is this?

Kumzari is a local language spoken by only 5,000 people. It is the language of the village of Kumzar, which can only be reached by boat. It is also the only Persian language in Arabia, which is why it naturally has many influences from Arabic, but also from Portuguese and Hindi. This alone reflects centuries of cultural exchange across the strait. As a bonus, it also shows that although this place is remote and seemingly inhospitable and deserted, it is not that isolated.

White sand beach in Mirellas on the Persian Gulf White sand beach in Mirellas on the Persian Gulf Image: Getty Images

Dubai, for example, is right on the doorstep, two hours away by car. It’s a monumental contrast: the towers of steel and glass give way to rocky walls that hug a sea of ​​warm, crystalclear water. It is as if they were fjords, which earned it the nickname “Arab Norway”.