Oman is the first country I visited in the Middle East. Frankly, I didn’t know much about the region. The common conceptions are… It’s a war zone. Women are treated terribly. It’s dangerous. There’s nothing but deserts and oil fields. But Oman? It was different. As I mentioned on my “First Impressions of Oman”, Oman was probably the best country to ease into a Middle East experience. It’s peaceful, culturally interesting, and naturally diverse.

A watermelon?

Sur's Lighthouse

As you can see from a map, Oman is surrounded by the ocean from three sides. The sea plays a big part of life in Oman. Sur is a coastal town in Ash Sharqiyah Region, on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. With its two ports and charming coastal roads, travelers have visited Sur for a long time. It’s also located at a convenient point for trips to Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab, the turtle reserve at Ras al Jinz, and halfway between Muscat and Sharqiya Sands. During the Oman in Focus Photography Tour, we also stopped at Sur to experience the life of a coastal town, and to take a break between shooting at Wahiba Sands and Ras al Jinz.

It was a quiet day in the city. Day-to-day life of the locals welcomed foreign visitors with cameras. Kids were playing in the beach, families just came back from a fishing expedition, a couple of old men sat on the cornerstone, and the lighthouse was looking over the town. Sur is also one of the most famous places for building wooden ships in the Persian Gulf region. This location is convenient to oversee the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. You can visit the shipbuilding sites in town. Today the city has retained its reputation as a major dhow (name of sailing vessels used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region) building town. The sea still plays a big part of life in Sur.

Here are some photos from the quiet life in Sur.

Cityspace of Sur, Oman

Playing in the Gulf of Oman

Sur's lighthouse

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