The ancient port city is famous for the intricately carved wooden dhow, traditional Arab trading vessels that have been built here for centuries. The summer and winter monsoons once carried these ships directly to the island of Zanzibar, a key trading port that was part of the Sultanate until 1965, and the influence of this trade relationship is still evident in the coconut curries and local rice dishes popular in the city's restaurants and home kitchens. The sleepy beach town is the perfect jumping-off point from which to explore the natural wonders of the Northern Sharqiyah region, from the turtle reserve in Ras al Jinz to the cavernous Wadi Shab to the north. The seafood is superb, and what the town lacks in nightlife it more than makes up for with its beaches, local charm, history, and distinct culture.
Don't go to these destinations in 2017—try our suggestions instead.More