Khasab, Oman | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Khasab, Oman

Khasab is a city in the Musandam Peninsula, Oman and home to about 18,000 inhabitants.

Khasab (Arabic: خصب‎) is a city in the northwest Omani exclave of Musandam. It is the state capital of the Musandam peninsula on the coast of the Hormuz Strait between Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

Khasab was isolated from the rest of the region for a long time. In the 16th century, Portuguese troops conquered the peninsula and established colonial structures. After Oman regained control, Khasab was controlled tightly due to its strategic position. The construction of the new road from the United Arab Emirates was itself started by the city to develop its infrastructure and encourage more tourism and investment. It is most popular to spend a weekend off from Dubai or to visit on your way to Muscat, taking the twice a day ferry-boat along the deserted and arid rocky coast of Musandam.
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Khasab, Oman

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Khasab is a city in the Musandam Peninsula, Oman and home to about 18,000 inhabitants.

Khasab (Arabic: خصب‎) is a city in the northwest Omani exclave of Musandam. It is the state capital of the Musandam peninsula on the coast of the Hormuz Strait between Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

Khasab was isolated from the rest of the region for a long time. In the 16th century, Portuguese troops conquered the peninsula and established colonial structures. After Oman regained control, Khasab was controlled tightly due to its strategic position. The construction of the new road from the United Arab Emirates was itself started by the city to develop its infrastructure and encourage more tourism and investment. It is most popular to spend a weekend off from Dubai or to visit on your way to Muscat, taking the twice a day ferry-boat along the deserted and arid rocky coast of Musandam.
The city is the starting point to explore the little-known Musandam Peninsula and its special and unique traditions and culture. Travelers can enjoy great sights in and around the city that can be seen in two or three days cruising the region.

Khasab is best visited in the winter, as it is one of the hottest places in Oman, with summer temperatures regularly climbing over 45°C. (On 27 Jun3 2011, the Airport of Khasab, a few miles inland from the coast, recorded the world calendar day highest minimum temperature of 41.2°C.)


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Khasab, Oman: Port Information


Cruise ships often dock at Khasab or anchor off the coast and tender ashore. They often offer shuttles from the port to the town (many stopping at the Fort on the way there and back).
There are very few taxis in Khasab, which makes independent touring tricky, however the local tour companies out at the port entrance offering Dhow dolphin trips along the coast (usually around 3-4 hrs), which are usually at a fraction of the cost of organized shore excursions.

Get around Khasab, Oman


Taxis are not to be found in Khasab. You have to get your own rent-a-car in Khasab or rely on your hotel's minivan transportation, which can take you where you want.

On foot

  • Walk in Khasab. You can also walk and hike around the region and in the mountains. If you're into full day treks, you can explore the city and nearby villages. During summer months, the Gulf region gets extremely and unbearably hot. Dress conservatively if entering Bedouin or remote fishing villages.

Car rental

  • Abdullah Masood Mohammed Al Shehi Trading Est, Muhafazath, ☎ +968 91590612, +968 99784020, +968 92540406, e-mail: musandamservices@gmail.com. 9 AM-8 PM.

By bicycle

  • Bicycle in Khasab (Bicycle ride in Khasab). If by chance you're living in the United Arab Emirates and are visiting Khasab taking your own car, you can bring along your bicycle and explore the city and surrounding villages at ease.

Organized minivan tours

  • Khasab City Tour (City Tour). Many travel agencies in Khasab provide minivan city tours, for half or full day visits to the city, including all of Khasab's best sights and locations.

What to see in Khasab, Oman


  • Khasab Castle (In front of the sea facing Port Authority). The Portuguese constructed this fortress in the beginning of the 17th century and occupied it until their withdrawal from the region. This castle, which housed the Wali and his family in recent centuries and once held prisoners, has been restored and transformed into a regional museum. In the courtyard of the castle are boats and houses representative of the unique heritage of Musandam. 
  • Alkmazrh Fort. This fort is inside the city and it seems to belong to a specific tribe among the local people. The fort is taken care by the tribe's youngsters, who are proud of their ancestral possession.
  • Khasab Dhow Port. Just facing the Khasab Port Authority for the ferry to Muscat, the traditional port for dhow boats is a place where you can appreciate and enjoy typical boats from this region. You can easily find boats to take you on a sea cruise.
  • Iranian smugglers. Khasab is known for its Iranian smugglers. From here daily hundreds of small jet boats cross the Hormuz strait heading to the southern Iranian cities of Bandar Abbas and Qeshm Island, carrying such diverse items as televisions, cigarettes, and goats in an effort to avoid Iranian import duties. Khasab is a free trade port, so the Omani authorities accept this practice, provided the activities only take place during daylight hours.
  • Khasab palm groves (Old city). Hidden inside Khasab old city, you can visit and explore the beautiful palm groves. These oases are great and supply local people with some dates.

What to do in Khasab, Oman


  • Dhow Cruises. Dhows depart from Khasab twice a day for excursions to Telegraph Island. Currently, quite a few agencies take care of this. 
  • Mountain Safari. Trips to Jebal Harim (2087 m above sea level) with 4WD vehicles are a good opportunity to see the inner area. On these trips organized by most agencies in Khasab, you can see the beautiful rocky desert mountains of Musandam. However, at the mountain top is a military radar station, so going to the top requires permission and most tours, therefore, stop at 1600 m above sea level near the barracks of the military station.
  • Snorkeling. The Musandam coast has amazing waters to dive. Near Khasab there are a few diving points and zones where you can see and swim among fishes.
  • Dolphin cruises. If you take one of those dhow boat excursions into Musandam beautiful coast, you'll be able to see dolphins just 10 minutes away from Khasab port.
  • Bassa Beach. A pleasant beach popular with locals, with picnic and toilet facilities. Free.

What to eat and drink in Khasab, Oman


Eat

  • Al Shamaliyah Grill & Restaurant, Main square. Very good grill restaurant at the main square. Popular for local fish and meat dishes.
  • Musandam Restaurant, ☎ +968 2673 0569. 08:00-23:00. Local meat and fish dishes in this restaurant located in the center city. Some vegetarian/vegan options.
  • Ice Cream (In the city center). Many supermarkets have freezers with several types of ice cream. Under the extreme heat of Musandam Peninsula, cold ice cream is very welcome.

Drink

  • Fruit. Some restaurants can prepare you fruit milkshakes. These are made with real fruit and often mixed with ice cream and full pieces of fresh fruit. 
  • Black tea. All the local restaurants serve black tea. This is the traditional tea from the region. Usually, nowadays, it is Lipton Black Tea.
  • Alcohol. Khasab allows alcohol in restaurants/bars with a license. These places are limited (e.g. Atana Hotel), and as the alcohol is imported, rather expensive.

Shopping in Khasab, Oman


There are quite a few options of different supermarkets full of normal groceries, bottled water etc. LuLu Market is by far the biggest and offers the biggest variety, but small supermarkets have local products and niche products.
  • LuLu Hypermarket, New Souq area (harbour area), ☎ +968 26 830100, e-mail: shameerth@om.lulumea.com. 08:00-23:45. Largest supermarket in Musandam with a huge range of products (food/non-food).
  • Local Handicraft Shop, Khasab Castle (inside Khasab Castle). Many local Musandam handicraft and Omani souvenirs are for sale in the shop inside Khasab Castle. Very friendly staff.
  • Old Souq (north of the Persian Gulf Roundabout). The old souq is a good place to pick up hand-crafted walking sticks, the more elaborate of which are decorated with silver.
  • Dates. At the tiny Sikkit market in the center town, you can buy fresh dates.

Safety in Khasab, Oman


Khasab is safe. The main threats are traffic and heat. 
Don't take pictures of public buildings, military installations. It's better not to photograph people.
Use your common sense just like in any other city. 

Language spoken in Khasab, Oman


Arabic is the primary language. English is also widely spoken among tour guides and shop owners. 

LOCAL TIME

7:28 am
June 17, 2019
Asia/Muscat

CURRENT WEATHER

32.74 °C / 90.932 °F
broken clouds
Tue

32.09 °C/90 °F
broken clouds
Wed

32.08 °C/90 °F
sky is clear
Thu

33.35 °C/92 °F
sky is clear
Fri

32.17 °C/90 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

OMR

1 USD = 0 OMR
1 EUR = 0 OMR
1 GBP = 0 OMR
1 AUD = 0 OMR
1 CAD = 0 OMR

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