Dibba Musandam is a little bit of paradise within very easy reach of the UAE. If you’re looking for a tranquil escape but with a bit of adventure thrown in, this is one for you.
I’ve been on two different trips with Muhammed of Enjoy Musandam. I highly recommend him as not only is he from the area and knows all the best spots but he helps create a trip you won’t forget. He has two or three dhows but if you don’t have him on your trip, he chooses great staff too.
Dibba Musandam – Activities
You can take a Musandam dhow cruise, hiking, beach camping, fishing, snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding, banana boats, swimming, speed boat trip to the white caves, barbecue, mountain safari, visiting old villages…
Enjoy Musandam have all you need for these activities but you can take your own kit along and you can go diving with your own equipment too.
The dhow cruise takes you from Dibba Oman port up the coast to the beach of Haffa. Along the way, you can enjoy breathtaking scenery of the Arabian Sea and the high cliffs with their stunning formations and colours.
There are even some areas where you can dive in, go underwater and come up inside a small cave.
Once near the beach at Haffa, you can swim, snorkel, paddle board or kayak in the beautiful turquoise water. On the beach itself, you can camp, picnic or barbecue or just relax and soak up the surrounding beauty. You may be joined by the local goats coming to greet you.
During your trip all meals will be provided. There will be a tasty buffet lunch, tea, coffee, juice and fruit on the dhow cruise. On the dhow, you can sunbathe on the roof or chill on the majlis cushions on the lower deck. Toilets and showers are provided for your comfort.
Dibba Musandam Trip
Tents are set up for you on the beach if you choose to stay overnight but you can also opt to sleep on the dhow. As night falls, not only will you see the glow of your campfire but also that of the bio-luminescent life in the sea in front of you.
There are two ways to reach the beach, by boat or by hiking from the wadi on the other side of the mountain. The inhabitants of the village of Haffa further down and other coastal villages like Lima can only reach their homes by boat.
The children there go to school by speed boat and building materials, drinking water and so on are all delivered by dhow.
If you choose to take the banana boat ride on your Dibba Musandam trip, you’ll be taken further out by speedboat so as not to disturb the fishermen in the area. Can you hold on or will you fall in like me!
The speedboat will also take you to the white caves of Dibba Musandam. The weather-worn swirls make the limestone make it look like you could be on another planet.
There are two large caves, one of which has a pebble beach that you can go on if you don’t mind wading through the water. The pebbles range in size, rock type and colour.
Back on land, you can go on a trip through the wadi behind the coastline passing a dam and lake, farms and abandoned villages up to the road above Zighy. From there you can look over Zighy Bay and climb higher for a view over the wadi too.
A restaurant attached to Six Senses Zighy Bay sits on this clifftop and non-residents can make a reservation for dinner too and paraglide off the clifftop. Book Six Senses Zighy Bay
Further along the road, you’ll come to a point where you are in a huge canyon. Can you spot the tiny person in the last photo?
You can see a compilation of videos here
Do I need a visa for Dibba Musandam?
No, you don’t. Only GCC nationals and UAE residents can enter Dibba Musandam. UAE residents require a permit which your tour guide such as Enjoy Musandam or your hotel can arrange. GCC Nationals do not require a permit.
Non-residents can enter Musandam on the eastern coast at Jeer, Ras al Khaimah and go to Khasab and surrounding area and as far as Rawda but not through to Dibba Oman.
At the time of writing, visitors need a negative PCR within 14 days if vaccinated or 3 days if unvaccinated to return to the UAE.
If you book a trip, it would be great if you let them know you found them here.
See more on road trips to Oman here.
Musandam Oman is an enclave to the north of the United Arab Emirates and was a very strategic point for many years (and indeed still is) as it sits between the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea which leads to the Indian Ocean.
Telegraph Island, a popular stop off point for cruises form Khasab, is where the British set up a telegraph point to aid communication at the time.
Security is quite tight in the area to prevent illegal immigrants entering by sea and proceeding to mainland Oman and the UAE. You may notice the coast guard vessels around the Musandam coastline and sometimes helicopters. There is a military presence on Jebal Haram too.
This also means that only GCC Nationals can cross from the Dibba area to Rawda and on to Khasab. Wadi Bih is also only accessible to people having permits to go there if they have land or have a relevant reason to go.
Hotels in Dibba Musandam
Luxury – Six Senses Zighy Bay – Book Zighy Bay
Low cost – Dibba Beach Hotel – Compare prices for Dibba Beach Resort
Other things to see in Musandam Oman
Dibba Beach – beautiful long beach of around 2.5km, at the northern end, there is an old village with ruined houses built from rocks of different colours.
All around you’ll find old houses and abandoned villages. There’s an interesting one at Hajer not so far from the UAE border.
If you need to rent a car to get there, compare car rental prices here.