Private Villa Retreat in Musandam – Bandar Hafa

private villa retreat in Musandam

Our amazing stay at this private villa retreat in Musandam was the perfect weekend getaway! This little bit of Santorini in Oman is in a fabulous location with scenic views and plenty of outdoor seating areas and we spent our time relaxing on the terrace, hiking, kayaking, watching wildlife and taking a boat trip. Read on to find out more!

Private Villa Retreat in Dibba Musandam

This fabulous and unique holiday rental in Musandam is a waterfront villa with stunning views over the bay and out to the Arabian Gulf and is only accessible by boat. Don’t worry, transport is included! You can also swim or kayak around the bay or go hiking exploring old villages. More on that later.

Private Villa Retreat in Musandam Dibba

The village of Hafa

The village of Hafa sits on the other side of the water and there are now only around ten families there. You’ll see them going up and down in their speedboats. You might even see the children going off to school by boat in the morning. As the area is only accessible by sea (or a very long hike over the mountain), everything arrives by boat, including all the building materials and furniture for Bandar Hafa.

hafa village musandam

As we sat enjoying the evening air, we saw the water desalination boat coming in. It then spent the night processing water for the inhabitants and the next morning we saw it going off to attend to the next village’s needs.

Although it has a tiny population now, it was more like a town many years ago. If you go hiking along the mountainside, you’ll pass dozens of ruins of stone houses and there are more higher up and on the opposite side.

old house Hafa Musandam

Bandar Hafa Dibba Musandam holiday rental

Bandar Hafa is a newly-built villa sitting on a rock above the sea. Four tastefully-designed bedrooms and large living room all have large windows and a sea view. Each bedroom has an ensuite bathroom with an extra one off the living room. Two bedrooms are on the lower level and two on the upper level, accessible by external stairs.

The rooms have super king-size beds but two are actually two singles so they can be set up as two doubles and two singles. There are also sofa beds so 12 guests can comfortably be accommodated. The bathrooms are spacious and have a shower.

A dining room sits at the rear of the house with a large dining table seating ten and dresser. The kitchen is next to it with both an internal door which can be locked (if you’re not self-catering) and an external door. The living room has comfortable furniture, a large TV and a coffee maker with pods.

In the basement is a games room with a billiard table and this is currently being upgraded to include some other games. (We didn’t use this.)

The upper level has its own terrace with a shaded area and outdoor furniture. If you find the weather warm during your stay, head up to this terrace as it gets more of a breeze.

upper terrace at Dibba Musandam private rental

On the lower level is a much larger terrace with outdoor furniture and a swinging basket chair. Sunloungers are soon to be added. A small traditional-style tent is also available and a barbecue.

But that’s not all! A third small terrace is down some steps and not far above sea level making it the perfect spot to sit and read a book or just enjoy the view.

Wifi is available to guests and as a mast is just across the bay in the village of Hafa, the signal is great. Of course, to make it even more of a retreat, you can ignore the wifi and enjoy a digital detox instead!

Activities to do while staying at Bandar Hafa Musandam

If sitting still and relaxing all day isn’t your thing, there are plenty activities for you to do while staying at your Dibba Musandam villa retreat. Take your pick of swimming, kayaking or snorkelling in the beautiful clear waters or head up the mountain for a village hike.

If you’d like to go a bit further or higher, it’s better to arrange this in advance to be sure you have a guide with you. If you’re an advanced hiker, you can explore other villages higher and up and look out for petroglyphs too. You should do this with a local guide who knows the area though.

Look out for wildlife. On the shore you can find chitons, very hard-shelled molluscs that look like fossils embedded into the rocks. On the seabed, watch out for sea urchins and above the water, keep your eye open for flying fish, herons and other sea birds. If you add a boat trip on to your stay, you will see many different types of fish including sting ray and maybe dolphins. Look out for turtles too.

Stargazing – Turn off the outside lights and take advantage of low light pollution by lying on the terrace and watching the hundreds of stars in the sky and finding constellations and planets.

Optional Add-Ons for your Musandam private villa stay

Optional add-ons include a speed-boat ride out along the coast, fishing, full-board, breakfast or dinner, in-house service.

Who Is Bandar Hafa private waterfront villa for and who is it not for?

This gorgeous Musandam private villa stay is perfect for:

  • ✅ families looking to spend quality time together
  • ✅ a group of friends wanting to have fun doing activities together
  • ✅ a couple looking for a romantic spot and privacy
  • ✅ nature-lovers
  • ✅ adventure-lovers
  • ✅ anyone wanting to organise a retreat eg yoga/wellness/coaching/writing retreat
  • ✅ a work team needing to get away from distractions and focus on discussions or strategy meetings
  • ✅ a company doing a team-building activity for a small team
  • ✅ anyone wanting to do a digital and busy life detox
  • ✅ someone holding a small, quiet gathering or celebration

Private Waterfront Villa Retreat in Musandam is not for:

  • ❌ people looking for somewhere to hold a party

Preparing for Your Stay at the Bandar Hafa Dibba Musandam villa

upper and middle terrace

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your stay at this unique holiday rental in Musandam

  1. Think about what you want to be included before you make the contact to book. Prices vary depend on what you want. Do you want self-catering or do you want dinner and breakfast provided? Do you want to barbecue in the evening and want to order meat/fish? Do you want to go fishing and catch your own fish to barbecue? Do you want to go for a guided hike or do guided kayaking? Would you like to add a speed boat trip on to your stay? Do you want complete privacy or do you want someone on hand to assist during your stay?
  2. If you’re self-catering, be sure to be pack enough food for your stay as there are no shops to pop out to. If you’re not self-catering, you might still want to pack your favourite snacks or drinks.
  3. What clothes to pack? If you plan on hiking, I recommend decent walking shoes. While the Omanis will happily walk in sandals or bare feet even, a decent grip and ankle support is better for those of us who didn’t grow up walking on rocky mountainsides. If you plan to swim and have swim shoes, pack them too. Pack a hoodie or sweater for the evenings when it gets cooler and a hat for the sun.
  4. Other things to pack – phone charger, sunscreen, camera, waterproof phone cover.

How to Book this unique holiday rental in Musandam

bandar hafa view from other side

How do you get to Bandar Hafa

You can only get to this Musandam private villa by boat and you will be taken and picked up by speed boat to the villa. You will first meet the owner or his staff at Dibba Musandam Harbour and then go to the boat. To get to the harbour, put ‘Daba Port’ in Google Maps or, after crossing the border, continue straight until you see the sign for the port.

speedboat musandam

Do I need a visa to go to Dibba Musandam?

if you are a UAE resident, you need a permit to enter Dibba Musandam. You will be asked to send a copy of your passport and EID to Mohammed, the owner, at least three days before to allow time for the permit to be issued. You will then arrange to meet the person who will hand over the permit to you before you cross the border.

Don’t worry, it’s all arranged for you. I’ve done it several times for residents travelling with me. Tourists can also cross but the procedure is actually easier for them. The border post is the one on the coastal road after Dibba Al Hisn Beach.

view of Dibba Al Musandam from Dibba Al Hisn

Do I need an orange card or to buy insurance at the border? The border control at the Dibba Al Hisn-Dibba Al Baya border do not ask for any documentation for your car.

Our personal experience of Bandar Hafa private villa retreat in Musandam

I stayed at Bandar Hafa with my daughter and a couple of friends and we enjoyed it immensely. Our stay included food and in the evening we ate several kinds of fish fresh out the sea and barbecued. In the morning we had a lovely breakfast table of eggs, cheese, foules, beans, fresh fruit, bread, jam, etc. Two types of traditional tea and Arabic gahwa were always available in flasks as well as juice and soft drinks.

I had a sound night’s sleep in the very comfortable bed and slept with the windows and curtains open enjoying the fresh, unpolluted air and only being woken by the light breaking half an hour before sunrise.

The house was very clean, the furnishings comfortable and service excellent. My favourite part of the house was the terraces (yes, all of them!), especially the little one by the water side, and the wonderful view.

view over Hafa village from terrace

In the morning we set off early with Mohammed as our guide to visit the old houses and he told us the history of the area. We passed a couple of locals visiting their small holiday homes further along and some goats. After breakfast, my friends ventured into the water to swim while I set off in a kayak to explore. On my way I watched flying fish and herons and had a closer look at the rock faces.

me kayaking at Hafa Musandam

We then took a very scenic trip in the speedboat to visit the white cliffs and caves before stopping and watching many kinds of fish swimming around, including stingray. If we hadn’t arrived late on the first day, we could have gone fishing, but hey, there’s always next time! will there be a next time? Yes! I would definitely go back and will be recommending this to all my friends and family, oh yes and to you too!

You can see more of Dibba Musandam on my post on Dibba Musandam Oman here and you can see more of the whole of Musandam on my website InScotterati Footsteps here along with other Oman posts.