The Sultanate of Oman is a canvas of rich heritage and culture, painting its future in modern colors that add to the vibrancy of its image. With no dearth of breathing sights and gorgeous backdrops in, this country truly is the perfect location for your pre-wedding shoot.
We bring you all you need to know before you plan a photo shoot here while Ms. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman, photographer Shrey Bhagat of Knotting Bells and Lakhbir Singh of DotDusk Studios offer additional insights.
Best Places To Shoot At
Picture perfect frames abound in Oman; images of the Gulf of Oman, overlooked by mountainous skylines, edged by beaches of soft sand are possibly the first ones that come to mind at the mention of this country. Shrey Bhagat of Knotting Bells, who shot Nidhi and Kinish’s pre-wedding pictures found himself awestruck at what was on offer in the capital, Muscat. He says, “Muscat is filled with stunning locations; whether it’s the mountain ranges or beaches, every place has a story. There are spots that are nothing short of surreal and they lend a warmth to the pictures making each one remarkable. Shab, Bimmah Sinkhole, the King’s Palace and the Wahiba Sands all make for some amazing backdrops.”
If you’re looking to shoot indoors, photographer Lakhbir Singh of DotDusk Studios suggests properties that are sure to elevate the mood and aesthetics of the photographs. He says, “Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa and Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort, Muscat are our most preferred spots in Oman for any kind of wedding or pre-wedding photoshoot.” But he has a favorite, “Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa would be our first choice as is stands majestically on a cliff overlooking the Persian Gulf. We simply fell in love with the juxtaposition of the sea and the cliff. The hotel’s architecture is inspired by an Omani Palace and this property is one of few that have both, breathtaking exteriors as well as gorgeous interiors, thus making it a preferred choice for any photographer.”
Then there’s the Bahla Fort, which earned its tag as a UNESCO World Site in 1987. Misfat Al Abriyeen – a unique mountainous village located 1,000 m above sea level is also wonderful and Nizwa Fort is another place that offers great sights.
Oman is a photographer friendly country and permits are not difficult to procure. Ms. Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “Oman is gaining popularity for pre-wedding photo shoots as it offers breathtaking landscapes, luxurious hotels, excellent air connectivity, simplified visa process, and flexibility. In Oman, it is easy to secure permissions for photo shoots and most of the time you are free to shoot at any location without causing any harm to the environment. However, drone photography requires consent from the Royal Oman Police and shooting at any historical monuments would require prior permissions. The weather from October- April is best suited for pre-wedding shoots.”
Best time to visit
Summer in Oman can be quite hot and you’re unlikely to enjoy shooting in the outdoors. However, the weather turns pleasant October onward and stays that way all through to April. Photographer Lakhbir Singh of DotDusk Studios has a favorite time of year, “I find that November to January is the best months to visit. Not only are the sunsets to die for, but the dusk is long and gives you enough time to conduct a photo-session.”
For those looking to dip their toes in the culture of this Middle-Eastern gem, the Muscat Festival brings cultural shows and shopping to the capital in the months of January and February.
To obtain a visa, foreign nationals can either go through an online procedure on the website of the Royal Oman Police (ROP) or get a visa on arrival at Muscat International Airport.
Photographer Shrey Bhagat of Knotting Bells says, “The visa takes a couple of days to get sorted so that needs to be planned in advance”. In late 2017, Oman Tourism Authorities relaxed visa rules for Indians. However, it is advisable to look up the ROP website when planning the trip in order to be abreast of the most current regulations.
Cost of stay
With rooms starting from about 12 OR a night at a hotel with just a simple in-house restaurant and going up to over to 150 OR in upmarket luxury hotels, the country has something for every type of traveler.
Kempinski Hotel Muscat, Grand Hyatt Muscat, Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Millennium Resort Mussanah are only a few of the luxury hotels that provide great accommodation and also double up as gorgeous shoot venues thanks to their beautifully done interiors.
Now that you are all set to jet set to Oman, explore more destinations in the Sultanate for your pre-wedding shoot here.