Oman, As Seen Through the Eyes of Endemage Co-Founder Lubna Al Zakwani

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“If you ever ask about Oman, people will always talk about the nature and its spectacular scenery,” says Endemage co-founder Lubna Al Zakwani of her home country.

The young designer, along with her sister and design partner Nadia Al Zakwani, has looked to Oman’s heritage and natural beauty for inspiration since the launch of her luxury ready-to-wear label in 2010 – Arabian oryx, date palms, natural springs, and even the former Omani colony of Zanzibar have all influenced her collections. For their Spring/Summer 2017 collection, which can be viewed in its entirety in the gallery above, the duo drew inspiration from the embroidery used in traditional hats (known as “Kumma”) worn by men in Oman.

It felt only natural, then, that Savoir Flair reached out to Lubna for an insider travel guide to Oman. Here, she tells us where to dine, shop, soak up some culture, and more in the Omani capital – and beyond.

Bait Al Luban

“Located on the Muttrah Corniche, where some of the oldest houses and buildings still stand, this restaurant offers great Omani cuisine. If you go while the weather is still pleasant, make sure to book a table on the balcony to enjoy a panoramic view of the corniche and the forts surrounding it.”

Al Mina Street, Muttrah Corniche, Muscat
(+968) 2471 1842
www.baitalluban.com

bait al luban restaurant muttrah corniche oman
Photo: Courtesy of @Bait_Al_Luban

Royal Opera House Muscat

“The recently developed Royal Opera House Muscat is a magnificent piece of art. Not only does it host live entertainment and shows, but also offers a spectacular tour to admire the architectural interiors and detailing of the building. Every element of this glorious space strikes as brilliant mastery.”

Al Kharjiyah Street, Muscat
(+968) 2440 3300
www.rohmuscat.org.om

Photo: Courtesy of Quinette Gallay

Ubhar

“The capital has seen many newly developed culinary experiences that pay particular attention to creating popular Omani dishes with a modern twist. One of my favorite fusion Omani restaurants in Muscat would have to be Ubhar, which is located just a five-minute walk from the opera house. It’s also a great lunch spot!”

Al Kharjiyah Street, Muscat
(+968) 2469 9826
www.ubharoman.com

The National Museum of Oman

“Another museum to recently open its doors to some of the oldest, most prestigious Omani heritage. Located opposite Al Alam Palace in the heart of Muscat, it offers a more detailed look at the country’s many cultural influences.”

Al Saidiya Street, Muscat
(+968) 2208 1500

Bait Al Zubair

“While in the area, plan a trip to Bait Al Zubair, home to one of the oldest family tribes in Oman. The original tenants of this house have transformed the property into a private museum, which displays the family’s collection of Omani artefacts that spans a number of centuries. It is considered to be the finest that is privately owned.”

Al Saidiya Street, Muscat
(+968) 2208 4700
www.baitalzubair.com

Bait Al zubair entrance oman
Photo: Courtesy of Bait Al Zubair

Further Afield

“I’m always eager to come back to Muscat for some traditional shopping spots. Far away from the modern-day shopping malls, I would plan a trip to one of our local souqs in the capital and enjoy a short road trip to Nizwa Souq, which is located an hour and a half from town – but definitely worth the drive! If you’re looking for authentic Omani silver jewelry, handwoven fabrics, local fragrances, or other handcrafted Omani jewels, Nizwa is the ideal place to visit for an authentic Omani shopping experience.”

Just outside Nizwa Fort, Nizwa 611

nizwa souk oman pottery handicrafts
Photo: Courtesy of @TomyAXAQC

And Along the Coast

“Start your journey heading towards the city of Sur. Your first stop will be Wadi Shab, one of my favorite spots in Oman for a hike and then a barbecue or picnic. The main attraction of the wadi is the waterfall in the cave, which you can reach after a roughly 40-minute hike. After Wadi Shab, it’s a short drive to the Bimmah Sinkhole, an area that is great for someone who enjoys adventures. There are stairs that take you to the bottom of the sinkhole, where you can dive in for a swim or even climb up the mountain for a dive.

After you’ve rested here, you can continue your journey on to Sur – it’s a beautiful drive up into the city, where you’ll see lots of attractions like the Sur Maritime Museum, Bilad Sur Castle, and the local souq. As the evening sets, head to Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve if you are there in high season, during which you’ll get to see hundreds of turtles coming to shore to lay their eggs. It’s truly worth a visit.”

bimmah sinkhole oman nature mountains
Photo: Courtesy of @TheGlobalNomad
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