Those familiar with the political geography of the Middle East are aware that there is a small piece of land projecting into the waters of the Hormuz Strait that belongs to Oman despite it being divided from the rest of the country by another state. This is the Omani governorate of Musandam, and the capital of this peninsular exclave is Khasab, which is one of the more popular spots to visit in that particular area.
Khasab is a lovely place: its location makes it difficult for it to be otherwise, given that it is situated right on the coast and the gorgeous turquoise waters of the strait. Its location also means that it has long held great importance to not just Omanis but also the other peoples of the area: it has been serving as a port city for several decades now, one of the primary passage points for seafaring cargo in the region. Indeed, to this day, a few hours spent by the port or harbour of the city shall yield numerous sightings of passing ships and tankers carrying valuable cargo and oil-as well as more than a few smugglers if you wait for the right time to monitor the waters. Smugglers in the region, especially those of Iran, use this port extensively for their activities, and everyone in the city knows it.
The city is easy to access and exit, even if it was not before. There are regular flights and ferries to and from the Omani capital, Muscat, and it is very near UAE by road, which makes it a common haunt for vacationers from the Emirates. There is also a road from it to the famous Tawi village nearby, which is great for those eager to see the well-known discoveries of prehistoric rock art in that site. Another archaeologically interesting location for those getting around the city might be Khasab Castle, which dates back to the 1600’s and which was formerly a fortress erected by the Portuguese, who were some of the most prolific military builders in the country. The Omanis took over it, constructed the present building atop the old one, and now, have converted it into a museum, where one may spy various artefacts from the governorate as well as witness exhibitions of traditional furniture and decorations in the places where people would have dwelled in the stronghold during its glory days.
Khasab has so much more to offer. There are palm groves inside the older parts of the city that serve as wonderful oases of fruit trees and greenery-aside from being excellent sources of figs and dates-and there are also areas where dolphins are known to pass by regularly, which means dolphin watchers can enjoy themselves there. There are beaches all around the area and dive spots as well. Khasab is a lovely weekend location, as many people in the surrounding areas can attest, and it serves this purpose handsomely to this day.