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The unique partnership between Aeroplan and Oman Air (WY) opened up a wonderful opportunity for me to visit Oman, and experience Oman Air’s beautiful Business and First Class cabins along the way. Beyond the airline, I was keen to visit the famed wadis (valley/ravine) and the rugged desert mountains set against the expansive beaches of the Arabian Sea. My trip was planned for April 2022, during the month of Ramadan. With a week of vacation time on hand, there was no way to truly see the country in its entirety, so I curated a “highlights package” for myself – 3 nights in Muscat to explore the culture and Omani heritage, a 2-night escape to the mountains of Jabal Akhdar, bookended by Oman Air Business and First Class experience.
Booking Oman Air – Flights, Hotels, and Car Rental
My flights were booked using Aeroplan, as two one-way trips, with the outbound from Ottawa to London booked in Air Canada Signature Class, and onto Muscat (MCT) in Oman Air Business Class;
- Ottawa (YOW) – London (LHR) – Muscat (MCT): 80,400 Points + $184.24 CAD in taxes
As for the return leg, I was happy to splurge towards Oman Air First class cabin to London, and then onwards in Air Canada Signature Class;
- Muscat (MCT) – London (LHR) – Toronto (YYZ) – Ottawa (YOW): 109,900 Points + $157.38 CAD in taxes
WY First Class availability on Aeroplan was excellent, with at least 2 seats available on each flight. WY operates First Class service from Muscat to London, Frankfurt, and Bangkok, on Boeing 787-9 aircraft. As a major regional operator, WY had pulled back their award availability from Aeroplan due to ‘World Cup demand‘ to/from Doha, Qatar. With the conclusion of the marquee event, the award availability is now back on Aeroplan, as per usual.
As for hotels in Muscat, I stuck with the Hyatt brand to leverage my Globalist benefits during the stay. Since my visit to Oman was during the holy month of Ramadan when most of the business demand tapers, the cash rates at city hotels were extremely favourable. The price for luxury retreats however, continued to be on the higher end.
- 3 nights in Grand Hyatt Muscat: 120 OMR (Omani Riyal), ~315 USD/nt
- 2 nights in Alila Jabal Akhdar: 40,000 Hyatt points + 300 OMR (~787 USD)
Alila Jabal Akhdar is a 2.5 hour drive from Muscat, through the beautiful desert roads of the Omani outback, and a serious climb up the mountain – 4×4 vehicle a must, I rented an SUV for the 5 days in Oman. With Ramadan, the prices for rentals were more reasonable;
- 5 day rental, Hyundai Escape: 127.97 OMR (Omani Riyal), ~345 USD
The out of pocket expense for booking this week-long trip was as follows;
- Airlines: 190,300 Aeroplan points + 341.62 CAD
- Hotels: 40,000 Hyatt points + 1102 USD
- Car Rental: 345 USD
My trip to Oman
Initially apprehensive, I am glad to have done this trip during Ramadan. It allowed me a unique experience of the holy month, amongst locals. Yes, it did come with its own challenges of timing my meals around limited operating times of restaurants, not eating in public during the day, and maintaining dress codes when outside. The daily evening rituals, festive food, late night markets, were all worth it. My personal favourite though was the wealth of natural beauty that the country presents – I would go back in a heartbeat!
A series of reviews capturing my experience in Oman, some live, some coming up shortly;
Review: Oman Air Business Class from London (LHR) to Muscat (MCT)
Review: Grand Hyatt Muscat (2022)
Review: The stunning Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman (2022)
Review: Oman Air First Class Lounge, Muscat International Airport
Review *Coming Soon*: Oman Air First Class from Muscat (MCT) to London (LHR)