Move over, Dubai—Oman's rugged riches are catching on.
The best way to explore this emerging destination in good style is Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay (villas from $870; sixsenses.com). Located on the Musandam Peninsula, the 82-room retreat sits between jagged mountains and a stretch of pristine white-sand beach (guests arrive via paraglider; a 4×4 follows with their luggage). Guides are on standby to lead hikes into the Ru’us Al Jibal plateau—one of the last remaining wild areas on the Arabian Peninsula—while offshore, the sky blue Gulf of Oman draws kayakers into a maze of hidden caves and secluded coves. Sixty-one years after Thesiger’s journey, off-the-beaten-path Oman still awaits discovery.
Must-Do: The monthlong Muscat Festival kicks off in January, a day’s drive from Zighy Bay. Wander amid clouds of frankincense and myrrh while taking in Arab music, art, and cuisine (muscat-festival.com).