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Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula (Lonely Planet Oman, Uae & Arabian Peninsula) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Frances Linzee Gordon , Stuart Butler , Terry Carter , Jenny Walker , Lara Dunston

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1. September 2007 Lonely Planet Oman, Uae & Arabian Peninsula
Discover Oman, UAE, and the Arabian Peninsula
Sneak (legally) into the dunes of Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter and experience all that's romantic about the desert.
Look beyond Dubai to the rest of the UAE - count the camels on the sublime desert drive from Sharjah to Kalba.
Hike where fragrant rosewater is produced from the pink roses of Oman's Jebel Akhdar.
Discover the secret to eternal life - and what make Suqutra the Galapagos Islands of the Middle East.
In This Guide:
More off-the-beaten-track UAE info than any other guide
Special Haj feature tells the ultimate traveler's tale
Dedicated Expats chapter packed with tips on living in another culture
The only guide with independent reviews of everything you need to know about Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar

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Lonely Planet guidebooks are, quite simply, like no others.' --New York Times


Focusses on travellers to Oman, the UAE or Yemen, or a combination. This guide contains a detailed chapter for Expats who are keen to immerse themselves in local culture. It offers coverage of regional history, culture and Islam.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  8 Rezensionen
26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Very useful indeed 21. März 2006
Von 3rdeadly3rd - Veröffentlicht auf
This book became a surrogate Bible for my father and me on a recent trip to the UAE, Yeman and Oman. It's a tad out of date as regards the big cities - Dubai, for example, has even more hotels and malls than the book would indicate - but the information was still exceptionally useful.

Indeed, the UAE map was the only such map we had access to during what should have been a routine drive from Dubai to Fujairah. Our driver was singularly inept, and we were almost constantly greatful for the map to direct him onto the relevant route.

As far as Dubai, Sharjah and Muscat are concerned, the sights given the best reviews in this book are the key places for any visitor to have a look at. I still regret that we weren't able to get a look over the Jumeirah Mosque, which looks stunning in photos, although if anything the Grand Mosque in Muscat is undersold (it is simply awe-inspiring).

The smaller centres - Fujairah and Salalah being the two we saw - are largely accurate as well, although the latter isn't really painted as being as sleepy as it is outside of the Khareef season. The section on Fujairah is a particular gem, since the city itself is not a tourist destination at all and yet there is somehow some interest to be had in the restaurant reviews (yes, the Sadaf and al-Meshwar are as weird as they say).

The two stars missing are due to the coverage of Yemen. Admittedly, Yemen is a difficult country to come to grips with in the first place, but the LP treatment here is inaccurate in a great many ways.

One of the prime examples is in the attitude toward bargaining, which the book says is not done in an enthusiastic manner at all. This is quite simply not the case, with shopkeepers in mountain villages and the Souq al-Milh alike expecting a vigorous haggle before most goods are handed over. Indeed, our guide even went as far as to haggle with a young girl near a village over the matter of roughly $1US. A traveller doesn't have to haggle, by any means, but not to do so is to perpetuate the same gullible-tourist stereotype as it would be in the rest of the region.

Secondly, the guidebook sings the praises of Kowkaban and Shibam quite highly and undersells the Haraz Mountains. Having been to both regions, I can safely say that the Haraz (and the villages in them - particularly al-Hajjara) are simply breathtaking. Kowkaban and Shibam are far from unattractive, but pale into insignificance in comparison. Likewise, the claim that the locals in the Haraz are less keen to be photographed is unusual at least - as the children in the region loved my camera, while those in Kowkaban were stolidly indifferent. The women of both regions were naturally reticent, but with the exception of them there was only one Harazi photo declined - and even then the boy changed his mind on seeing the camera.

Thirdly, and most importantly, LP is not forthcoming on the risks involved in travel in Yemen. From a reading of the guidebook, one would be tempted to believe that the only difficulties will be in driving on unsealed roads, which is not accurate at all. To begin with, the number of checkpoints requiring permits to travel is not made clear at all. More importantly, the risk of kidnapping is downplayed too much. Admittedly, it is only a small risk and one will probably not be in any real danger if kidnapped, but regions like Sa'ada and Shabwa are indeed more risky than the book would have the reader believe.

Then again, the guidebooks always tend to be written by those who make it back unscarred by the journey...

I'll admit, though, that the friendliness of the Yemenis was quite accurate. They would have to rate as the friendliest nation I have yet experienced.

In conclusion, a very useful resource for anyone seeking to explore this fascinating part of the world. As always, though, a guidebook shouldn't be taken in preference to information from a travel agent, a government or even the Lonely Planet website. Conditions change, but when they're acceptable, this is a great book to use to see a great area.
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen a useful guide to have along 7. März 2006
Von David Stanley - Veröffentlicht auf
I've used "Arabian Peninsula" on trip to five Gulf countries: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and Oman. The only country in which the book led me astray and caused inconvenience was in Qatar. Things are changing so quickly in Qatar that it isn't surprising that the guides are out of date. There's now a city bus service in Doha (which unfortunately goes nowhere near the airport), and a huge Museum of Islamic Art is nearing completion on the Corniche. The book is correct in saying you can get your Qatar visa upon arrival at the airport, but they don't warn you that payment of the visa fee (under US$20) is by credit card only (cash not accepted). In the Doha section, the guide says "some budget hotels are not suitable for, nor will they accept, solo women travelers. The hotels listed below are the exceptions to this rule." Well, that's all fine and dandy, but as a solo male traveler, I'd have liked to have been told which perfectly acceptable (and much cheaper) Doha hotels were available to men. And since politically correct Lonely Planet doesn't care to say, here they are: Doha Hotel, Golden Hotel, and Doha Tower Hotel all behind the Gold Souq, and the Hotel Inter-Diplomat near the National Museum. All these charge about 50 percent less than the cheapest hotel listed in "Arabian Peninsula". And yes, I didn't see women in any of them. Contrary to what's in the guide, you can now get your Kuwait visa at the airport and a hotel booking is not required. I ended up staying at the Safari House Motel near the bus station in Kuwait City as the cheaper Al-Bahrain Hotel in the market area was full. In Dubai I came across another example of Lonely Planet-style bias. This book raves about the rather mediocre Jumeira Mosque, but fails to mention the very interesting Dubai Zoo just a 10-minute walk away. Yes, the enclosures are too small, but if that's the problem, why not list the zoo and say so? It's probably the only chance budget travelers will have to see many endangered Arabian animals. Is Lonely Planet trying to pressure the Dubai authorities into moving their zoo to some remote location inaccessible to most of their readers? It grates when a guidebook consciously makes choices like these for its readers. Anyway, I'd like to note here that I felt perfectly safe in all four Gulf countries I visited, and that virtually everyone I met was very friendly and helpful. It's an interesting area, and this handy little book will certainly see you through.
14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great for Travel in Yemen and Dubai 15. Januar 2006
Von Jedidiah Palosaari - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
It's not easy to write reviews of travel books- they don't lend themselves to the task as well as a good novel. I am not so much judging the quality of the writing as I am the quality of the research. It is doubly hard to write a review of a travel book that covers six different countries. It is hard to visit all the places- being that, with the possible exception of North Korea, some of these countries are the hardest ones in the world to visit. So I am of necessity limiting my review to those countries which I did visit, and thus the review will be unable to cover the entire book.

I found the information on Dubai extremely helpful. I was there for only one day, but was able to use the information provided to find a cheap place to stay ($35 in Dubai ) and make my way to that center of Emirati culture, the mall. The provided maps were accurate and extremely detailed, allowing me to make my way around the center of the city with ease, and stated distances precise. Prices after a year were still relatively the same as those quoted in the book.

Not so in Yemen, where I spent the bulk of my time. This is not due to any fault of Lonely Planet, but rather to the extreme rate of change in that country. At the time of printing in 2004 there were 185 Yemeni Riyal to the dollar; it's now closer to 195. Generally, for travel purposes I found that I needed to multiply amounts listed in Lonely Planet by 150% to get the going rate- and, living in Morocco, I know how to bargain for a good price. This was not trying to take advantage of a tourist, but simply the price of inflation. Bus fares, running at 20-40 Riyal, remained the same.

As Lonely Planet states, the way to get into the country has changed numerous times over the past few years, as have travel restrictions. So it is now possible for EU and American citizens to get Visas at the airport- though those at the local Yemeni embassy insisted I needed an engraved invitation from a resident of the country in order to enter Yemen. I repeatedly found knowledge of the more up to date laws lacking in different segments of the Yemeni authorities.

The police on one day told me it was no problem to travel to Shibam Hadremowt without a travel permit. A couple days later they had changed their minds, and not even chewing qat with the police chief for two hours could convince him otherwise. But he told me that I could fly there instead. I flew there, but the local airline neglected to mention that the airport there is closed indefinitely, and rerouted me without my permission to a different location, from where I had to pay for a taxi to travel 5 hours across the Hadremowt. For which I needed a travel permit, despite that the police in the capitol saying a permit is no longer necessary for that area. And, this is important, for Lonely Planet does not mention it, it turns out you need a travel permit in order to leave an area as well- the same travel permit you took to get there doesn't count. If you are without a travel agency, they can keep you in an area indefinitely without that travel permit.

Why all this fuss? A number of Westerners have been kidnapped in Yemen over the years, including seven while I was there. Thus Lonely Planet warns against travel to Yemen at this time on their website, and the government requires you hire an expensive travel agency for any travel to the most interesting places in Yemen, in the North. Do not be dissuaded- the kidnappings have only once ever resulted in the death of those kidnapped (among hundreds kidnapped), and that was because of a botched rescue attempt by the government. Generally, those kidnapped are treated very well by local tribes, given lots of food, and considered to be honored guests, in return for some concessions from the government like roads or a school that the government had previously promised. And though travel is difficult within the country, it is well worth it, and figuring out how to get from one place to another has always been part of the joy of travel for me.

Lonely Planet's guides on hotels were very helpful, helping me choose clean yet cheap accommodations in the different cities I visited in Sana'a, Shibam, Shibam Hadremowt, and Ta'izz. The gave me the lowdown on what significant areas to visit, how much to pay, and how to get there. Until there is a more updated version of Lonely Planet Yemen (now five years out of date), this is book is a must for travel in this amazing country of tradition and history.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent Guide to the Arabian Peninsula 30. September 2009
Von Laurence Zimmerman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Lonley Planet almost always publishes excellent travel guides and this book is no exception. I used it in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman and found it of the usually excellent standard of the Lonley Plant series.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good Information 15. Februar 2013
Von The Purple Bee - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I don't know if I'll ever travel to Arabian Peninsula, but there is good information for those who are interested.
I'm interested but think travelling solo might be difficult for a woman.
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