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AL MAALAM TOURS

Al Maalam Tours is the name of the company, whose office is located in Nizwa (Oman), who holds local licence for operating tours in Oman.

Oman Trekking Guides our commercial name, which is more easy to use for our non-arabic-speaking guests. "Al Maalam" means "cultural heritage", that's to say a transmission from the past ; a person from the Ministry of Tourism, originating from Jebel akhdar gave it to us.

We organise tours at fixed scheldules in small groups or private tours to discover the Sultanate of Oman, mainly walking (from easy walks of a few hours to demanding multiday hikes), sometimes swimming, almost always also with the support of vehicules to drive longer distances or to carry luggages and equipment.



Created in 20100 by two friends from Oman and France, it has developped quickly until 2016. We have worked with important tour operators in Europe (Tirawa and Atalante in France, Hauser Exkursionen in Germany, ASI in Austria, Sayu Travel in Japan), some small travel agencies, and many independant travellers on private tailor-made tours.

Starting with 3 guides in 2010, we were 12 in 2016, without counting the numerous drivers and the logistic team. This last year, we've taken more than 1000 persons on tours of an average length of 8 days.

We had a very good team with persons of high quality, of different origins (6 nationalities!), with different views and tastes, but sharing a same enthusiasm.

During these 7 years we continuously went on exploration trips to offer original and high-quality itineraries. Experience also improved our savoir-faire.

Maybe victims of a too quick success, of the fatigue of passing time, or of a change of era, Ibrahim and Antoine wanted to step back in 2016. But they found nobody to replace them, and their employees did not want to take over without them. So they decided to close the company in 2017. They changed the website to help travellers find ideas of tours and get in touch with experimented and now independant guides : no more structure, everyone free... Anarchy!

5 years later, after having taken rest, stepped back, explored other fileds, and lived the great uupheaval of the years 2020-2022, we decided to start again our activity.

The environment changed a lot within 5 years and we learned from the past.

So, we decided to start again differently : of a smaller size, we do not work anymore with foreign tour operators, and we offer mainly tours in small groups, at fixed schedules, on new itineraries, always changing and adapted to the season. According to our availabilities, we can also organize private tours.


www.omantrekkingguides.com, website of AL MAALAM TOURS , company registered under Commercial Register Number (1087801), and with
(local tour operator licence)
AL MAALAM TOURS - PO BOX 917 - Post Code 611 - NIZWA - SULTANATE OF OMAN


IBRAHIM

ANTOINE

DEEP


IBRAHIM


39 years old
15 years of experience
Speaks Arabi, English

CHILDHOOD

He was born and grew up in an old quarter of Nizwa, a city with long history and traditions.

Raised with 10 brothers and sisters, he had a happy childhood and witnessed huge changes : he saw electricity arriving first at school and then in his house, the dirt-road linking Nizwa to Muscat become asphalted and then a highway, the opening of the country to foreigners…

YOUTH

Good soccer player and several times champion of Karate in Oman, he started to work early, performing various small jobs : waiter, delivery-boy, seller of fruits and vegetables, office assistant… When he entered adventure tourism, first as driver/assistant, he immediately knew he found his way.

He quickly became trekking guide and trained himself for via-ferrata and canyoning.

He then started to meet western people and he did his first journeys abroad in Turkey, Syria, and Thailand.

ADULTHOOD

After several years working for different agencies in the field of adventure tourism, he opened with his friend Antoine the agency Al Maalam Tours.

While managing the company which developped quickly and still guiding tours, he married and made a family.

He also travelled to Europe, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, La Reunion Island, and Comor Islands.

In 2017, he closed the company Al Maalam Tours to take some rest, step back, and spend more time with his family.

He also used this time to develop small farming in his garden with fruit trees, vegetables, chicken, and goats, and he travelled to Indonesia.

After digesting all these rich and numerous experiences, he decided in 2021, to open again Al Maalam Tours, still with his friend Antoine, to start again his professional activity in a slightly different way : slowlier but better and longlasting.

FUTURE

The following of the story happens now, and will we written in a few years…



ANTOINE


42 years old
14 years of experience
Speaks Arabi, Francais, English, Deutsch, Espanol

CHILDHOOD

He was born and grew up in a peaceful village in the countryside in Normandy.

He had an easy, beautiful and worryless childhood with his brother.

His family moved to the suburb of Paris and he got to adapt to the city.

He got the chance, thanks to his parents, to travel in North Africa, America, and Europe.

YOUTH

He studied in Paris first humanities and then switched to business management, still keeping on reading about history, philosophy, sociology, and working on holidays in a warehouse.

He finished his studies in Germany and started to work as export assistant in smal family-run businesses first in Paris, and then in Millau.

He discovered mountains and hiking while travelling in South America.

Going then always more often hiking in the Cevennes and in the Pyrenees, he decideded to change job and train to become mountain leader.

A combination of cicumstances had him start this new job in Oman.

ADULTHOOD

After working a few years for another agency in the field of adventure tourism, he opened Al Maalam Tours with his friend Ibrahim.

He managed the quickly growing company and kept on guiding tours.

At the same time he integrated in Oman, assimilating language and culture.

He also traveled in Yemen, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Palestine, Jordan, La Reunion Island, and Comor Islands.

In 2017, he decided to close the company to take some rest, step back, and resettle in France, in the countryside of Correze, nearer to his parents.

He also used this time to learn gardening and read further about history, philosophy, and religions.

After digesting all this, he decided in 2021 to marry and make family.

He also reopened Al Maalam Tours with his friend Ibrahim to come back in the Sultanate of Oman and start his professional activity again but differently : slowlier, but better and longlasting.

FUTURE

The following of the story happens now, and will we written in a few years…



DEEP


32 years old
9 years of experience
Speaks English

CHILDHOOD

He was born and grew up in Nepal, in the hilly and wooded region of Chitwan.

His parents were farmers, doing subsistence farming : they were selling the surplus of rice and lentils to buy firstly salt, and depending on the years, also clothes and school supplies for the children.

Despite this modest lifestyle, he had a very happy childhood with his brothers and cosins living in the same town, playing in the fields, in the forest, and in the jungle.

YOUTH

After finishing school, he immediately faced the necessity of earning money to help his family : after spending a few months in Kathmandu, he went to India to join his uncle, hoping to find work there.

A year later, he was back in Nepal and found a visa to go work in Saudi Arabia as driver/seller.

He stayed one year only because he was not satisfied with his life and work environement.

Back in Nepal, he wanted to go abroad again, and found the opportunity to come work in Oman for Al Maalam Tours : he was first in charge of cleaning, preparing and maintining the equipment.

He got the opportunity to get to know people from various backgrounds (arabs, europeans, south asians).

He then went to work in a newly opened mountain hut : Bait Bimah.

ADULTHOOD

When Al Maalam Tours closed in 2017, he kept on working in the mountain hut as manager and took part intensively to its nice developpment.

He also got opportunity to work in different other hotels at that time.

And he started to take guests to the canyon and mountain hikes near the hut.

During these years, he also learned many languages : arabic, bengali, french, and a buit of pachtoun.

When Ibrahim and Antoine decided to reopen Al Maalam Tours in 2021, he decided to come to help them.

Responsible for logistic organisation, he also goes on all kind of tours as driver/helper, and starts to guide a few tours in places he knows well.

FUTURE

The following of the story happens now, and will we written in a few years…




THE ACTIVITIES WHICH WE OFFER

HIKING

That's our main job :

We offer tours with hikes of several hours, of different levels, sometimes for several following days, in the mountain, in the desert, or in wadis.

WALKING

For the ones who are less fit but still like to walk and discover the country not only by car, we also offer tours with not too difficult walk of a few hours only.

SWIMMING

Oman is an arid country yet with water being present everywhere , with the sea and the wadis (canyons in which water flows year-long).

We often include swimming stops while hiiking or walking in the wadis.

CANYONING

In more demanding tours, we also include canyoning and aquatic hikes (a mix of hiking, bouldering, and swimming in a canyon, with no abseiling).

SNORKELING

On the seaside, we sometimes have opportunity to snorkel : it's a great activity which gives opportunity to any swimmer to see underwater life.

CULTURE

We also include more cultural visits in our tours : visits of cities, forts, museums, archeological sites, etc...

SCIENCES

Sometimes, when our specialist guides are available, we might also offer climbing tour or tours focusing on Geology, Flora, Bird watching, or Religion.

OUR RANGE OF TOURS

DISCOVER

These tours are mostly designed for a first visit iin the Sultanate of Oman.

They last at least 12 days allow one to see the diversity of the country : they visit different regions and at least 2 or 3 different environments (mountain, sea, desert, wadis).

They can be of different levels : with easy walks or more demanding hikes, and also more cultural visits.

GO DEEPER

These are tours designed mostly (but not only) for persons who already know the country and want to discover an aspect or a region in-depth.

They last at least 4 days, focus on an only region, and are largely out of the main trourist routes.

They can be of different levels (from easy walks to multi-days treks) and are offered often in smaller groups.

EXPLORE

These tours are only for persons who we already know and are not advertised on the website.

DIFFICULTY LEVELS

Level 1

Tour with short walks but no real hikes

Level 2

Quite easy tours with easy hikes (no more than 4 hours walking and 300m height difference). These tours might include swimming but no aquatic hike nor canyoning.

Level 3

Tours which can include full-day hikes (up to 800 elevation gain) and not too difficult aquatic hikes.

Level 4

Tours which can include demanding hikes (up to 1200m elevation gain), aquatic hikes and canyoning.

Level 5

Demanding tours which may feature very long hikes (more than 1200m elevation gain), canyoning, via-ferratas, or adventure trails.

Level 6

Tours mainly focused on climbing with also aquatic hikes, canyoning, Via-ferratas, and adventure trails. A first experience of climbing is MANDATORY. For beginners to advanced climbers

ACCOMODATIONS

HOTELS

We try to choose hotels of medium category with a good value for money, when possible wiith charm and view, and above all well located.

GUESTHOUSES

This type of accomodation has developped a lot in Oman these last years. They are often very nice, with a lot of charm, and in great locations, but with slightly less comfort than hotels. We try to choose guesthouses with particularly friendly staff.

PRIVATE HOMES

It's a type of accomodation which is noot very wide spread on Oman for cultural and economical reasons. On some trekking tours in the mountains, it happens that we rent houses in some villages which are not inhabited on a daily basis : it gives us a little more comfort compared to camping (toilets), offers us deeper relation with people from villages, and allow the owners to maintain or renovate their traditional houses.

CAMPING

It's wild camping. We find beautiful and wild places with access for the cars. We provide you individual tents (for 1 or 2 persons) and thick mattresses (~7cm) to sleep. In the evening, we drink tea and eat dinner on big mats and mattresses (you take them to your tent when you go to sleep). We have all the cooking equipment to prepare you nice dinners with fresh products. There is no toilets : you have to go in the nature...

In the desert, we set up a big tent to protect ourselves from sun and wind.

In the mountain, at high elevation, in winter, we set up a big tent to eat and spend the evening in a warm place.

BIVOUACS

On some tours with multi-days hikes, it can happen that we sleep in the wild under the stars, without the assistance of vehicules. If it is the case, it is clearly written in the program. We spend the night under the stars and you have to carry your sleeping bag and sleeping pad. Conditions are more basic than camping, but we still cook you good meals.

OUR PRICE POLICY

Our job is, humanly, one of the most interesting and enriching. But it requests a big personal investment.

Low prices and low income forces us to sell more tours, which leads to decreasing quality and quick exhaustion. It also reduces the free time we have to explore new places and to learn more. In a competitive environement, it leads to an overuse of the places we visit and to an 'industrialization' of our job.

High prices give us a better income, which gives us more time to learn and explore, and preserves the artisanal aspect of our job. It also leads to a lower use of the places we visit. But it selects our clients on their income, which does not suit us.

Fix costs (guide, driver, vehicules, fuel) are an important part of the costs of a tour, and if they are shared on a low number of travellers, they make prices high.

Gathering different travellers is the more efficient way to reduce the prices, while preserving a good quality and a good level of income for the diferent actors.

That's why we have decided to offer our services mainly through small-group tours at fixed schedule : we can gather different travellers, offer affordable prices, and receive a fair income.


www.omantrekkingguides.com, website of AL MAALAM TOURS , company registered under Commercial Register Number (1087801), and with
(local tour operator licence)
AL MAALAM TOURS - PO BOX 917 - Post Code 611 - NIZWA - SULTANATE OF OMAN