I recently had the chance to go and work in Oman for a few months and it was a bit of an eye opening experience. It showed a side of the Middle East that the media seem to ignore. Fact that people are civil, pleasant and just as important "human beings" is something that you don't find on mainstream media these days and its a pity.
My time in Oman was primarily for assessments of equipment for camps in the oil industry and to help build a realistic cost book of staff numbers, vehicles etc. (ok I will leave it there don't want to bore you with all the details!).
But I did get to travel most of the country due to the locations of the camps and generally the people of Oman are wonderful welcoming people. If anything sometimes it felt awkward because people were over friendly with things like trying to get you to eat with them or if they knew you were going somewhere would want to give you a ride.
The country is still in development and the Sultan's 20 year reign is still pretty obvious that its going to take a lot longer to get the country where the Omani vision is aiming. But there is progress and the passion to get it to where they want it to be is there to drive it.
Not a great tourist destination today but will be soon. Red Bull recently hosted its world cliff diving even there which was something a little different.
I have to admit though after 3 1/2 months in the desert my wife was more than happy to see me when I arrived back in Cebu,Philippines!