Muscat (م س ط MasqaNATAis the capital of Oman
م س ق ط ・ Masqaat
|Inhabitants||1 720 000 (2017)|
Muscat, a long commercial tradition behind whose sailors went to Zanzibar, has kept little trace of his past and its appearance is modern completion.
Rich city thanks to oil exports, Muscat is not within the reach of all its pockets, being quite expensive as regards living expenses.
Located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Hajar Mountains, today's city of Mascate was born from the union of smaller towns that grew over the years, to the point of joining.
When to go
Mascate is characterized by a warm and arid climate, with long and very warm summers and warm winters. Annual rainfall in Muscat is low with a total annual of about 10 cm concentrated from December to April; usually, in the summer months, only a few raindrops fall. However, in recent years, the heavy rainfall of tropical systems originating in the Arabian Sea has hit the city. In 2007 and 2010, two cyclones with strong winds and rainfall of more than 100 mm in one day occurred.
The climate is generally very warm, with temperatures often reaching 40 °C in the summer, with a humidity of 40 to 60%, which is quite high for these temperatures.
Mascate is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. It's been known since the second century. Around 1,400 kg of franchise were transported every year by ship from South Arabia to Greece, Rome and the Mediterranean. The center of this trade was a place called Khur Ruri, which the Greeks called "Muscat."
The first foreign presence in Mascate was that of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who landed in Oman on the road to India. The Portuguese returned in 1507 for looting and catching Masqaut. In 1649, Imam Sultān bin Sayf defeated the Portuguese and drove them east to Goa (India).
With the superior warships captured from the Portuguese, the imam founded an empire that stretched from Zanzibar to the south, to Gwadar in Pakistan to the east. Slaves were brought in from Zanzibar and Balochistan to work in Oman or to be sold elsewhere. This gave a period of relative stability and prosperity to Muscat and Oman.
The nation was torn to pieces by fighting and rebellions at the death of the imam in 1679. Mascate was then invaded by the Persians in 1737, albeit for a short while, since Aḥmad bin Saīd defeated them and was later elected Imam.
In 1803, the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia attacked Oman, but were rejected by Sayyid Sa'id bin Sultan. The Sultan thus created a colony in the fertile areas of Zanzibar and practically ruled Oman from a foreign island. Then, in 1853, the Sultan transferred the title "capital" of Oman to Zanzibar. This began the decline of fortunes of Masqat and Oman.
In 1913, the Sultan ruled Masqat while the Imam ruled Oman, but after Indian independence in 1947, the Sultan, with the help of the British, defeated the Imam and unified much of Oman. In 1964, the war of Dhofār began, to expel the British from Oman, but for independence it took another seven years.
How to orient
The city features the old Mascate (called the masonry town), where the royal palace is, Muttrah (also translated as Matrah or Matruh), a former fishing village with the labirintica Muttrah Souq, a covered market; And Ruwi, the commercial and diplomatic quarter of the city. The metropolitan area covers about 3,500 km² and this tripartite division can be a disadvantage for tourists as many of the accommodation sites are located at a considerable distance from the most popular tourist destinations.
Unlike other cities in the Gulf of Oman, especially in the UAE and Qatar, Mascate does not have an ultramoderno skyline. Following the Sultan's preferences, modern buildings must follow the tradition of the Arab architectural style.
Muscat is a fragmented city, made up of fairly distant districts stretching 40 kilometers across a stretch of coastline that is getting taller and jammed as you move away from the airport.
Here is a brief review of the Muscat districts as they move from west to east:
- 1 Al Khuwair — the first neighborhood to meet from the airport, Al Khuwair is the area of five-star embassies and hotels lined up on a long sand coast. The Grand Mosque meets in the adjacent Al - Azaiba neighborhood
- 2 Qurm — The easternmost shopping center neighborhood
- 3 Muttrah — Muttrah extends on the seaside south of the port. Its main attraction is the suq, which overflows all kinds of shops. There is the strong homonym built by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century to guard the port. Muttrah is an area of cheap and very crowded hotels.
- 4 Old Muscat — The old town, walled by a wall, stretches across hills near the sea. There is the palace of the Sultan of Oman. It's also the most beautiful and refined area in the city. In addition to a regular day visit, it is also very pleasant to visit the neighborhood at night when the artistic lighting enhances the buildings and the confusion of tourists gives way to tranquility.
- 5 Ruwi — Considered the center of Muscat, Ruwi is a commercial district with a large minority of Indians.
How to get
- 1 Muscat International Airport (IATA: MCT) (37 km east of Mutrah), ☎ +968 24 519223, +968 24 519456. It used to be called Seeb International Airport. It is divided into two terminals, the old (terminal 2) and the new (terminal 1) opened in 2018. There are ATMs inside the old terminal just before going out on the left side of the doors. The number of airlines flying to Muscat is increasing every year; below is a list of the main companies:
- Oman Air (in Ruwi, in front of the central bank), +968 24 707222, +968 24 798096 (reservations), +968 24 750812 (reservations)), fax: +968 24 795546. It operates flights through Muscat from many airports in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. It also operates domestic flights to and from Salalah and Khasab.
- Air Arabia, ☎ +968 24 700828. It operates two flights a day from Sharja to Mascate, the flight lasts about 55 minutes.
- Air India Express. Flights from Amritsar on Wednesday and Friday (the flight takes approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes); from New Delhi on Wednesday and Friday (the flight lasts approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes); from Kochi on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (the flight lasts 3 hours and 35 minutes); from Kozhikode on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (the flight lasts 3 hours and 25 minutes); From Thiruvanantahapuram on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays (the flight lasts 3 hours and 45 minutes if it is headed, 5 hours and 20 if it makes a stop in Kochi).
- British Airways , ☎ +968 24 565123, +968 24 2456877, fax: +968 24 795721. Daily flights from London Heatrow airport to Mascate.
- Egypt Air , ☎ +968 24 794113, +968 24 796134, fax: +968 24 70989. It operates flights from Il Cario to Mascate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arriving at its destination the next morning, the flight lasts 4 hours.
- Emirates , ☎ +968 24 786600, +968 24 792222, fax: +968 24 750989. 10 flights a day from/to Dubai, one hour flight time.
- Etihad Airways , ☎ +968 24 823555, +968 24 817861, fax: +968 24 823556. 3 flights a day to/from Abu Dhabi, flight time approximately 1 h and 5 minutes.
- Flydubai. 3 flights a day to/from Dubai
- Gulf Air , ☎ +968 24 703222, +968 24 703544, fax: +968 24 7003381. Flights from Bahrain
- KLM. It operates flights from Amsterdam to Mascate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and the duration of the flight is approximately 8 hours and 30 minutes.
- Kuwait Airways , ☎ +968 24 701262, +968 24 704455, fax: +968 24 700483.
- Lufthansa , ☎ +968 24 796692, +968 24 510400, fax: +968 24 798987. Daily flights from Frankfurt with a technical stop in Abu Dhabi, which lasted about 8 hours.
- Pakistan International Airlines , ☎ +968 24792471, @[email protected]. Flights from Islamabad on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and from Peshawar on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
- Qatar Airways , ☎ +968 24 787070, fax: +968 24 798987.
- Royal Jordanian , ☎ +968 24 796693, +968 24 707930, fax: +968 24 788098. He flees from Amman four times a week.
- Swiss , ☎ +968 24 703303, +968 24 787416, fax: +968 24 799502. Daily flights from Zurich with a stop in Dubai.
- Turkish Airlines. Daily flights from Istanbul and stop in Bahrain.
- The taxis to and from the airport should cost between RO 6 (Golden Tulip near the airport) and RO 12 (Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Al Bustan). Taxis can be booked at the Taxi Counter ( ☏ +968 24518780, +968 24518781, ✉ [email protected]). Make sure you agree on the fare with the driver before you start the journey. The fares must be agreed before the journey begins and can be pre-paid at the taxi stand at Muscat International Airport. The basic charge to/from the airport is 8 OMR, but the contract can be reduced to 5 OMR.
- The public buses, run by Mwasalat, stop on the ground floor outside the new terminal. The 1B bus is running 24/7 until the Ruwi bus station for the RO 0.5, where it is possible to switch to the buses headed for Mutrah and the old Muscat. The frequency during the day is every 20 minutes. The bus to Dubai is available at stop A4.
- 2 Oman National Transport Company (ONTC), Al-Jaame St (The end of the state-run bus line ONTC is located in the Ruwi district), ☎ +968 24 708522 (reservations), +968 24 5104 38 (information). Autolinous work between Mascate and Dubai (journey time: 6 hours). From Oman there are daily buses to/from Buraimi (via Sohar), Nizwa (2 hours and 20 minutes), Salalah (13 hours, mandatory booking), Sanaw and Sur (4 hours and 15 minutes).
- 3 Azaiba Station (م ح ط ة ح ف ا ل ا ت ا ل ع ذ ي ب ة). In this station east of Mascate there are buses running for Dubai, one way running is 5.50 R.O. (6 hours 30 min). You can't book your ticket online, but only on the spot. The bus also stops at the airport at stop A4.
You can reach Mascate on the street from the United Arab Emirates. The journey lasts about 5 hours by crossing the border to Hatta/al-Ayn.
You can also drive from Al Ghaydah in Yemen and reach Mascate in just over 14 hours.
- 4 National Ferry Company, Porto Sultan Qaboos, Mutrah (Call Center and Passenger Boarding Office), +968 2449 5453 (office), +968 800 72 000 (reservations), fax: +968 2449 3910, @[email protected]. Only way: RO 45/23 (business / tourist class), a/r: RO 85/44 (business / tourism class). Dom-Gio 07:30-15:30 (office). The ferries arrive weekly from Khasab at the main port of Mutrah, leaving every Saturday at 11:30 and arrive five hours later. The ferries departing from Mutrah leave every Thursday at noon. All ferries have free Wi-Fi connection, with lunch, snacks and drinks included in the ticket price. You should book the ferry ticket in advance to secure your seat.
The cruise ships regularly stop at 5 Porto Sultan Qaboos in Mutrah. The shuttle buses carry visitors from the ship to the entrance of the port and taxis are also available. A port exit fiche lists the fares for the most common destinations; all other destinations must be negotiated first. However, the Corniche is a short distance on foot, with the journey through the fish market. Visitors should only carry their cruise embarkation card and travel permits.
How to move
Mwasalat operates some public bus lines covering the most important sites and the airport. The buses are infrequent (15 to 20 minutes), but they are comfortable and have air conditioning. You walk through the front front main door, you communicate the destination to the driver and you pay in cash. Women should sit in front. Since December 2016, 5 bus lines were in operation, all starting and ending in Ruwi. The charges depend on the distance, which varies from 300 Bz to RO 1.
- Path # 1: Ruwi-Al Mabelah - Goes to the Theater of the Royal Opera, to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and to the airport
- Path # 2: Ruwi-Al Wadi Al Kabir
- Path # 3: Ruwi-Wadi Adei
- Path # 4: Ruwi-Mutrah-Al Alam Palace - Goes to the Suq of Mutrah, Al Alam Palace and Oman National Museum
The giant taxis (minibus, also known among the expatriate communities as baisa bus) are traveling the highway from Seeb to the Corniche. The price is about 0,100 OMR (100 Bzs) from the Corniche to the roundabout of the church and another 100 BZS from the Wadi Adai church roundabout.
On arrival at the airport, about 40 km from the main financial center in Muscat (or Central Business District, or CBD), you can take a bus along the main road in both directions.
Taxis (mostly in orange and white) are a little more expensive, and usually stay close to hotels where they can more easily find customers, mostly tourists, to whom a cheap fare is applied.
The big taxis follow the main directions of the city and do not have a precise route, so they may have to look for one that goes in their direction. Once you get on a bus cabin, you'll somehow get to your destination. The place to wait for a giant taxi is the access ramps of major highway hubs, where many people are often waiting. A trip within the Muscat area should not cost more than 0,300 OMR, but if you look like an experienced traveler and you know a little bit about bargaining, you can go down to 0,200 OMR.
The car is an excellent means of transport and enables it to reach every part of the city in a short period of time. The roads are quite busy, but the main artery Sultan Qaboos and the motorway connecting with the eastern part of the country allow rapid movement. The size of the city is considerable, but the car travels smoothly compared to other capitals.
Below is a list of the main car hire agencies:
- ABC, ☎ +968 24 582663. Local agency.
- Al Maskry Rent-a-Car , ☎ +968 99438661, +968 99381524, @[email protected]. Local agency well started.
- Avis Oman , ☎ +968 24 510342 (airport), +968 24 400888 (city).
- Budget Oman , ☎ +968 24 683999, fax: +968 24 683966, @[email protected].
- Europcar , ☎ +968 24 521369 (airport), +968 24 521369 (city).
- Hertz , ☎ +968 24 521187 (airport), +968 24 625200 (city).
- National , ☎ +968 24 521369 (airport), +968 24 601081 (city).
- Sixt , ☎ +968 24 510224 (airport), +968 24 482793 (city).
- Thrifty , ☎ +968 24 521189 (airport), +968 23 211493 (city).
- Nomad Tours , ☎ +968-95495240 (airport), +968-95495241 (airport), +968-95495242 (city), @ [email protected] ...
- 6 Old Muscat Park (Behind the museum in Saidia).
What to see
- 1 Strong Al Jalali (ق ل ع ة ا ج ل ل ا ل ي), Qasr Al Alam St. Entrance with special permission. Built as a prison in rocky mountains during the 1980s (during the Portuguese occupation), it was converted into a museum dedicated to Oman's cultural heritage. Unfortunately, the fort is generally closed to the public, but it's still possible to climb steep stairs and reach the top of the mountain to enjoy great eyesight.
- 2 Mirani Forte (ق ع ة ا ل م ل ي ر ا ن ي), Mirani St (a car park is located on the waterfront alongside the fort). Built at the same time and with the same functions as the strongman Al Jalali, it is now closed and it is therefore possible to admire it only from the outside.
- 3 Qasr Al Alam royal palace (ق ص ر ا ع ل ل). This is the office of the Qabus of Oman (Sultan and Prime Minister). This marvelous building stands on a deep water port and is protected on two sides by the strong Mirani and Jelali twins. Tourists are not allowed to enter the palace, but only to take photographs in front of the main entrance.
- 4 Bait Al Zubair Museum (ب ي ت ا ل ب ز), Al Bahri Rd, +968 24 736688. Adults: R.O. 2,000, children 10-15: R.O. 1,000, children under the age of 10: free (Nov 2019). Sab-Gio 9:30-18:00. The museum presents exhibitions on the social history of Oman, while tours are often managed by the nearby rebuilt house.
- 5 French-Omani Museum (bayt faransā, beit fransa, or Omani-French Museum), Qasr al-Alam St (in Bait Fransa, near the police barracks), ☎ +968 9334 1903. OMR 0,500. Sab-Mer 8:00-13:00, Gio 9:00-13:00. This little museum accurately recounts the link between France and Oman. The museum contains numerous colonial objects dating back to the 19th century.
- 6 Muscat Gate Museum (Muscat Gate Museum), Al Bahri Rd, ☎ +968 9932 8754. Sab-Gio 8:00-14:00. Opened in 2001, the museum contains artifacts and installations that reflect the history of Oman from neolytic to modern day. The museum also marks the location of the old city walls and used until the 1970s. The position offers a good view of the city and the palace.
- 7 Bait Muzna Gallery, Saidiya St, Way 8662, House 234 (opposite the Bait al Zubair Museum), ☎ +968 24739 204, fax: +968 24739205, @[email protected]. A gallery featuring art mainly by Oman artists or working in Oman.
- 8 Oman National Museum, Al Saidiya St, ☎ +968 22 081500. 0,500 OMR. Sab-Gio 10:00-17:00, Ven 14:00-18:00. Founded in 1978, the museum features silver ornaments, copper handicrafts and scale reconstruction of Oman ships. The museum has a section dedicated to the property of the Al Busaidi dynasty. In 2015, the new museum was inaugurated and moved from the Ruwi neighborhood to this site.
- 9 Ali Musa Mosque (next to Royal Palace).
Once a fishing village, Mutrah is mainly known for its long waterfront. The port of Mutrah is also the place where the Sultan of Oman moored the yacht.
- 10 Frames, Al Bahri Rd. The newly restructured Corniche is a popular area for walking, and it provides numerous restaurants (including takeout) at a reasonable price. From the Corniche you can also see fishermen's boats called Sambuco or dhow (Arabic: د و , dāw) (traditional Arab sail boats with one or more triangular sails, called latine sails).
- 11 Fish (fish souq), Al Bahri Rd (on the Corniche, near the Marina Hotel). 6:00-10:00. Tourists can watch fishermen unload and sell freshly fished fish, and why not ... even buy it!
- 12 Bait al-Baranda Museum (literally: the house with the porch, م ت ح ف ب ت ي ا ل ب ر ن), at Mina St, +968 24 714262. OMR 1 (adults), OMR 0,500 (children). In a house dating back to the 1930s, an exhibition is set up to illustrate the history of Muscat. The first floor is dedicated to prehistory and paleolithic, but the upper level is dedicated to human history and ethnography.
- 13 Mutrah Fortress (ق ل ع م ط ر). Built by the Portuguese in 1580, it controlled the entrance to the port. The interior is not accessible but visitors are allowed to climb the hill outwards for a good view of the area.
- 14 Riyam Park, Al Bahri Rd, ☎ +968 24 753000. Lun-Dom 8:00-23:30. In the park is a small playground with jokes. From the large incense incinerator in the hills of the park, you can enjoy an excellent view on the bay and the city.
- 15 Portuguese sighting tower, Al Bahri Rd (opposite Riyam Park). This sighting tower, which dates back to the Portuguese colonial period, which has now been renovated, is an ideal place to enjoy excellent sunset views.
- 16 Ancient Souq sighting tower (near Mutrah Souq and Mutrah St). This sighting tower has also been refurbished today, and although it is closed to the public, the hill where it is can be reached on foot in order to enjoy a good view of Mutrah and the Corniche. But the path to the top is not well defined in every aspect and the easiest way is to the north-west.
- 17 Museum of Modern Art in Ghalya, Al Wadi Khabir (on the Corniche, near the Mutrah fort), ☎ +968 24 711640, fax: +968 24 711620, @[email protected]. OMR 1 (12+ adults), 500 Bzs (6-12 children). Sab-Gio 9:30-18:00. Opened in 2011, this museum consists of a set of several buildings and is divided into three distinct sections. The "old house" reconstructs the furniture of an Omani house between 1950 and 1970, that is, before the rise to power of Sultan Qaboos. The "Museum of Clothes" that will open shortly will be seen in both traditional Omani customs and international, modern and non - modern clothes. A permanent exhibition with works of art by local and international artists has been set up in the "Museum of Modern Art", but it is also temporarily closed.
Ruwi and Qantab
Ruwi is the main commercial district of Muscate and the door to Qantab, a village south of the city.
- 18 Museum in numismatic form, Al Bank Al Markazi St (inside the Central Bank of Oman building), +968 24 796102☎+968 24 796102. 250 Bzs, free for children under six. 9:00-13:00 Sab-Mer. The museum hosts interesting exhibitions on the Oman currency with numerous coin and banknote samples.
- 19 Museum of Armed Forces of the Sultan, Al Mujamma St (Bait al-Falaj), ☎ +968 24 312648. OMR1. This excellent museum is housed in a building built in 1845 as a summer royal residence. The lowest floor is an exhibition on Oman's history, while on the upper floor is Oman's international relations and military history.
- 20 Aquarius and Center for Marine Science (Al Bustan Palace Hotel and Capital Yacht), ☎ +968 24 736449. Dom-Gio 8:00-14:00. The museum was founded in 1986 and hosts a wide range of marine species, with a special focus on endangered species.
- 21 Boat Sohar, Bustan roundabout (near the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Qantab). This vessel was built at the Daw shipyards in Sur, south of Muscat. In 1980, Tim Severin with an Omani navy crew sailed with this ship from Oman to Guangzhou, China, with the objective of revisiting the legendary journey of Sindbad. Severin described the venture in his book The Sindbad Voyage.
Al Ghubrah, Al Khuwair, Al Qurm, and Bawshar
As an alternative to the Central Business District, CBD, in Mutrah, and Ruwi, there are many other places located just a short distance from the main highway heading northwest of the CBD. This road, called the Sultan Qaboos highway, crosses several areas along its route, the airport zone, Seeb, Sohar and still the northern boundary of Oman. The districts of Al Qurm (Qurum), Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Al Khuwair, Bausher, Al-Hail and Seeb are of great interest for tourists.
From Al Qurm to Seeb there is also a long coastal road, some 50 km long. Along the outskirts of the road there are many hotels in big international chains, but more importantly, one can admire the beauty of the Omani coast: kilometers of beaches, fishermen with nets and large spaces for walking immersed in nature.
- 22 Sultan Qaboos Mosque (جَ ا مِ ع ٱ سُّ ل لْ طَ ا ن قَ ا بُ وْ س ٱ لْ أَ كْ بَ ر), Jāmias As-Sultān Qābūs Al-Akbar), Sultan St (Al Khuwair). Sab-Gio 8:00-11:00 (for tourists). Commissioned in 1992 by Sultan Qabus ibn Said, the Great Mosque is a primate building. The prayer room (musalla) is a square of 74 meters and its floor is covered by a little smaller carpet. It is the third largest mosque in the world. Nearly all of the complex is open to non - Muslim tourists, but women still have to keep their heads, wrists and ankles covered while visiting the religious building. The Swarovski crystal lamp, the hand-made giant Persian carpet (second by size worldwide) and the marble coating should not be lost inside the mosque.
- 23 Museum of Natural History (across the highway from the ice skating track). Sab 8:00-13:30; 8:00-13:30 and 16:00-18:00, 8:00-13:30 Lun-Mer, 9:00-13:00 Gio.
- 24 Museum of Children, 2601 Way (Al Qurm). Sab-Mer 8:00-13:30, Gio 9:00-13:00. Science museum divided essentially into three sections: Human life, physics and scientific progress.
- 25 Omani Heritage Museum (Medinat Al Alam), ☎ +968 24 600946. 500 Bzs. 9:30-13:30 Sab-Mer, 9:00-13:00 Gio. This little museum has a great collection of archeological finds, but it's worth visiting just for the good view (the museum is on a hill).
- 26 Qurum Natural Reserve (Qurum Natural Park) (Al Qurm). It has a large rose garden, an artificial waterfall, a small lake and an amusement park to visit, especially during the Muscat Festival.
- 27 Oil & Gas Exhibition Center, Seih Al Maleh St, ☎ +968 24 677834. This private museum illustrates the process of training and extraction of oil and natural gas.
- 28 Planetarium , Seih Al Maleh St (adjacent to the Oil and Gas Exhibition Center), ☎ +968 24 675542, fax: +968 24 675553. Free. Dom-Gio 7:30-15:30. The planetarium can accommodate 60 people, only two weekly shows are planned (except for special occasions), which will also be presented in English. Reservation is required.
- 29 Bait Al Makham (Bait Al Magham, Bayt Almaqahm Bousher, ب ي ت ا ل ق م ح م ب ب) (Bawshar), +968 24 641300 x142 (call earlier). 500 Bzs. 8:00-14:00 Sab-Mer. A fortified house built at the beginning of the 20TH CENTURY, now renovated and with an excellent view from the top of the building. Parking at the mall is recommended because the access road is narrow.
- 30 Strong Al Bayt Al Kabir (Forte Bawshar), Al Safa St (Bawshar). Free. Ruins of a large fortress built with mud bricks. Behind the fortress are other remains, not yet uncovered.
- 31 Mosque Mohammed Al Ameen. Sab-Gio 8:30-23:30. This mosque has artistic lighting that makes it spectacular at night and very photogenic.
Events & Holidays
- Muscat Festival. Each year, the quurm waterfront takes place in January and stands are set up in the park surrounding the site to display local handicrafts. The festival program includes folkloric dances and acrobats.
What to do
In northern Oman, there are several routes for trekking lovers, some of which pass near Mascate
- 1 Trail C38 (From Riyam Park to Mutrah Souq). This short path takes the tourist far from the modern Mascate and offers a spectacular view of the mountains surrounding the city. The path begins at Riyam Park, and follows an ancient path that was used already more than 5,000 years ago by miners living in a village that was abandoned and finally arrived near Mutrah Souq. It takes between 12:30 and 2:00 a.m. to walk the entire path, a map can be found here.
- 2 Trainers C52 and C53 (along the coast near Bandar Jissah). These two simple paths offer numerous views on the coast. Both begin in Bandar Jissah. Maps: C52 and C53.
- 3 BlueZone Diving, Bander at Rhowda Marina, @[email protected]. The center offers sea trips with diving and several scuba diving courses.
- 4 Oman Dive Center (Bandar Jissah, 15 km south of Mascate. The center is not connected to public transport, so you need to take a taxi or hire a car.), @[email protected]. This center (run by Germans) organizes trips, immersions and courses to obtain PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification. The private beach is open by day to tourists at the cost of 2 OMR per week and 4 OMR per weekend. You can also spend the night at one of the bungalow on the beach (the cost varies depending on the time period and type of bungalow, breakfast and dinner are usually included - 49-176 OMR).
- 5 Omanta Scuba , Al Kharjiya St, Shatti (at the interContinental Hotel boat relay), @[email protected]. This center organizes dive trips and dive trips, PADI certification courses, and visits to view dolphins. The main destinations of the trip are the islands of Damaniyat, Fahal Island and Bhandra Kharan.
With many paths, Mascate experienced a rapid development of the bicycle lanes, especially for Mountain Bike in the surrounding mountains. Bike Oman organizes weekly mountain bikes every Thursday. During the summer, the company also organizes excursions at night, usually on Mondays.
- 6 Oman Bicycle Shop (behind the Radisson Hotel, Al Khuwair). Mountain bike can be rented here for a day, a week, and even longer periods.
In most private beaches (especially in hotels), it is permitted to wear western bathing suits, while in public, the tourist is required to respect the customs and customs of the Oman rules. Women are required to wear a one-piece costume and men wear a long-braged costume, and both are also required to keep their shoulders and knees covered until you are on the beach (not on the road, for example).
- 7 public beach of Qurum (Qurum). The bathing site does not have any facilities but showers open. The beach is usually clean and well kept, with the possibility of renting motorcycles of water. The beach is very crowded on weekends.
- 8 Public Beach in Marjan (PDO Public Beach) (near Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Qurum Heights). This beach is mostly unattended during the day and crowded during the first night. There are small, but beautiful coral reefs just a little bit off the coast, which are also suitable for snorkeling. Clowfish and sea turtles can occasionally be spotted here.
- 9 public beach Al Ghubrah (between Chedi Hotel and the desalination plant, Al Ghubrah). This is a family beach, with picnic tables. During the evening in the area near desalination plants there are numerous "food trucks" that offer grilled meat and fish and other dishes at a good price.
- 10 Public Beach Al Bustan (near Al Bustan Palace Hotel). So called for the nearby hotel, it has great views on the mountains behind the beach.
There are some good areas for spotting birds in and around the city.
- 11 To the Ansab Wetlands. About 300 species of bird species can be spotted here, some during migration periods, others all year round.
- 1 Mutrah Suq (Main entrance along the Corniche (waterfront), Mutrah). Often described as one of the best markets in the Gulf region, it has numerous stalls that give it a labyrinthine look. The suq has numerous jewelry shops, Oman crafts and traditional foods. Some of the most sought after items are hand-embroidered mushrooms (shawls intended to be worn as turbans), clothing, nuts, spices, incense and earthenware. Only a few shops accept credit cards. In the souq, there is an area dedicated to the gold trade, with windows full of jewelry.
- 2 Boraka Halwa Factory, Mutrah St (Mutrah).
- 3 Jawahir Oman Jeweler , Al Wilaj St (Al Qurum Complex, Al Qurm), ☎ +968 24 563239. He sells jewelry and small gifts made by working silver from Oman.
- 4 Omani Heritage Gallery , Jawharat Al Shatti Shopping Center (via Al Kharijiyah St from the Royal Opera House, Al Khuwair), +968 24 696974, fax: +968 24 696568, @[email protected]. This gallery is run by a non-profit organization that promotes craft enterprises.
- 5 Souq al Jumaa (Friday Market) (Wadi Kabir, Ruwi). Ven 7:00-21:00. A lively flea market where everything can be found: from jewelry to camping equipment, carpets to cars. There is also a section with clothing. Banknotes with food are nearby.
- 6 Qurum City Center. Recently opened in Qurum, it contains a Carrefour supermarket.
- 7 Sabco Center (near the crossroads between Sultan Qaboos St and Qurm Heights Rd, Qurm). A collection of about a dozen small and medium - sized shopping malls is very popular and popular among the inhabitants of Muscat. The center is home to some shops selling local craftsmanship products similar (or equal) to those sold at the Mutrah Souq. The center also has a Godiva chocolate shop (tel. +968 24 562367). In front of the Sabco Center is Omani Craftsman's House, which sells exclusively products made in Oman at fixed prices (and not very cheap).
- 8 Oman Avenues Mall (Sultan Qaboos St), ☎ +968 24 540200. Oman Avenues Mall is the largest shopping center in Oman. It offers shops, restaurants, children's zones and amusements to international tourists and residents.
- 9 Gallery (ا ل أ و ب ا ر ج ا ل ا ر ي ا), Al Kharjiyah St (Next to Opera Theater), +968 24 403440. Sab-Gio 10:00-22:00, Ven 16:00-22:00. Luxury shopping center.
- 10 To The Meera (Azaiba), ☎ +968 24 583444. Qatar-based chain.
- 11 Lulu Hypermarket, Mina St (Mutrah).
- 12 Lulu Hypermarket Wadi Kabir, 63 St (Ruwi).
- 13 Lulu Hypermarket, As Sultan Qaboos St (Ghubrah), ☎ +968 24 504504. The position of this supermarket is particularly favorable if you want to buy something before going to the mountains.
- 14 Carrefour Hypermarket, Qurum City Center.
- 15 Sultan Shopping Center (Al Qurm).
- Oman-UAE Exchange Centers (At LuLu Hypermarkets, Ghala and Ruwi).
- 16 Global Money Exchange (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 790177.
- Travelex (Seeb International Airport).
- 17 Purshottam Kanji , Souq Ruwi Street (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 793468.
- Mustafa Sultan Exchange (Many outlets in Oman).
ATM ATM displays are widespread today in Muscat, especially in the embassy district and in the vicinity of major shopping centers, hotels, supermarkets and petrol stations. Almost all neighborhoods, even the smallest, also have a branch of some bank.
Bank Muscat is the largest bank in Oman and one of the most important in the Gulf. More than 230 ATMs from this bank are located in Muscat.
How to have fun
- 1 Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM), Al Kharjiyah ST, ☎ +968 24 403300, @ [email protected]. This beautiful building is home to a wide range of performances, including classical, Arabic and Western music concerts, jazz and flamenco, and classical and modern dance performances. At night, even if closed, it is a spectacle to see closely the architecture emphasized by an elegant enlightenment.
- 2 Royal Opera House of Musical Arts (A post not far from the Opera Theater, accessible via a pedestrian bridge from the gallery shopping center). Theater dedicated to music.
Nearly every street in Muscat can find a café, often very simple, but if you're visiting the city it's definitely worth going in at least once. Fresh fruit juices can also be bought at one of the many stalls, the price varies according to the format chosen, but generally ranges from 0,500 to 1,500 OMR.
- 3 To Ahli Coffeeshop (Mutrah Souq). Coffee which also sells fresh fruit juices.
- 4 Fast Food 'N' Juice Center (Mutrah). With tables on the sidewalk, you can sit down, enjoy a great juice and observe the "moving city."
- 5 Starbucks Coffee (Al Qurm - located on the coastal road linking the Crown Plaza Hotel and the Intercontinental Hotel.). It's so close to the sea that you just cross the road to be on the beach, the drinks cost about 2.2 OMR, but the view on the waves and the sea you can enjoy is excellent.
Where to eat
The food is relatively cheap in Muscat and for a few Rial Omanite (Omanite official currency) you can get a dish for one person. In the area of Al Khuwayr, cheap Indian restaurants can be found. In Mutrah you can also walk along the waterfront, enjoy the fresh sea breeze and enjoy a sandwich with Halib (tea with milk) or Sulaimani (black tea) at one of the restaurants on the seaside. A cup of tea costs about 0.50 OMR.
- 1 Automatic. Lebanese cooking. Hummus (chick), Fatoosh salad, Mutabel, Falafel and mint tea should be tested. Even the waiters don't know the reason for the restaurant's name, but there's an Automatic headquarters near the Sabco center. There are other offices in Ruwi, Al Khuwair and many other areas of Muscat.
- 2 Al Haikal Restaurant, 2996 Way (near the bus stop, Ruwi). Pakistani cooking.
- Al-Hanan (Ruwi). Indian cooking.
- 3 Al Shaheen Restaurant, Honda Rd (Ruwi). Pakistani cooking.
- 4 Tarboush (Al-Tarboosh) (In front of the Sabco center, Qurm). Fast food serving dishes linked to Arab and Lebanese cuisine; It's possible to take take take-out dishes and sit at the tables on the front floor of the room.
- 5 Bin Ateeq , Al Khuwair Rd (near Shell refueling station and Holiday Inn hotel, Al Khuwair), ☎ +968 24 478225, fax: +968 24 488784, @[email protected]. Lun-Dom 9:00-14:00. This restaurant is described in most of Muscat's tour guides as the only place where authentic Omani cuisine can be tasted in Muscat. this reputation has led him to be very popular, especially among tourists. The quality of the food is good, even if the prices are a bit high.
- 6 Bin Ateeq , 2730 Way (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 702727, @ [email protected]. Lun-Dom 9:00-14:00. Another site of the famous Omani restaurant.
- Gujrat Bhojan Shala, Ruwi High Street (Ruwi). Indian cooking.
- 7 Muscat Light Restaurant & Coffeeshop, Al Bahri Rd (Old Muscat). Ideal place for a break on a walk in the old Mascate.
- 8 Ofair Traditional Restaurant, Marafah St (Al Khuwair), ☎ +968 24 482965. Traditional Omani dishes are needed.
- 9 Oman Express, 4359 Way, ☎ +968 24 7731329. 18 rial for one month including Friday or 15,6 Rial Friday excluding. Take-out lunch.
- 10 Saravana Bhavan Restaurant (Ruwi, in front of the OC center), ☎ +968 24 704502. Vegetarian dishes linked to tradition in southern India are served in the restaurant.
- 11 Subway (Way No. 2724, near the Central Bank of Oman, CBD, Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 798899.
- 12 Spinney's, Al Khariyah St (Al Qurm, Sultan Qaboos Expressway). A Lebanese food chain, with a section for take-away food.
- At Fair Supermarket. A chain of supermarkets where you can find anything. Most of the locations are on the Sultan Qaboos highway.
- Lulu's. One of Oman's best-known supermarket chains is located on Sultan Qaboos Street in Al-Khuwair.
- 13 Bella-Pais (MAM Rotonda, right outside Nizwa exit), ☎ +968 24 521100. Greek cooking plus other specialties.
- 14 Al-exandria (Fanja House, near the Sabco Center, Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 561611. At this club, you can enjoy one of the best Rotis in the city (a kind of South Asian bread made from stone-ground brown flour). Jalfrezi chicken with Paneer aloo (potatoes) is to be tested.
- 15 The Chedi Pizza Restaurant, Way No. 3215 (c/o Chedi Hotel, Ghubrah). It offers cheaper dishes than any other "Chedi" store, while maintaining the same slightly chic environment.
- 16 Haffa House Hotel Restaurant, Al Farahidi St (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 707207.
- 17 Kargeen Caffe , Al Bashair St, ☎ +968 24 699055, fax: +968 24 695522, @[email protected]. The feathers linked to Omani tradition served in an environment that seeks to respect as much as possible the Omani tradition and culture. In the restaurant there is an outside area for shisha smokers. The Kargeen Caffe is also suitable for vegetarian people, but in any case it is advisable to book, especially on weekends.
- 18 Turkish House (Al Khuwair), ☎ +968 24 488071. 11:00-13:00. The most popular of the Turkish restaurants in Muscat, with excellent fish dishes. The service is available for delivery to and from your home for the Al Khuwair area.
- 19 Ubhar Restaurant , Al Sarooj Rd and Al Kharjiyah St (Al Qurm), ☎ +968 24 699826, @ [email protected]. Lun-Dom 12:30-15:30, 18:30-23:00. Great Omani restaurant.
- 20 Al Khiran, Al Bustan Palace Hotel (Qantab). approximately 19,5 OMR + 17% for the service. Famous for the Friday brunch buffet.
- 21 Bait Al Bahr (Shangri-La Hotel), ☎ +968 24 776565, @ [email protected]. 7:00-23:30. Fish-based dishes and seafood, linked to Omani tradition. Highly recommended reservation, we recommend that you follow a dress-code "smart randomness".
- 22 The Chedi, North Ghubra 32 (Al Ghubra). Four "open kitchens" serve international cuisine dishes.
- 23 Mumtaz Mahal (Al Qurm). Indian cooking.
- 24 Passage to India, Al Wutayyah (near Hatat House), ☎ +968 24 563452 (reservations). Indian cooking.
- 25 Taj Samarkhand, Oasis by the Sea Residences (Al Qurm), ☎ +968 24 602757. Indian-Peshawari cook.
Where to stay
Finding affordable housing in Muscat is not very easy. Modest priced accommodation is usually grouped on the Muttrah seaside, between the main suq and the bus station. Out of season, the prices of five-star hotels have dropped significantly, but air-conditioned aside, you'll have to be a company that can withstand very well the summer temperatures of Muscat, similar to those of a home-run bakery. In the Corniche area there are five hotels on the seaside, with an average price of approximately 15 OMR per person per night; The Al Fanar Hotel has a price of about 10 OMR. Guest Houses (irsteraha in Arabic) can also be found in the city, and they generally have acceptable prices.
- Qurum Beach Hotel, ☎ +968 24564070, fax: +968 24560761. One of the few economic hotels in the Qurum area.
- 1 Marina Hotel, Corniche (Mutrah, opposite the fish market), ☎ +968 24 713100. He has good views of the port area, but since there are two nightclubs in the area, the hotel can be a little noisy at night. Free Wi-Fi available only in the main lobby.
- 2 Delmon Hotel Apartments , Al Wada Al Kabir St (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 818181, Fax: +968 24 818844, @[email protected]. 23/75 OMR. Includes breakfast and a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet.
- 3 Golden Oasis Hotel, Al Wada Al Kabir St (In the center of Ruwi and near the main commercial area.), ☎ +968 24 811655. 35/55 OMR. Popular choice among tourists.
- 4 Crown Plaza Hotel, Al Qurm St (Residential Zone of Heights, Al Qurm), ☎ +968 24 660660. Check In: 2:00, check out: 12:00. He has a great view north on the beach, towards the Intercontinental.
- 5 Golden Tulip Seeb, Exhibition St (Seeb), ☎ +968 24 514444, +968 24 510055 (reservations), @[email protected].
- 6 Haffa House Hotel, Al Farahidi St, ☎ +968 24 707207.
- 7 Espace Bed and Breakfast , 77 At Ezdehar St (Al Ghubrah), ☎ +968 9628 2472, @ [email protected]. A lovely bed and breakfast right in front of the road and the beach.
- 8 Hilton Garden Inn , Al Khuwair, OM, Dohat Al Adab St, 118, ☎ +968 22 515555. Four-star hotels with roof pool and various services.
Muscat offers a wide range of luxury hotels, some of which are listed below.
- 9 At the Bustan Palace Hotel (Qantab), ☎ +968 24 799666, fax: +968 24799600. Originally set up to host a conference in the mid-1980s in an isolated location on an 8 km Bay south of Old Muscat, the Al-Bustan Hotel opened its doors in 2008 after thorough renovation. It is worth visiting him just to see the lobby and the public interiors of the hotel. It has a vast private beach.
- 10 At Falaj Hotel, Al Mujamma St, 2031 (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 702311, Fax: +968 24 795853, @[email protected].
- 11 The Chedi, North Ghubra 32 (Al Ghubra near the airport), ☎ +968 24 524400, fax: +968 24 493485, @[email protected]. Hotel 5 luxury stars in the GHM chain, with traditional Oman architecture. Probably the most sophisticated hotel in Mascate.
- 12 Crystal Suites , Vegetable & Fruit Market Road, Way 6702, Block 167 Wadi Kabir (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24826100, @ [email protected]. 30 OMR. It offers 78 suites, all well-furnished, with a 32-inch LCD TV, a DVD player, and an electronic safe. Some of the hotel's services are a restaurant where one of the best Mughlai in the city served and Afghan recipes from the "Kareem's of Bombay," an atrium with an open ceiling on the sky and a playground for children, dance halls with a capacity of up to 1,000 people usually used for special events like weddings.
- 13 Grand Hyatt (On Al-Qurm Beach), ☎ +968 24 641234, fax: +968 24 605282, @[email protected]. An opulent luxury hotel designed by a Yemeni prince. Tons of marble have been profusely displayed in the decoration of the interior as a parody of the style of an Arab palace.
- 14 InterContinental Muscat , Al Kharjiya St, ☎ +968 24 680000, ☎ 800 971 234, @[email protected]. Check In: 2:00, check out: 12:00.
- 15 Ruwi Hotel (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 704244, fax: +968 24 704248, @[email protected]. A battered and scrawny hotel that is more like a third world building with standard travelers' backpacks. But he has an interesting bar.
- 16 Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa (southeast of Mascate, approximately 30 minutes from the center. The hotel may be difficult to reach, so if you've decided to reach it by car, it's recommended that you have a good map or a satellite navigation system.), ☎ +968 24 776666, fax: +968 24 776677. Belonging to the famous and luxurious international chain, the hotel stands on a beautiful piece of the coast of Muscat.
The single emergency number to be called for ambulances, firefighters and police is 999.
Drinking bottled water is advisable in Mascate, as the tap water is considered unsafe. Oman Oasis, Tanuf, Arwa, Salsabeel and Aquafina are the most widely used and priced mineral water brands. At a reasonable price it is also possible to buy bottles of "Male" and "Darbat" mineral water - 1 OMR for 12 1 / 5 liter bottles.
- 7 KIMS Oman Hospital (م س ت ش ف ك ى ي م ز ع م ا ن) (Darsait), +968 24 760100.
- 8 Muscat Private Hospital (م س ت ش ف ى م س ق ط ا ل خ ا ص ☎) (Ghubrah), +968 24 583600.
- 9 At Nahda Hospital (م س ت ش ف ا ى ل ن ه ض ة ☎) (Ghubrah), +968 22 503333.
- 10 At Shatti Hospital (advENTclick), Villa 1057, Way 3015 ، At Kharjiyah St, Shatti Al Qurum (Shatti al Qurum), ☎ +968 24 69973 ... Sab-Gio 9:00-20:00.
- Atlas Star Medical Center (Bausher).
- 11 At the Amal Medical Center-Al Wadi Al Kabir (Al-Khuwair), ☎ +968 24 811519.
- 12 Royal Hospital (ا ل م س ت ف ش ى ا ل س ل ط ا ن ي), At Ghubrah St, +968 24 599000.
- 13 Badr Al Sama Hospital-Ruwi (م س ت ش ف ى ب د ر ا ل س م), An Noor St (Ruwi), +968 24 799760.
- 14 Babylon Medical Center (م ر ك ز ب ب ا ل ا ل ط ب ي) (Amerat), +968 24 878911.
- 15 Hospital (م ر ك ص ز ي ح م س ق ط ☎) (Old Muscat, near the Al Zubair museum), +968 24 738036. Dom-Gio 8:00-20:45, 9:30-15:45.
- Austria. Embassy closed in 2011 for economic reasons; The closest diplomatic mission is in Riyadh to Saudi Arabia.
- Bahrain, 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, ☎ +968 24 605074, +968 24 605075, +968 24 60513, fax: +968 24605072.
- China, Villa 1368, way 3017, Shatti Al-Qurum, ☎ 968 24 949204.
- Egypt, Jamai'at al Dowal Arabyia St (In the diplomatic area), ☎ +968 24 600411, +968 24 600982, fax: +968 24603626, @[email protected].
- France, P.O. Box 208 Madinat Qabous PC 115, ☎ +968 24 681800, +968 24 681804 (emergencies), fax: +968 24 681843.
- Germany, Hillat Al-Jazeera, Way No 4911, Villa 953 (Near Al Nahda Hospital in Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 832482, +968 24 8373 74, +968 24 835000, fax: +968 24 835690. Dom-Mer 9:00-12:00.
- Greece, PO Β ox 175, ☎ +968 24 793072, fax: +968 787714.
- Iran, Jamai'at al Dowal Arabyia St (In the diplomatic area), ☎ +968 24 696944, +968 24 696947, fax: +968 24 696888.
- 16 Italy , Al Qurum House 842 Way 2411, ☎ +968 24 560968, +968 24 564832, +968 24 5648 38, fax: +968 24 564846, @[email protected]. Dom-Gio 9:00-12:30.
- Jordan, Jamai'at al Dowal Arabyia St (In the diplomatic area), ☎ +968 24 692760, +968 24 692761, fax: +968 24 692762.
- Switzerland (Consulted), Al Asfoor Plaza Bldg 1F 104 (Qurum), ☎ +968 24 568205, Fax: +968 24 568206, @[email protected].
- United Kingdom , 116 Mina Al Fahal (In the diplomatic area), ☎ +968 24 693077, +968 24 609000, fax: +968 24 609010, @[email protected]. Dom-Gio 7:30-14:30.
- United States , PO Box 202, PC 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, ☎ +968 24 643400, +968 24 643400 (emergencies), Fax: +968 24 643740, @[email protected].
How to stay in touch
Omantel offers prepaid sim and cards for public phones. These can be bought in many hypermarkets and mobile phone shops. There are also Jibreen Cards prepaid cards, which are operated both on mobile phones and on fixed phones. Cuts of 1, 3 and 5 OMR are available.
Skype is blocked in Oman and can only be accessed via a VPN. Other similar services have been blocked, but currently (2015) Google Talk, Viber, and FaceTime are accessible.
Free Wi-Fi is available in many public parks, including the Qurm National Park, Naseem Gardens, Al Amerat parks and Wadi Kabir. Tourists are redirected to an Omantel page where they request a mobile phone number, to which they will send a password, and navigation is limited to 1.5 hours a day. The international bar chain Costa Coffee offers its customers a connection in 5 bars: Qurm City Center, Muscat City Center, MQ, Bareeq al Shatti, and Oasis Mall.
Omantel Ibhar hotspots are scattered around Muscat, mostly in bars, restaurants and shopping malls. Pre-paid Ibhar cards are available at many hotspots or in the hotspot store.
- Head to Nizwa, west of Mascate, and then take hikes, or camping, on the magnificent Hajar Mountains. Of great interest are the fortresses in the mountainous area and the UNESCO sites in Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn.
- Heading south to explore the spectacular Wadi Shab, a canyon where a stream flows. Along the way, stop at the Bimmah Sinkhole, and then continue towards Sur.
- Heading north to Sohar to immerse yourself in the sea and admire the Omani coast from another perspective. Visit Ibri and then continue to the Musandam Peninsula.
- Oman Daily Observer. One of the most popular English language newspapers in Oman, also available in print.
- Oman Tribune.
- Times of Oman. Oman's oldest English language newspaper, printed from Saturday to Thursday.
- Muscat Daily. The most widely read English-language newspaper in Oman.
- The Week. Free weekly published on Wednesday.
- H!.. Free weekly published this weekend by the Times of Oman.
- Oman Today. A small magazine with tourism tips, on outdoor trips and places where you can enjoy the country's specialties (and not only). Published monthly.
- Khaleej Times. Published in Dubai and available all over the Gulf.
In the main 4 and 5 - star hotels, excellent gyms can be found, others are independent structures, like the Millennium Gym and Horizon Gym.
The price of washing laundry in 4 and 5 star hotels is often very expensive. Prices are significantly lower in the many washing machines run by people of Indian origin, but the clothes left on Monday are unlikely to be ready until Wednesday.