Muscat, Oman | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Muscat, Oman

Muscat (Arabic: مسقط) has been inhabited since at least 1000 BCE and for centuries was an important trading port on the Maritime Silk Road. Today it is the capital of the Sultanate of Oman and its most important and populous city (at 1.2 million). It is home to a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society and receives the largest number of foreign visitors to the country.

Wedged between the Arabian Sea and the rugged Western Hajar Mountains, the city referred to as Muscat is in fact several smaller towns which have grown together over time. These include old Muscat (also known as the 'walled city'), site of the royal palace; Mutrah (also spelled Matrah or Matruh), once a fishing village and home to the labyrinthine Mutrah Souq; and Ruwi, which is the commercial and diplomatic quarter of the city. The metropolitan area covers 3,500km, and this... Read more

Muscat, Oman

Destination:

Muscat (Arabic: مسقط) has been inhabited since at least 1000 BCE and for centuries was an important trading port on the Maritime Silk Road. Today it is the capital of the Sultanate of Oman and its most important and populous city (at 1.2 million). It is home to a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society and receives the largest number of foreign visitors to the country.

Wedged between the Arabian Sea and the rugged Western Hajar Mountains, the city referred to as Muscat is in fact several smaller towns which have grown together over time. These include old Muscat (also known as the 'walled city'), site of the royal palace; Mutrah (also spelled Matrah or Matruh), once a fishing village and home to the labyrinthine Mutrah Souq; and Ruwi, which is the commercial and diplomatic quarter of the city. The metropolitan area covers 3,500km, and this tripartite division can be inconvenient for the visitor especially as much accommodation is located a fair distance from sights of interest.

Unlike other cities in the Gulf, notably in the UAE and Qatar, Muscat does not have an ultramodern skyline. Following the preferences of the Sultan, modern construction is required to adhere to traditional Arabic architectural styles, resulting in a more low-key urban landscape.


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Muscat, Oman: Port Information


Cruise ships stop regularly at Port Sultan Qaboos in Mutrah.
Shuttle buses transport visitors from the ship to the port entrance and taxis are also available. A board at the port exit lists fares to the most common destinations; all other destinations must be negotiated first. However, it is a short distance by foot to the Corniche, with the route passing by the fish market (described below under 'See'). Visitors need to bring only their cruise boarding pass and their Tourist Entry Permit.

Get around Muscat, Oman


By taxi

Maxi taxis (minibuses, known throughout the expat community as baisa buses) ply the highway from

Seeb

to the Corniche area.

On arrival at the airport, situated approximately 40km from the main Muscat CBD, you can get a baisa bus down the main highway in either direction.

The (mostly orange and white) taxis are a bit pricier, and they hang around the hotels where they get juicy fares from unwary travelers. They always say they will give you "good price", but it's best to figure out what you want to spend then agree before you get in.

The Maxi Taxis ply the main routes through town, and they go where they want so you might have to find one going your direction. Once you are on one, they will make sure you get there. The place to wait for them is on the on-ramps of most of the main highway junctions when you'll usually see a few people waiting around for one.

By car

For visitors staying in Muscat for longer than a day, renting a car provides the most flexibility and is far more economical than using taxis, as one taxi ride from Ghubrah to Muscat and back will cost about the same as hiring a car for one day. A 2WD is fine to see the sights within and around Muscat, but if you're planning to explore wadis and mountains you'll need a 4WD.

Road signs in Muscat can be confusing, and motorway exits are not always clearly marked. Compared with elsewhere in the Gulf (e.g. Dubai and Doha) Muscat drivers are reasonably disciplined, but visitors from outside the region may find the local driving style erratic. For a gentler introduction into Muscat traffic it may be easier to take a taxi (or hotel-provided shuttle) from the airport, and arrange for a rental car through your accommodation – rates are usually the same as if not better than at the airport.

Most local and international rental agencies have offices at the airport. An international driver's permit is theoretically required to rent a car, but usually, agents will request only your national license. All car hires include mandatory insurance. 

  • ABC, ☎ +968 24 582663. A local agency.
  • Al Maskry Rent-a-Car, ☎ +968 99438661, +968 99381524, e-mail: info@almaskry.com. A well-established local agency.
  • Avis Oman, ☎ +968 24 510342 (airport), +968 24 400888 (city).
  • Budget Oman, ☎ +968 24 683999, fax: +968 24 683966, e-mail: budgetom@omantel.net.om.
  • 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 9549 5240 (airport), +968 9549 5242 (city), e-mail: nomads@nomadtours.com.

What to see in Muscat, Oman


Muscat

  • Al Jalali Fort

    , Qasr Al Alam St. Built as a prison in the rocky mountains in the 1580s during the Portuguese occupation, now converted into a museum devoted to Omani heritage. Unfortunately, the fort is only opened to visiting dignitaries and heads of state and not open to the general public, but it's still possible to climb the steep stairs up to the top and to enjoy the view.
  • Al Mirani Fort

    , Al Mirani St. Built at the same time as Al Jalali Fort which it faces across the harbor. This fort has also been converted to a museum which is closed to the general public, but it can be freely appreciated from the outside.
  • Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace. This is the office of Sultan Qaboos, ruler of Oman. This beautiful palace stands on the head of a natural deep-water harbor and is guarded on either side by the twin forts of Mirani and Jelali. Visitors are not allowed to visit the palace, but they are allowed to take photographs at the entrance of the palace.
  • Bait Al Zubair Museum, Al Bahri Rd, ☎ +968 24 736688. Sa-Th 9:30 AM-6 PM. The museum itself features displays on Omani social history, while tours are frequently run of the neighboring reconstructed townhouse.
  • Omani French Museum, Qasr al-Alam St (in Bait Fransa near the police station). Sa-W 8 AM-1 PM, Th 9 AM-1 PM. This small museum has displays detailing the relations between France and Oman, with many colonial objects from the 19th century.
  • Muscat Gate Museum, Al Bahri Rd. Sa-Th 8 AM-2 PM. This museum marks the location of the old city wall and has the original city gates which were used until the 1970s. The location offers good views of Old Muscat and the palace.
  • Bait Muzna Gallery, Saidiya St, Way 8662, House 234 (opposite Bait al Zubair Museum), ☎ +968 24739 204, fax: +968 24739205, e-mail: art@baitmuznagallery.com. A gallery representing primarily Omani artists, and a few Oman-based western artists.

Mutrah

Formerly a fishing village, Mutrah is known primarily for its extensive souq and waterfront corniche. Mutrah harbor is also where the Sultan's royal yacht is docked.

  • Corniche, Al Bahri Rd. The recently renovated corniche area is a popular place for a walk and also for its many not-so-expensive eating places. There is also a good view of the fishing dhows in the harbor.
  • Fish market (fish souq), Al Bahri Rd (along the Corniche, across from the Marina Hotel). Daily 6 AM-10 AM. Visitors can watch fishermen unload and sell the catch of the day.
  • Bait al-Baranda Museum, Al Mina St, ☎ +968 24 714262. This renovated house from the 1930s has exhibits illustrating the history of Muscat. The lower level is devoted to pre-history and paleontology, while the upper level is devoted to human history and ethnography.
  • Mutrah Fort. Built by the Portuguese in the 1580s, this fort is not open to the public, but visitors are permitted to climb up the hill to the outside for a good view of the area.
  • Riyam Park, Al Bahri Rd. This park also has a small funfair with rides. Great views can be had from the giant incense burner perched on the hillside. Visited in The Amazing Race 9.
  • Old waterfront watchtower, Al Bahri Rd (across from Riyam Park). This restored Portuguese watchtower on the waterfront is a good place to catch views of the sunset.
  • Old souq watchtower (near Mutrah Souq and Mutrah St). This Portuguese watchtower has also been restored, and although the tower itself is closed to the public, the hill can be climbed for some great views of Mutrah and the Corniche. There is no clearly-defined path to the top; the easiest access is from the northwest.
  • Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art, Al Wadi Khabir (on the Corniche, near Mutrah Fort), ☎ +968 24 711640, fax: +968 24 711620, e-mail: info@ghalyas-museum.com. Sa-Th 9:30 AM-6 PM. Opened in 2011, this museum is made up of a cluster of houses and comprises three distinct sections. The Old House is set up with furnishings and displays appropriate to an Omani house between 1950 and 1970, i.e. before the accession of Sultan Qaboos. The still unopened Clothes Museum exhibits traditional Omani clothing as well as international costumes, and the Modern Art Museum displays modern artworks from Omani and international artists, hosting occasional special exhibits.

Ruwi and Qantab

Ruwi is Muscat's primary commercial district, as well as the gateway to Qantab south of the city.

  • Currency Museum, Al Bank Al Markazi St (within the Central Bank of Oman building), ☎ +968 24 796102. Sa-W 09:00-13:00. Has interesting displays of Omani currency, both coin and notes, with specimens from early history to the present day.
  • National Museum, An Noor St (near Abdulridha Mosque), ☎ +968 24 701289. Sa-W 09:00-13:30, Th 09:00-13:00. Houses jewelry, costumes, and furniture.
  • Sultan's Armed Forces Museum, Al Mujamma St (Bait al-Falaj), ☎ +968 24 312648. This excellent museum is housed in a building built in 1845 as a royal summer home. The lower level has displays on Oman's history, and the upper level examines Oman's international relations and military history. All visitors are given a mandatory military escort.
  • Sohar boat, Al Bustan Roundabout (near the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Qantab). This boat was built in the dhow yards of Sur, south of Muscat. In 1980 Tim Severin and a crew of Omanis sailed in this vessel from Oman to Guangzhou, China in an effort to recreate the legendary voyages of Sindbad. Severin wrote about the undertaking in his book 'The Sindbad Voyage.'

Al Ghubrah, Al Khuwair, Al Qurm, and Bawshar

As an alternative to the main CBD of Muscat, Mutrah, and Ruwi, there are plenty of places to go to and things to see along the main highway that heads northwest out of the CBD. This main road, the Sultan Qaboos Highway, goes past many areas on its way out to the airport and further still to Seeb, Sohar and eventually the northernmost tip of Oman. Heading along this road you pass the districts of Al Qurm (Qurum), Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Al Khuwair, Bausher, Al-Hail, and Seeb. Each one has a number of sights and places to stay.

There is also a very long beach road from Al Qurm to Seeb, some 50 km. Situated along this are some of the large international hotel chains but, more importantly, you discover the true beauty of the Oman coast-line: kilometers of beaches, fishermen with drag nets and open space to walk for hours.

  • Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, As Sultan St (Al Khuwair). Sa-Th 09:00-11:00 (for non-Muslims). This is the third largest mosque in the world and mostly the entire complex is open to non-Muslim visitors; ladies are however expected to keep their heads, ankles, and wrists covered while visiting the mosque. Must-sees in the mosque include the Swarovski crystal chandelier, the second largest hand made Persian carpet in the world, and the marble paneling.
  • Natural History Museum (across the highway from the ice-skating rink). Sa 09:00-13:30; Su 08:00-13:30, 16:00-18:00; M-W 09:00-13:30; Th 09:00-13:00.
  • Omani Museum (Medinat Al Alam, on top of Information Hill near the Ministry of Information), ☎ +968 24 600946. Sa-W 09:30-13:30, Th 09:00-13:00. This small museum has a good collection of archeological exhibits and is worth visiting for the excellent views.
  • Qurm National Park (Qurum Natural Park) (Al Qurm). Has extensive rose gardens, a large manmade waterfall, a lake and an amusement park which is a must to visit during the Muscat Festival.
  • Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre, Seih Al Maleh St (on the right-hand side at the end of the street just before PDO Gate 2), ☎ +968 24 677834. Sa-Th 08:00-12:00, 13:00-16:00; Th 07:00-12:00. This private museum has six permanent displays explaining the formation of, and modern extraction of oil and natural gas.
  • Planetarium, Seih Al Maleh St (adjacent to the Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre (see listing above)), ☎ +968 24 675542, fax: +968 24 675553, e-mail: planetarium.pdo.co.om. Su-Th. A full-dome digital system, which can accommodate up to 60 visitors. Two shows a week are presented in English; call or email to confirm times and to make reservations. Free.
  • Bait Al Makham (Bait Al Magham) (Bawshar), ☎ +968 24 641300 x142 (call ahead). S-W 08:00-14:00. A fortified house built at the beginning of the 20th century, now restored and with excellent views from the top of the building.
  • Bawshar Fort, Al Safa St (Bawshar). A large, photogenic ruined mud-brick fortress in a scenic location. Behind the fortress are scattered ruins and a long rampart wall, still unexcavated. Along the ridgeline in the hills are some prehistoric beehive graves. Free.

What to do in Muscat, Oman


Festivals and cultural events

  • Royal Opera House Muscat, Al Kharjiyah ST, ☎ +968 24 403300, fax: +968 24 403322, e-mail: info@rohmuscat.org.om. This stunning building is the venue for a wide range of performing arts, including western classical music, classical Arabian music, jazz and flamenco, and ballet and modern dance.
  • Muscat Festival. Held annually from late January to early February, this month-long event celebrates Omani culture and traditions with demonstrations, food, dance and music performances, and other entertainment.

Outdoor activities

Trekking

There is some outstanding trekking in northern Oman, and for a taste, there are a couple of easy treks within or very close to Muscat.

  • Trekking path C38 (from Riyam Park to Mutrah Souq). This short hike takes the walker away from the modern world of Muscat and also offers fantastic views of the rugged mountains surrounding the capital city. The path begins in Riyam Park, and follows a 5000-year-old trail used by miners to an abandoned village, then finally finishes near Mutrah Souq. Allow for 1.5-2 hours, with an additional 20-minute return walk along the Corniche. A decent trail map can be found here.
  • Trekking paths C52 and C53 (Bandar Jissah coastline). These two easy treks offer beautiful views over the coastline. Both trails begin in Bandar Jissah.

Diving

  • BlueZone Diving, Bander al Rhowda Marina, ☎ +968 24 737293, e-mail: Bluzone@omantel.net.om. This center offers diving trips, as well as a full range of PADI courses.
  • Oman Dive Center (Bandar Jissah, 15 km south of Muscat), ☎ +968 24 824240, e-mail: reservation@omandivecenter.info. This German-operated center conducts diving trips and PADI certification courses. The private beach is open to day visitors, and it is possible to stay overnight in one of their beach bungalows. There is no public transportation to this area, so visitors will need to take a taxi or rental car.
  • Omanta Scuba, Al Kharjiya St, Shatti (in the boat house at the InterContinental Hotel), ☎ +968 97 700564, e-mail: info@omantascuba.com. Conducts diving trips and a full range of PADI courses, as well as dolphin-watching tours. Diving destinations include the Damaniyat Islands, Fahal Island, and Bhandra Kharan, with other destinations depending on demand.

Mountain biking

With many excellent trails nearby, Muscat has a fast-growing mountain bike community. Bike Oman organizes weekly mountain bike excursions on Thursday, most of which begin within a 20-45 min. drive from Muscat. During the summer they organize weekly night time rides, usually on Mondays.

  • Oman Bicycle Shop (behind the Radisson Hotel, Al Khuwair), ☎ +968 96773824. Sa 3 PM-7 PM; S-Th 10 AM-1 PM, 3 PM-7 PM; F closed. Mountain bikes can be rented here by the day, weekend, or week.

Beaches

On private beaches (i.e. those attached to hotels) western swimwear is acceptable. On public beaches, however, visitors should be mindful of Omani conservative norms. Women are advised to stick with one-piece suits, and men should opt for longer swimming shorts (not speedos); keep shoulders and knees covered unless you are actually on the beach. Women may find a parasol helpful to hide from prying eyes.

Beaches with a sign 'Family Beach' are closed to single or bachelor men.

  • Qurum Public Beach (Qurum). No facilities except open showers. Clean and well-maintained, with places offering jetskis for rent near the Intercontinental. This beach gets very busy on weekends. Free.
  • Marjan Public Beach (PDO Public Beach) (near Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Qurum Heights). This beach is quiet during the day, and more lively in early evenings. There are some small, excellent coral reefs just a short distance from the shore, suitable even for novice snorkelers. Clownfish, parrot fish, sea cucumbers, and occasionally sea turtles and rays can be spotted here. Free.
  • Al Ghubrah Public Beach (between the Chedi Hotel and the desalination plant, Al Ghubrah). This is a family-oriented beach, with picnic benches and shaded areas. In the evening near the desalination plant, there are several food trucks which offer good and inexpensive fare, including grilled meat and fish, lentil soup, and potato salads. Free.
  • Seeb Public Beach (Seeb). This is a long stretch of beach, with some sections quite busy, and some sections accessible only with 4WD. Free.
  • Al Bustan Public Beach (near the Al Bustan Palace Hotel). Named after the hotel, this beach has a good view of the mountains behind. Free.

Bird watching

There are some good areas for avian enthusiasts, within and around the city.

  • Al Ansab Wetlands (off of the Muscat Expressway, next to the water treatment plant), ☎ +968 800 77111. Best in the early morning or late afternoon. Nearly 300 avian species have been spotted here, some during migrations and others living here year-round. The wetlands were developed by the Haya Water company, which offers guided tours, bookable online.

What to eat and drink in Muscat, Oman


Eat

Budget

Food is relatively cheap in Muscat, a meal can cost just a couple of rials. For inexpensive Indian food, there are many restaurants catering to Indian guest workers in Al Khuwayr. In Mutrah you can walk down the waterfront in the Corniche area to catch a cool sea breeze, and treat yourself to some sandwiches and Halib (tea with milk) or Sulaimani (black tea) at one of the wayside restaurants.

  • Al-exandria, Fanja House, Near Sabco Centre, Ruwi, Tel - 561611. The best Rotis (Indian Bread). Try the chicken Jalfrezi and Paneer aloo (potato).
  • Automatic, (Cuisine - Lebanese). Try the Hummus (Chickpea paste), Fatoosh (Salad), Mutabel (Egg Plant paste), Falafel and mint tea. Even the waiters are not sure why the restaurant is named automatic. There is a branch of Automatic located on the side of the Sabco Centre facing away from the central car park. There are also branches in Ruwi, Al Khuwair and elsewhere in Muscat.
  • Al Haikal Restaurant, 2996 Way (near bus stand, Ruwi). Pakistani food.
  • Al-Hanan, Ruwi (Cuisine - Indian).
  • Al Shaheen Restaurant, Honda Rd (Ruwi). Pakistani food.
  • Al Tarboush (Al-Tarboosh) (opposite the Sabco Centre, Qurm). Fast Arabian/Lebanese-style food available for takeaway or eat-in on the first floor.
  • Bella-Pais, MAM roundabout, just off the Nizwa turn off (Cuisine - Greek + Other).
  • Bin Ateeq, Al Khuwair Rd (near Shell petrol station and Holiday Inn, Al Khuwair), ☎ +968 24 478225, fax: +968 24 488784, e-mail: mail@binateeqoman.com. Daily 09:00-02:00. This place is mentioned in various guidebooks as the only 'authentic' Omani restaurant in town - and its fame means that this is now popular with tourists. The food is acceptable, if a bit pricey.
  • Bin Ateeq, 2730 Way (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 702727, e-mail: mail@binateeqoman.com. Daily 09:00-02:00. Another branch of the popular Omani restaurant.
  • Gujrat Bhojan Shala, Ruwi High Street, Ruwi (Cuisine - Indian).
  • Muscat Light Restaurant & Coffeeshop, Al Bahri Rd (Old Muscat). Ideal place for a break during a walking tour of Old Muscat.
  • Ofair Traditional Restaurant, Al Marafah St (Al Khuwair), ☎ +968 24 482965. Serves traditional Omani food.
  • Oman Express, Tel - 7731329. Delivers Lunch - 18 rials for a month including Fridays or 15.6 Rials excluding Fridays.
  • Saravana Bhavan Restaurant (Ruwi, opposite OC Centre), ☎ +968 24 704502. South Indian vegetarian restaurant.
  • Subway, City Centre, Seeb, Tel - 542225.

Mid-range

  • The Chedi Pizza Restaurant, Way No. 3215 (The Chedi Hotel, Ghubrah). Offers less expensive food than the other Chedi outlets, with the same understated chic ambiance.
  • Haffa House Hotel Restaurant, Al Farahidi St (Ruwi), ☎ +968 24 707207.
  • Kargeen Caffe, Al Bashair St, ☎ +968 24 699055, fax: +968 24 695522, e-mail: info@kargeencaffe.com. Traditional Omani food served in a traditional setting. There is an outdoor seating area for shisha smokers and a surprisingly good selection of vegetarian options. Reservations are recommended, particularly on weekends.
  • Turkish House (Al Khuwair), ☎ +968 24 488071. 11:00-01:00. The most popular Turkish restaurant in Muscat, with excellent fish dishes. Takeaway and delivery available in the Al Khuwair area.
  • Ubhar Restaurant, Al Sarooj Rd and Al Kharjiyah St (Al Qurm), ☎ +968 24 699826, e-mail: info@ubharoman.com. Daily 12:30-15:30, 18:30-23:00. Exceptional, traditional Omani dishes with a modern twist, very highly rated.

Splurge

  • Al Khiran, Al Bustan Palace Hotel (Qantab). Famous for their Friday brunch buffets.
  • Bait Al Bahr (Shangri-La Hotel), ☎ +968 24 776565, e-mail: bautakbahrservice.slmu@shangri-la.com. 19:00-23:00. Traditional Omani seafood. Reservations strongly recommended; smart casual, nonsmoking.
  • The Chedi, North Ghubra 32 (Al Ghubra). Four open kitchens featuring international cuisine.
  • Mumtaz Mahal (Al Qurm). Indian cuisine.
  • Passage to India, Al Wutayyah (near Hatat House), ☎ +968 24 563452 (reservations). Indian cuisine.
  • Taj Samarkhand, Oasis by the Sea Residences (Al Qurm), ☎ +968 24 602757. Indian Peshwari cuisine.

Grocery stores

  • Spinney's, Al Khariyah St (Al Qurm, by the Sultan Qaboos Expressway). A Lebanese-based grocery store chain, has takeaway options.
  • Al Fair Supermarket. A chain of supermarkets sells a wide range of items. Many of them are on the main Sultan Qaboos highway making them easy to spot.
  • Lulu's. Oman's favourite supermarket chain with a branch off Sultan Qaboos Street in Al-Khuwair.

Drink

Every road, street corner or little collection houses, huts or businesses has a 'Coffee-Shop' - basic but worth a go. Fresh fruit juices are delicious and available from a number of stalls and cafes in Muscat. Expect to pay between RO 0.500 and 1.500 for these juices depending on type and size.

  • Al Ahli Coffeeshop (Mutrah Souq), ☎ +968 24 713469. Also has fresh fruit juices.
  • Fast Food N Juice Centre, Al Bahri Rd (Mutrah). You can watch the world go by from the outside tables.
  • Starbucks Coffee (Al Qurm). Located on the beach road that goes between the Crown Plaza Hotel and the Intercontinental Hotel. It is so close that if you cross the road, you are on the beach.

Lounges

  • Left Bank (ground floor beneath Mumtaz Mahal Restaurant, Qurm), ☎ +968 24 693699. Sa-Th 12 AM-3 PM, 6 PM-2 AM; F 2 PM-1:30/2 AM. Known for good drinks as well as good food. Reservations recommended if you come here for dinner. Expensive.

Shopping in Muscat, Oman


  • Mutrah Souq (main entrance along the Corniche, Mutrah). The maze-like souq (marketplace) is often described as the best in the Gulf region. The souq has many shops for jewelry, traditional Omani handicrafts, and Omani food at reasonable prices. Some specific items to look for include Arab hand-embroidered mussar, garments, nuts, spices, incense, and earthenware. A few shops accept credit cards.
  • Amouage Perfume Factory (near the airport), ☎ +968 24 534800. S-Th 08:30-16:00. Amouage perfume is the most expensive perfume in the world, and visitors can learn about its production. It is recommended (but not required) to call beforehand to ensure that someone is available to show you around.
  • Barka Omani Halwa Factory (between Seeb and Barka).
  • Boraka Halwa Factory, Mutrah St (Mutrah).
  • Jawahir Oman Jewellers, Al Wilaj St (Al Qurum Complex, Al Qurm), ☎ +968 24 563239. Sells prized Omani silver, crafted into contemporary jewelry and gifts in a Muscat workshop.
  • Omani Heritage Gallery, Jawharat Al Shatti Shopping Centre (across Al Kharijiyah St from the Royal Opera House, Al Khuwair), ☎ +968 24 696974, fax: +968 24 696568, e-mail: ohgmq@omantel.net.om. This gallery is operated by a non-profit group which encourages cottage industries.
  • Souq al Jumaa (Friday Market) (Wadi Kabir, Ruwi). Fridays 07:00-21:00. A bustling flea market with everything from jewelry, camping gear, carpets, and even cars. There is a section with clothing, and food stalls are also nearby.

Malls

  • Markaz al Bahja Mall (Seeb), ☎ +968 24 503403.
  • Muscat City Centre (Seeb). Contains a lot of shops including a large Carrefour Hypermarket.
  • Oman Avenues Mall (Sultan Qaboos St), ☎ +968 24 540200. Oman Avenues Mall is the largest shopping mall in Oman. Offers shopping, dining, kid zones and entertainment to locals and international tourists.
  • Qurum City Centre. Recently opened at Qurum and contains Carrefour.
  • Sabco Centre (near the turnoff between Sultan Qaboos St and Qurm Heights Rd, Qurm). A collection of about half a dozen medium-sized shopping centers which is very popular with locals. The actual Sabco Centre has a small souq-like collection of shops that contains many of the handicrafts that are available in the Mutrah Souq. There is also a Godiva Chocolates shop (tel. +968 24 562367). Opposite the Sabco Centre is the Omani Craftsman's House that only sells guaranteed Made in Oman crafts at fixed (but relatively high) prices.

Hypermarkets

  • Al Meera (Azaiba), ☎ +968 24 583444. A Qatari-based chain.
  • Lulu Hypermarket, Al Mina St (Mutrah). All Lulu's branches have delis offering takeaways.
  • Lulu Hypermarket Wadi Kabir, 63 St (Ruwi).
  • Lulu Hypermarket, As Sultan Qaboos St (Ghubrah), ☎ +968 24 504504. This location is particularly convenient if you're looking to stock up before heading to the mountains.
  • Carrefour Hypermarket, Qurum City Centre. There is another Carrefour located in Muscat city center.
  • Sultan Shopping Center (Al Qurm).

Tailors

There are numerous Indian-run tailors.

  • The Raymond Shop (Assarain Textiles LLC), Ruwi High Street, Ruwi, ☎ +968 2483 0149, +968 9926 7972, e-mail: raymonds@omantel.net.om.

Money Changers

  • Oman-UAE Exchange Centres - LuLu Hypermarkets, Ghala and Ruwi
  • Global Money Exchange - Ruwi
  • Travelex - Seeb International Airport
  • Purshottam Kanji - Ruwi
  • Mustafa Sultan Exchange - Many outlets throughout Oman

Safety in Muscat, Oman


It is advisable to drink bottled water while in Muscat. Oman Oasis, Tanuf, Arwa, Salsabeel and Aquafina are the most recognizable brands of mineral water and is available in most convenience shops. "Masafi" and "Darbat" are also brands at reasonable prices - RO 1 for 12*1.5 liter. Tap water is generally not safe, and so use bottled water.

Language spoken in Muscat, Oman


Arabic is the official language, but tour guides speak good English.

LOCAL TIME

5:13 am
June 19, 2019
Asia/Muscat

CURRENT WEATHER

34.54 °C / 94.172 °F
sky is clear
Wed

37.47 °C/99 °F
sky is clear
Thu

35.2 °C/95 °F
sky is clear
Fri

33.35 °C/92 °F
sky is clear
Sat

34.71 °C/94 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

OMR

1 USD = 0 OMR
1 EUR = 0 OMR
1 GBP = 0 OMR
1 AUD = 0 OMR
1 CAD = 0 OMR

Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests



http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman
Average: 10 (10 votes)

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the main Mosque in the Sultanate of Oman. It is in the capital city of Muscat.   Construction In 1992...
City Centre Muscat, Muscat, Oman
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

Developed and is managed by Majid Al Futtaim Properties, City Centre Muscat shopping mall was opened in October 2001. It is located on Sultan Qaboos...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Royal Opera House Muscat, Muscat, Oman
Average: 9.9 (10 votes)

The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) is Oman's premier venue for musical arts and culture. The opera house is located in Shati Al-Qurm district of...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Nakhal Fort, Muscat, Oman
Average: 9.4 (10 votes)

Nakhal Fort (Arabic: قلعة نخل‎ Qalʿa Nakhal) is a large fortification in the Al Batinah Region of Oman. It is named after the Wilayah of Nakhal. The...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Fort Al Jalali, Muscat, Oman
Average: 9.8 (10 votes)

Fort al-Jalali, or Ash Sharqiya Fort, is a fort in the harbor of the old city of Muscat, Oman. The fort was built by the Portuguese in the 1580s to...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Al Sawadi, Muscat, Oman
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Al Sawadi (or simply Sawadi) is a resort town near Muscat, Oman. It is one of the most famous place in Oman. It has a beautiful beach. Many people...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5 ||| Public domain Bait al Zubair, Muscat, Oman
Average: 9.7 (10 votes)

Bait al Zubair is a museum, located near the Ministry of Information on Al Saidiya Street, Muscat Oman. It has a notable extensive collection of...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5 ||| Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Al Alam Palace, Muscat, Oman
Average: 9.2 (10 votes)

The Al Alam Palace is the ceremonial palace of Sultan Qaboos of Oman located in Muscat. "Al Alam" means "The Flag" in Arabic.   History...
Sultan's Armed Forces Museum, Muscat, Oman
Average: 9.6 (10 votes)

The Sultan's Armed Forces Museum is a military history museum, located in the 150-year-old Bait Al Falaj Fort, the headquarters for Sultan Said bin...
Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre, Muscat
Average: 9.2 (10 votes)

Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre is a museum, located on Seih Al Maleh Street, Al-Qurum, Muscat Oman. The museum was established 1995 as a donation...

Latest travel blogs about Muscat, Oman




Cruise Along The Persian Gulf


Here is some information about the cruise on  "Brilliance of the Seas"  of  Royal Caribbean International . The route of the cruise was the following: Dubai - Oman - Fujairah - Bahrain - Abu Dhabi - Dubai. It's not easy to show a huge 13-deck liner, but I'll try. Let'...

We were met in  Oman , the oldest independent state in the Arab world, by traditional spears and songs. Early in the morning, our ship moored in the bay of  Muscat . Muscat means a "place of falling." This is due to the fact that the steep, rocky hills close in the city from all...
Thinking about a way to spend New Years, I chose an inexpensive cruise to the Persian Gulf. So, we left the port of Dubai and headed to the Sultanate of Oman, namely the capital of  Muscat . I decided to go on an excursion offered onboard. We arrived in the  port of Muscat ,...
Oman is one of the safest countries in the world, taking the 22nd position in the rating of countries. There are few rich Omanis, and many of them do not look down on anyone -  taxi drivers, refuellers, etc. A lot of Omani women work. There are even police women. Three ministries are...
The Muttrah Market is one of the oldest in  Muscat , the capital in  Oman . It is distinguished by the "traditional" interiors, with narrow streets and labyrinths, small shops and the "colonial" nature of goods. Any souvenirs can be bought here: from a pack of incense for half a...
The  Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Oman, and is one of the three required points to visit during a tour in  Muscat , the capital of the country. At this time, our guides showed us how to perform ablutions before namaz, and I took photos of it... There is a...
I came to  Oman  by the invitation of the Ministry of Tourism of Oman together with several journalists and a good friend of mine. We spent 4 days there in total and managed to go around half of the country. I will begin the story with our visit to the desert. This year it is...