Relatively undiscovered, Muscat is a bit of a hidden treasure. This serene port capital presides over the Gulf of Oman on the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. It makes a princely pied-a-terre for your next break.
Muscat is a place where culture triumphs over flashiness. By royal decree, you’ll find few high-rises here – instead, the soaring Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the modern Royal Opera House make the city’s biggest statements. The local people are proud of their traditional culture, and men wear graceful, full length white dishdashas as they go about their daily lives at the Muttrah Souq and the city’s Corniche. Muscat’s modernisation has been unobtrusive – at first you might not notice it – though a glance at the city’s crop of luxury hotels will set you straight. After your fill of the city, head inland find cool wadis where the locals spend lazy weekends, into frankinsense forests, mountains peppered with forts (and luxury resorts) and to sand dunes that burn orange in the sunset. Travel far enough north and you’ll encounter Arabia’s Empty Quarter. Wahiba Sands are popular, and closer, alternative. British Airways operates flights to Muscat in winter – book your next winter sun holiday now.