Soak up the glistening ocean waters of Muscat, with a backdrop of majestic mountains in a city bursting with charm and tradition. Enjoy year-round sunshine and the glow of Arabic architecture, in a place of seafront tranquillity and exotic adventure.
Begin your journey in the capital of Oman, when you book flights to Muscat. Immerse yourself in the fusion of old and new throughout the city. From the mesmerising Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the quaint souks with aromas of frankincense and smiles of welcoming locals, to the lavish resorts and palatial malls. Wander along the shoreline, see the Old Fort or relax on blissful beaches. Explore the canyons and peaks of the nearby Hajar Mountains, then head south to the golden dunes of Wahiba Sands desert – discover an oasis and watch camels stroll by. On holidays in Muscat, immerse yourself in natural wonders and sensational culture.
Home to the Sultan of Oman, who gives his name to many government buildings and mosques, the walled city of Muscat is impressive. The imposing Al Mirani and Al Jalaili forts stand guard above the grandiose ceremonial home of the Sultan – the Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace – and while visitors are not allowed in the structures they are worth seeing. You will also find the National Museum of Oman, the Omani French Museum and the beautiful Muscat Gate in the area too. Not many people live here and it has a quiet, small town feel.
Muttrah is where you will find most of the markets, shops and traditional life in Muscat – it is the city’s old commercial neighbourhood. By far the most interesting part of the city, as the large docks and huge maze-like Muttrah Souq are still in business each day. You will find both local wares and imported goods from India and western African states – as historically Oman has been a great trading post. Search for great places to eat around the Corniche area, then relax in the Riyam Park or check out the fish and fruit market across the bay.
The new commercial centre of Muscat, Ruwi has the bustling streets you’ve come to expect in a major city. Cafés, shops and restaurants line the streets, and there’s a large number of Indian expats in Little India, so can you’ll find a great and cheap curry house in no time. There is a buzz to Ruwi that doesn’t happen in the rest of the city, with neon lights and car horns blaring, which reminds visitors they are in the capital. Also here are the only high-rise buildings in the city – still only small scale compared to Dubai’s skyscrapers.
This suburb of Muscat is where all the western expats like to frequent, with hotels (with bars), malls, decent restaurants, and a cinema. It also has the best public beach, the Shati Al-Qurm, which is dotted with beach shacks and opens onto the Gulf of Oman. There is a good golf course here for enthusiasts and the Al-Qurm park is well worth a visit to cool down in the sunshine. Stay at the Crowne Plaza Muscat to experience the relaxed Qurm lifestyle.