MUSCAT

Muscat is the modern capital of Oman and offers visitors a stunning combination of old and new. From the architectural masterpiece that is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, to its rugged mountain backdrop and breath-taking beaches, this city never fails to entertain and inspire.

MODERN CAPITAL OF OMAN

There is an abundance of choice for visitors, from world-class shows at the Royal Opera House Muscat, to fine dining at one of the many restaurants scattered across the capital or shopping for traditional souvenirs at Muttrah Souq, one of the oldest in Arabia.

Museums, such as the Children’s Museum, Natural History Museum, National Museum or Bait Al Zubair welcome those who wish to delve deeper into the Sultanate’s rich natural and cultural history. For art lovers, there are a number of galleries showcasing modern Omani art.

As for activities, the capital region has almost endless possibilities. Whether it is snorkelling at the Daymaniyat Islands, trekking from Old Muscat to Muttrah, a guided city tour or a day trip to a nearby wadi, Muscat welcomes all to experience its unique charm.

HERE THE PLACES TO VISIT IN MUSCAT

Mutrah Corniche

Mutrah Corniche is a promenade stretching for 3 kilometers along the waterfront and is lined with restaurants, cafes, and markets. You can see the views of the Oman Port and harbor on one side and the beautiful rock formations of the Hajar Mountains and the Portuguese watchtowers on the other. The northern end of the corniche has a fish market and a dhow harbor. The eastern end of the harbor is dominated by the Mutrah Fort. The Fort is generally closed for visitors. However, its flank can be climbed for more great views of the harbor.

Grand Mosque Muscat

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat is Oman's biggest mosque with an area of 416,000 m2 and has a capacity of over 20,000 worshippers; 8,000 people can fit inside and the courtyard can easily hold up to 12,000 people. This mosque is one of the few mosques in Arabia which allows entry for non-Muslim visitors. The mosque is a wonder of modern architecture and is a fusion of Omani, Islamic, and Middle-Eastern architectural styles.

Royal Opera House, Muscat

The Royal Opera House is Oman's premier destination for music, arts, and culture. The complex consists of a theatre, auditorium, landscaped gardens, an art centre, and cultural markets and can accommodate up to 1100 people. The Royal Opera House has been ordered to be built in 2001 by Sultan Qaboos of Oman, who is a huge enthusiast of classical music and art. The house officially opened in 2011 and serves as a centre for excellence in the arts and enriches its heritage by culturally diverse programs and events.

Al Ansab Wetlands

Set in the middle of Muscat, the Al Ansab Wetlands are a protected area and an ornithologists dream. Over 293 species of birds stop over at different times throughout the year, with over 80 resident species.
Muscat: Colours and fragrance fill the air at Al Ansab Wetland where winter sees the best of plants and trees bloom. The wetland has 113 species of Omani trees and shrubs.

Yiti Beach

Located around 28 kms from the city centre Muscat, Yiti Beach is one of the secluded and lesser known beaches in Oman. It is well-known as a camping site outside the city of Muscat with small cliffs, coves, rocky edges, and a fairly isolated environment that’s ideal for parties or couples who’d enjoy their privacy. The beach has gorgeous soft sand and clear waters with fishing, swimming, camping, and simple day-trip picnic opportunities available.

Bait Al Zubair

Bait Al-Zubair is a private museum located in old Muscat city and contains relics from Oman’s military, social, and cultural past. It opened its doors to the public in 1998 and is founded and funded by the Zubair family. The family’s extensive collection of Omani artefacts such as weapons, khanjars, jewellery, household items and costumes are considered to be the finest privately owned collection that offers an insight into Arab and Omani heritage.

Al Alam Palace

Al Alam Palace, also known as Sultan's Palace and the Sultan Qaboos Palace, is one among the six royal residences of Sultan Qaboos located in Muscat. It looks out to the Gulf of Oman. The ruling monarch’s residence was built in 1972 which holds a history of 200 years. The palace is known for its flamboyant Islamic architecture which is surrounded by lush green garden and the Mutrah Harbour. This official residence is used to receive distinguished guests who visit the country.

Al Mirani Fort

Al Mirani Fort in Muscat was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. It, along with neighbouring Al Jalali Fort, looks out to the Gulf of Oman and would guard the port of Muscat in the past. The Mirani Fort and Al Jalali Fort are located on either side of the palace. Although closed to the public, visitors can view this fort from outside. This fort was extremely instrumental in the downfall of the Portuguese. The fort has many ancient war tools on display.

Bimmah Sinkhole

Also called Hawiyat Najm, Bimmah Sinkhole is located in the ‘Muscat governorate’ of Oman. Situated between the towns of Bimmah & Dibab, it is ideal for swimming and enjoying the beautiful landscape of the region. The local municipality has created the Hawiyat Najm Park that surrounds the Bimmah sinkhole as a form of protecting the attraction. Visitors passing through the area often stop here for a few hours of respite from the scorching sun.

Al Jalali Fort

The massive Al Jalali Fort, also known as Ash Sharqiya Fort, was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Interestingly it once used to be a prison which has been converted to a heritage private museum. Being located on the harbour, the Al Jalali Fort offers a beautiful view of the entire city of Muscat. The only entrance to this place is through a steep flight of stairs in the front. The entry to this fort is strictly by permit only. You can apply to the Ministry Of National Heritage through the contact page on their website.

Amouage Perfumery, Muscat

At Amouage Perfumery and Visitor Centre in Muscat, you’ll get a chance to witness how this world-famous company creates their amazing fragrances from scratch. Starting from obtaining ingredients from their in-house facilities to distilling, filtering and packaging, this tour will give you a close-up look at everything that goes behind producing Amouage’s signature products. The factory tour is free and quite informative. After the tour, you’ll also get to visit the Amouage factory’s own shop that allows you to sample their large range under one roof and even get to purchase some Amouage Perfumes.

Wadi Mayh

Wadi Mayh is a long valley that lies between Yiti and Sifah, along the highway to Quriyat. In the western part of the valley, an enormous mountain range that appears to have been naturally engraved with many layers created during different geological periods. Now, it looks like a massive display of rock art.
This picturesque landscape is dotted with small streams and pools of fresh water, which are an intense turquoise blue in colour. Two villages are conveniently situated on the edge of the wadi in the middle of the valley.

Qurum Beach

Qurum Beach, at the edge of the Qurum Nature Reserve, stretches for four kilometres along the Muscat coastline, in the heart of Muscat city. Its shallow waters and comparatively longer duration of high tides make it a family friendly location. The clean waters of the Gulf of Oman are perfect for rejuvenation and relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Comparable to virgin beaches due to its natural and scenic wonders, the Qurum Beach is perfect for all visitors! The Muscat coastline offers splendid views of the open sea and a range of activities, allowing visitors to lounge and luxuriate after a hard day’s work.

Muscat Grand Mall

Situated in the heart of Muscat city, the Muscat Grand Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in the city. It has been designed to witness a convergence of modern brands and departmental stores and other outlets along with traditional Arabic souk at the place. The panoramic oasis present at the centre of the mall makes up for a good photography spot. Being close to the Arabic Sea, one can clearly observe a panoramic view of the sea from the top floor of Grand Muscat Mall.

Mutrah Souk

Mutrah Souq is one of the oldest markets in the Arab world. This antiquity has perhaps increased its beauty, magic and allure. Mutrah Souk or Al Alam Souk has been named after darkness because the crowded stalls and lanes do not allow the sun rays to infiltrate through during the day and the shoppers need lamplights to see where they were going. The market used to be a source of supply for Omanis where they could buy their needs in the 1960s for simpler life requirements.

Dolphin watching

Alongwith exploring dophins you have the chance to view the scenic beauty of Oman’s coastline over the prestine waters of Oman’s capital area and experiance the breaktaking views of some of it’s landmarks.

The most commonly encountered species off Muscat are spinner dolphins, which delight the viewer with their spinning leaps. The Spinners are often joined by long-nosed common dolphins, in mixed groups. Also encountered off Muscat, but on a less regular basis are Bryde’s Whales, Humpback Whales, Risso’s Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, False Killer Whale and the occasional Killer Whale group amongst others.

National museum

Opened in 2016, the National Museum of Oman is located opposite the Sultan’s Palace in Old Muscat and showcases the Sultanate’s rich history and heritage, from its earliest settlement through to present day.

OTHER OMAN REGIONS

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