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Muscat is the capital of Oman and the country's largest city.


The city referred to as "Muscat" is in fact three smaller towns which have grown together over time. They are:

  • Muscat - often referred to as the "walled city", Muscat proper is the site of the royal palaces.
  • Matrah (Matruh) - originally a fishing village, and home to the maze-like Matrah Souq.
  • Ruwi - generally considered the commercial and diplomatic centre of the city.
Al Jalali Fort, Muscat

This tripartite division will sometimes cause the visitor an inconvenience, as distances between sites can be very long.

As an alternative to the main CBD area that is considered as these three areas there is plently of places to go and things to see along the main highway that heads North East out of these areas. 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 northern most tip of Oman.

Heading along this road you pass the districts of Qurum, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Al Khuwair, Bausher, Al-Hail and Seeb. Each one has a range of sights to see and places to stay.

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


The climate is tropical, with very hot and generally humid weather year-round.

Get in[edit]


Historically, certain nationalities holding a Qatar or UAE tourist visas did not need to purchase an Omani visa if entering directly from Doha or Dubai. While this may no longer fully work, the Common Visa Facility (CVF) between Dubai and Oman still works when tried in Jan 2019. If you land in Dubai airport and go to Oman via Hatta border within one week from your arrival, and your country is eligible for visa on arrival arrangments, you may be able to use CVF and obtain a 3 weeks visa on arrival free of charge, by showing your Dubai arrival stamp to the officers in Hatta border. Full details are explained here

Visas upon arrival for eligible countries are quick and easy to obtain cost 20 OR for a 30 day validity. 10-day visas are now (2018 July) available again, it cost 5 OR.

Always check the length of visa granted: people have reported being incorrectly granted a 10 day visa at land border crossing and inadvertently overstaying their visas. Penalties for overstaying visas are extremely high: 10 OR per person per day, payable at the border where you entered Oman.

By plane[edit]

Numerous air services arrive to Muscat International Airport, located only 15 - 20 minutes from the city (depending which part of Muscat you are staying). Taxis are abundant and generally use meters.

  • Thai AirAsia X [11] operates 3 flights per week from Muscat direct to Bangkok (Don Mueang). Departing Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday beginning June 28, 2016.
  • flydubai [12] operates 4 flights per day from Dubai to Muscat.
  • Oman Air [13] operates flights to Muscat from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Amman, Bahrain, Bangalore, Bangkok, Beirut, Cairo, Chennai, Chittagong, Dar Es Salaam, Delhi, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Jaipur, Jeddah, Karachi, Kathmandu, Khasab, Kochi, Kozhikode, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lahore, London Heathrow, Lucknow, Male, Manila, Manchester, Milan, Mumbai, Munich, Paris, Ras Al Khaimah, Riyadh, Salalah, Singapore, Tehran and Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Gulf Air [14] offers flights from Bahrain to Muscat (BHD 75.900 return, Sept 2010).
  • Emirates [15] has 7 flights per day from Dubai to Muscat, flying time 1 hr. (from AED 650 return, Jan 2013).
  • Air Arabia [16] offers 2 flights per day from Sharjah to Muscat, duration of flight 55 min (from AED 295,000 return, Sept 2010).
  • Etihad Airways [17] operates 3 flights per day from Abu Dhabi to Muscat, duration of flight 1:05 hrs (from AED 1.355 return, Sept 2010)
  • Britsh Airways [18] offers daily flights from London Heathrow to Muscat (from GBP 455 return, July 2014). The journey has a 1-hour stop-over in Abu Dhabi during which passengers stay on the plane.
  • KLM [19] operates flights from Amsterdam to Muscat on Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri and Sun, duration of flight 8hrs 30min.
  • Lufthansa [20] has flights from Frankfurt to Muscat from Sun to Fri, duration of flight 8 hrs (from EUR 796,- return, Sept 2010).
  • Swiss [21] operates daily flights from Zurich to Muscat via Dubai (from CHF 774,- return, Sept 2010).
  • Royal Jordanian [22] flies from Amman to Muscat on Tue, Thu, Fri and Sun, arriving in Muscat next morning (from JOD 535.570 return, Sept 2010)
  • Egyptair [23] offers flights from Cairo to Muscat on Mon Wed, Thu and Fri, arriving in Muscat next morning, duration of flight 4 hrs,
  • Air India Express [24] has flights to Muscat from Amritsar on Wed and Fri (duration of flight 3 hrs 15min, from Delhi on Wed and Fri (duration of flight 5 hrs 20min), from Kochi on Tue, Thu and Sun (duration of flight 3hrs 35min), from Kozhikode on Fri, Sat, Sun (duration of flight 3hrs 25min), from Thiruvanantahapuram on Tue, Thu to Sun (duration of flight 3hrs 45 min, or 5hrs 20min if flight goes via Cochin).
  • Pakistan International Airlines [25] operates flights to Muscat from Islamabad on Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat and Sun and from Peshawar on Wed, Thu and Sat.
  • Turkish Airlines [26] operates flights to Muscat from Istanbul on everyday.

The number of airlines flying to Muscat increases each year, although the Omani sale of their part of Gulf Air has meant a temporary decrease in passengers.

Domestically, Oman Air also flies from Salalah to Muscat at least twice weekly.

By bus[edit]

Oman National Transport Company [27], now called Mwasalat (, runs busses to Muscat from Dubai (duration of journey: 6 hrs) and Abu Dhabi (via Buraimi). al-Khanjry Transport runs a bus from al-Rigga in Dubai to Muscat, leaving every day at 7:00am and 3:00pm (55 dirhams one way, 90 return). Within Oman there are daily busses to Muscat from Buraimi (via Sohar), Nizwa (2hrs 20min), Salalah (13 hrs, reservation required), Sanaw and Sur (4hrs 15 min). Long distance busses arrive at the Oman National Transport Company at Ruwi, Al-Jaame Street (near Sultan Qaboos Mosque).

Scheduled departures with ONTC from Ruwi included: Ibri (08:00, 14:30), Sur (07:30, 14:30), Burimi (06:30, 13:00, 16:00), Salalah (07:00, 10:00, 18:00), Dubai (06:00, 15:00, 23:00). More departures (particularly to Salalah) are available through the Gulf Transport Company (GTC).

By car[edit]

You can reach Muscat by road from the United Arab Emirates. The journey takes about 5h by crossing the border in Hatta/Al Ain.

You can drive from Al Ghaydah in Yemen.naimu The journey is about 6 hours via the border crossing at Sarfeit to Salalah and then another 10 to Muscat.

Get around[edit]

By taxi[edit]

Maxi taxis (vans, known throughout the expat community as baisa busses) ply the highway from Seeb to the corniche area. The charge is 100 baisa from corniche area to the church round about and another 100 baisa from the church round about to Wadi Adai.

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 travellers. They will charge 8 Rials for an airport trip if you don't haggle, but you should be able to barter for 5 Rials. They always say they will give you "good price" but its 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, you'll usually see a few people waiting around for one. A journey within the Muscat area should not cost more than 300 Baisa each, but if you look like an experienced traveller and hand them 200 baisa then you can usually get away with that.

By car[edit]

There are many rent-a-car services available in the city. There is much conflicting information as to whether an international driving licence is required for renting out a car. According to the Royal Omani Police website, a valid license from your home country is sufficient for up to 90 days. It is best to verify this with the rental company. Most of the Car Rentals have offices at the airport arrivals terminal.

  • ABC
  • Al Maha Rent a Car (00968-99467384)
  • Al Maskry Rent-a-Car [28]
  • Avis [29]
  • Bahwan Rent a Car [30]
  • Budget,
  • Europcar
  • Hertz
  • 'National
  • Sixt
  • Thrifty

The cheapest car hire is about 11 OMR (22 GBP) for a day which will get you an economy car with manual transmission and sometimes no air-conditioning. To get yourself properly equipped, you should hire a 4WD which will be around 30 OMR (38 GBP). Make sure that you will get a proper induction on driving in Oman.

Road signs in Muscat can be quite confusing, particularly when having to decide which exit to take to reach your destination. Best to ask a local to provide you with directions if you haven't been to your destination previously.

See[edit][add listing]

Al Jalali Fort, Muscat

  • Al Jalali Fort and Al Mirani fort Said to have been built first by the Sassanid Persians, this fort was rebuilt by the Portuguese when they took over Oman in 1507 until being expelled in 1624. The two twin fort sit opposite each other, with one located on a rocky outcrop amid the ocean. The fort was once used as a prison and had a notorious reputation causing fear for many. Today, they are used by the Royal Oman Army and entrance is not allowed but they can be appreciated from the outside and luckily photography is allowed!
  • Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace With its golden arches and blue-dyed façade, this 200 year old palace was rebuilt and redesigned in 1972. It sits in the middle of towering trees and beautiful fountains. Since it is a royal palace, visitors cannot enter the palace but they are allowed to walk around the complex and take as many pictures as they want.
  • Corniche Area The pedestrianized walkway is locally called "Corniche" it starts from the busy fish market and ends by Kalbuh Park.
  • Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Mostly the entire complex is open to non-Muslim visitors. Non-Muslims may visit from 8AM to 11AM every day except Friday. 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 panelling.
  • Bait az-Zubair Museum The museum itself features displays on Omani social history, while tours are frequently run of the neighbouring reconstructed townhouse
Nakhal Fort
  • Muscat also has a large number of small and large parks, the largest being the Qurum National Park or rose gardens which include a large manmade waterfall, a lake and an amusement park which is a must to visit during the Muscat festival. Other popular parks include:
  • Riyam park - also with rides and an Arabian watch tower. Visited in The Amazing Race 9
  • A number of factories are open for visitors such as the Omani halwah factory and the Amouage perfume factory. Amouage perfume is the most valuable perfume in the world.
Wadi Shab
  • Nakhal Fort. This splendid fort is about 40 minutes drive east of the city, located at the base of the Jebel Akhdar section of the Hajar Mountains.


  • Bait Al Zubair
  • Bait Muzna Gallery [31]
  • Children's Museum, Shatti al qurum
  • Marine Science & Fisheries Centre, between the Al Bustan Palace Hotel and the Capital Yacht Club.
  • National Museum, near Abdulridha Mosque-Ruwi.
  • Natural History Museum, in the Minstry of National Heritage and Culture. Al Khuwair
  • Omani French Museum, Near muscat police stn, Located at old Muscat in Bait Fransa.
  • Omani Museum, Medinat Al Alam (Information City) near Ministry of Information.
  • The Sultan's Armed Forces Museum, Bait al falaj.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Al Mutrah walking tour: 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. A cup of tea costs about 1 rial. From the waterfront enter the Mutrah Souk and bargain for Arab hand-embroidered mussar (shawls intended to be worn as turbans, which cost 10 rials and above), garments, nuts, spices, incense, earthen ware, etc. Before getting back to your hotel have dinner at one of the wayside restaurants on the waterfront. If you start in the morning, commence your tour at the fish market in the port area and stroll easterly towards the fort.
  • Scuba Diving: visit the Oman Dive Centre at Bandar Jissah.
  • Rock Climbing: there are over 200 bolted climbs in the Jebel Shams / western Hajjar Mountains region, 150+km from Muscat
  • Night Safari
  • Trekking
  • Camel Racing
  • Turtle Watching
  • Dolphin Watching
  • Horseback Riding
  • Jewellery Shopping

Buy[edit][add listing]

Mutrah Souk
  • Muttrah Souk: This traditional old market with its labyrinth spice-scented alleys is the best place to experience authentic shopping. It is narrow alleys are lined with matchbox-sized shops selling local merchandise like herbs, silver, gold, frankincense and much more. This place will surely take you back in times and will definitely remind you with the markets mentioned in the Arabian Nights stories.
    Souk Al- Seeb: For yet another traditional shopping experience, head to this souk located near the sea in Al- Seeb. Different kinds of goods from gold all the way to cheap make-up and foodstuff can be purchased here. It is not as traditional as Muttrah but is enough to keep you busy and perhaps happy.
  • Sabco Centre, Qurm. This small shopping center has a collection of elite stores selling expensive items and decent café serving delicious pastries and cakes. It is not a proper shopping mall but rather a small shopping centre that it is better known for having a small 'traditional' souk resembling the one in Muttrah selling local souvenirs. Prices are a bit higher and stock might be limited. There is a similar souk hidden inside yet another shopping centre just across the nearby dry riverbed in Qurum Commercial Complex (ex- CCC)
  • Oman Avenues Mall.One of the newest shopping malls in the Sultanate, Oman Avenues Mall houses a large food court, a good amount of restaurants and cafés, local and international brands as well as a kid's playing area. It also has a cinema complex and a large supermarket.

  • Muscat City Centre, Seeb, [32]. Opened in 2001, this mall is Oman's most popular shopping destination. It has cheap, midrange and expensive international and local brands. All kinds of goods can be purchased from this fairly vast shopping mall including clothes, electronics, books, make-up, perfume, sport items and even groceries and fresh bread from the French chain- Carrefour. There is a large foodcourt and a good amount of restaurants serving pizza, Indian food, Tex-Mex and Turkish food. Weekends can be busy and thus it is better to come before 19:00 when locals flock to the mall to shop and dine and enjoy the weekend.
  • Qurum City Centre. Opened in 2009, this shopping mall is another branch of the Muscat City Centre. There is a sizeable foodcourt, a branch of the American chain of Chili's and a cinema complex along with a few international franchise to keep you busy. You can shop in carrefour while your kids enjoy their time at the fairly good playing area.
  • Lulu Hypermarket, Darsait, Bausher and Seeb tel - 7711449. Excellent to stock-up fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and much more. It is Oman's answer to America's Walmart and UK's TESCO.
  • Markaz al Bahja, Seeb. This three-floor shopping mall does not have much to offer aside from local brands selling abayas, textile, cheap silver, perfumes and furniture and a number of cafes. The Coffee Beans and Tea Leaf in the first floor serves good sandwiches. There is a small kid's amusement area and a new supermarket is expected to open soon (though it has been over 6 years of nowhere to be seen promises). Make sure you check out the cinema downstairs for movies
  • Al-Mira HyperMarket, Athaiba (Azaiba), This Qatar-based chain has a good selection of items from electronics and ovens all the way to fresh breads and smartphone mobile covers.
  • Select, All Shell Petrol Bunks.
  • Sultan Centre, , Tel -
  • The Al Fair chain of supermarkets sells just about everything you want. Many of them are on the main Sultan Qaboos highway making them an easy place to spot.


There are numerous Indian run tailors. You may pay RO 5 to have 2 Italian suits tailored for sleeve length, trouser length and waist. There is a Raymond store in Ruwi that will make custom suits in the RO 50-500 range, depending on quality. In fact they have excellent fabrics from pure wool to wool blended with exotic fibers like Cashmere, Mohair or Angora and linen. Even Super 230s crafted out of 11.8 micron wool are found there. Ask them for their catalogue - you will find the latest Italian designs and styles in there and a really good suit can be really light on the pocket. Be aware that a custom suit will take up to 2 weeks to finish, therefore there is no use going to this store if you are staying for vacation for just one week.

Money Changers[edit]

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

Eat[edit][add listing]

Food can be cheap in Muscat and for about 1-3 Rials you'll get a meal per person, depending on where you eat.


  • Al-exandria, Fanja House, Near Sabco Centre, Ruwi, Tel - 561611. The best Rotis (Indian Bread). Try the chicken Jalfrezi and Paneer aloo (potato).
  • Bin Atique, Al Khuwair, Ruwi, 24478225. This place is in all the guidebooks as the only 'authentic' Omani restaurant in town - and its fame means that this is now firmly a tourist joint. Food is acceptable if a bit pricey for what you get.  edit
  • 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, Near Bus Stand, Ruwi (Cuisine - Pakistani).
  • Al-Hanan, Ruwi (Cuisine - Indian).
  • Al-Shaheen, Honda Road, Ruwi (Cuisine - Pakistani).
  • Al-Tarboosh, opposite the Sabco Centre, Qurm. Fast Arabian/Lebanese-style food available for takeaway or eat-in on the first floor.
  • Saravana Bhavan, Opp. O.C Centre, Ruwi (Cuisine - Indian).
  • Bella-Pais, MAM roundabout, just off the Nizwa turn off (Cuisine - Greek + Other).
  • Gujrat Bhojan Shala, Ruwi High Street, Ruwi (Cuisine - Indian).
  • Oman Express, Tel - 7731329. Delivers Lunch - 18 rials for a month including Fridays or 15.6 Rials excluding Fridays.
  • Subway, City Centre, Seeb, Tel - 542225.
  • Many restaurants targeting Indian guest workers in Al Khuwayr; also, Ofair and Ibn Ateeq Omani restaurants.
  • The ubiquitous coffee shops, for more info see the main article on Oman.


  • Haffa House Hotel, Ruwi.
  • Chedi Hotel pizza restaurant offers less expensive food than the other Chedi outlets, with the same understated chic ambience.
  • Kargeen, located in Madinat Qaboos, offers a good range of local food and from the wider region such as Lebanese dishes. Their fresh juices are a must, or even a fruity shisha pipe. The main plus is the ambience; most of the restaurant is outdoor seating with a "ceiling" of lights.
  • GOLDEN GRILL HOUSE, located in CBD area, ruwi, offers one of the best Indian, Chinese and mughlai and grilled food. Also famous for its seafood dishes and a great ambiance...

"Chili's" a few in central Muscat, good fast food.

"Left bank" one of only two places in Muscat where you can eat and enjoy a beer or a glass of wine. Great setting on top of a hill. Non smokers sit in side, as many of the wannabe's and smokers sit outside. Food is good.


  • Al Khiran, Al Bustan Palace Hotel, (Cuisine - Buffet). Famous for their Friday brunch buffets which cost RO 19.500 per person + 17% service charge/tax.
  • Chedi Hotel, On the coast road (Cuisine - 4 open kitchens from across the world).
  • Mumtaz Mahal, (Cuisine - Indian).
  • Passage to India, PO Box 385, Jibroo, Wadi Adai, Hatat House Compound, Tel - 568480 (Cuisine - Indian).
  • Samarkhand, Oasis by the Sea, (Cuisine - Indian Peshwari).

Drink[edit][add listing]

Karak Tea is Oman's national drink. It can be purchased at just about every street corner. This sweetened cardamom-flavored milk tea costs 100 basia per cup and goes well with cheese-filled crepe-like Omani bread called "rakhal" or "rigag". When an invited to an Omani house, you be served delicious and light Omani coffee which goes well with freshly picked dates. Soft drinks are equally popular especially Mountain Dew and Pepsi but as people are becoming more and more aware about the risks of consuming too much fizzy drinks, they are gradually being replaced by fresh squeezed juices from juice stalls found pretty much all over the town and the yogurt-flavored thick drink called "laban" equivalent to Turkish ayran. Many coffee shops are popping around the country and Starbucks's are not hard to find. Alcohol is limited to top-end hotels and licensed restaurants. Drinking alcohol in public is forbidden, remember this is a muslim country.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Aywa Guesthouse (Guesthouse Aywa, Muscat), Ghubrah North Way 3209, number 725 130 Muscat, OMAN (GPS coordinates: 23.595450, 58.398915), +968 9804 9029, [1]. checkin: 4pm; checkout: 12noon. Aywa Guesthouse is located near Grand Mosque and Auziba beach. Has shared terrace, lounge, and kitchen. Friendly, knowledagble host and communal atmosphere. Free WiFi, guest computer, printer/scanner and washing machine. One 4WD car available for rental. US $49 / double room (OR 20 for shared room). (23.595450,58.398915) edit
  • Corniche Area There are five hotels on the Corniche waterfront that all charge 15 Rial ($44US) There is one hotel which is very rundown at the end of the waterfront that is 10 Rial ($26us)
  • Delmon Hotel Apartments. Spacious, clean, and close to a LuLu's Hypermarket. For about 20-25 Rial a night ($55 US) you have a fridge, a coffee & tea maker, and a modern bathroom. Free wifi in rooms and lobby.
  • Golden Oasis Hotel [33]. In the centre of Muscat and close to the main commercial area. A popular choice for tourists.
  • Hotel Summersands [34]. Hotel Summersands is located in Seeb,Muscat, just 13 Km from Muscat International Airport. The hotel was built according to the Best Western international standards. At the present time the hotel has 37 high-class rooms equipped according to modern standards.
  • Guest Houses. There are a number of Guest Houses (Isteraha in Arabic) spread around Muscat which are quite affordable and acceptable in general.


  • Haffa House Hotel
  • The Crown Plaza [35]. Located in Qurum with a grand view north up the beach towards the Intercontinental.
  • Somerset Panorama Muscat, Al Ghubrah Street, PO Box 1640, PC 131, Muscat, +968 2 204 0000 (), [2]. Ideal for guests travelling into the city on business, the residence is situated in the Bawshar commercial district, centrally located near the diplomatic areas & Ghala industrial estate. (23.5828244,58.4083753) edit


Muscat offers a considerable range of luxury hotels, among them are:

  • Crystal Suites, Vegetable & Fruit Market Road, Way 6702, Block 167 Wadi Kabir, +968 24826100, [3]. It offers 78 well appointed suites, all of which have a 32” LCD TV, DVD player, electronic safe box, and direct dialling facility. Some of its amenities are a restaurant serving finest Mughlai and Afghani recipes from ‘Kareem’s of Bombay, an open to sky Atrium with children’s play area and dining facilities, and ballrooms with 1000 persons capacity for marriage receptions, and corporate and private functions. They also undertake out-door catering facilities wherein Crystal Suites will offer unique experience to the local public and tourists. Best rates on official website start at OMR 30.00.  edit
  • Al Bustan Palace Hotel, 799666, [4].  edit Built originally to house a regional conference in the mid-80s, the hotel is famous for its brunches. Worth visiting just to check out the lobby and hotel grounds.
  • The Chedi Muscat. Five star luxury with traditional Omani architecture.
  • Grand Hyatt. An opulent building built in what is almost a parody of Arabian palace styles. There is a great pool facing the beach, but this costs 10R ((£17) for the day and drinks are very expensive. There is a bar inside the pool also, in which people are allowed to smoke.
  • AL Falaj Hotel Muscat, PO Box 1692 PC 131 Al Hamriya, 113 Muscat, (968)24702311 (, fax: (968)24795853), [5]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 1pm. A 4 star hotel located in Muscat Oman consisting of 152 rooms and offers 3 main restaurants & bars as well as meeting and wedding facilities as well. Starting from USD 57. (23.606656,58.538901) edit
  • Ruwi Hotel, [36]. A tired and run down hotel that is more the standard of a third world back packer establishment. Interesting bar tho.
  • Shangri-La Hotel, [37]. Part of the international luxury chain. In Bar al Jissah, which is about 30 minutes past downtown Muscat. The hotel can be challenging to find, so make sure you have a good map if you are driving. The Shangri-La is on a beautiful section of the coastline.
  • Best Western Premier Muscat (Business Hotel in Muscat, Oman), P.C. 115 Madinat Sultan Qaboos, P.O. Box: 786, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, 968 22 03 33 33, [6]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Four-star, non-alcoholic beverage serving, luxury hotel located in the heart of Al Khuwair near the business and shopping districts. (23.3500000,58.2600000) edit

Stay healthy[edit]

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


It is advised to purchase a sim card once you reach the Sultanate. There are plenty of shops, luckily even inside the airport, that offer cheap and useful sim cards. Currently there are 3 major brands including; Omantel, Ooredo and Frindi Mobile.

Prepaid cards are readily available and thankfully nowadays you can simply renew and recharge from the operator's mobile app.

A good prepaid SIM card for cell phones is Omantel’s Hayyak. It’s available at the typical corner phone shops and costs about 1–2 RO, with an equivalent amount of credit inside (dial *100# to see your remaining balance). You’ll need your passport to register the line. SMS to Europe are 50 Baisa, and there is a number of internet packages available; for example if you have 3 RO of credit, you can get 1GB – to be used up within 7 days – by dialling *141*7#. You can check your remaining balance of that package by dialling *141*7*0# (and similarly for the other packages). One can book multiple different packages simultaneously. A list of available packages can be obtained by sending 141 to the number 90000 (free). Note: It appears that Android devices cannot be configured remotely by the provider for internet access; instead, you can try to call the toll-free hotline (Nr.: 1234), or do it yourself: Go to the Mobile Networks Settings, create a new AP (Access Point) and select it for use: User name, password and APN (Access Point Name) must be set to taif.



  • Oman Air, (in Ruwi, opposite Central Bank), 24707222,24798096 (reservations). 24750812 (tickets) (fax: 24795546).  edit
  • Air Arabia, 24700828.  edit
  • British Airways, 24565123, 2456877 (fax: 24795721).  edit
  • Egypt Air, 24794113, 24796134 (fax: 2470989).  edit
  • Emirates, 24786600, 24792222 (fax: 24750989).  edit
  • Etihad Airways, 24823555, 24817861 (fax: 24823556).  edit
  • Gulf Air, 24703222, 24703544 (fax: 247003381).  edit
  • Kuwait Airways, 24701262, 24704455 (fax: 24700483).  edit
  • Lufthansa, 24796692, 24510400 (fax: 24798987).  edit
  • Qatar Airways, 24787070 (fax: 24798987).  edit
  • Royal Jordanian, 24796693, 24707930 (fax: 24788098).  edit
  • Swiss, 24703303, 24787416 (fax: 24799502).  edit


ATMs are very common now, especially in the Embassy district and near most shopping malls, larger hotels, petrol stations and supermarkets. Also, every little neighbourhood has a several bank branches.

Bank Muscat is by far the largest bank in Oman and one of the largest in Gulf. It has over 230 ATMs all around Muscat.


There are some very good gymnasiums in the 4 to 5 star hotels and some privately run gyms in other places like Millennium Gym, Horizon Gym etc. You may pay money for that extra with the number of days you stay in Muscat.


  • KIMS Oman Hospital ,Darsait
  • Muscat Private Hospital, Ghubrah
  • Al Nahda Hospital, Ghubrah
  • Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Al Hamriya
  • Al Shatti Hospital, Shatti al Qurum
  • Atlas Star Medical Centre, Bausher
  • Al Amal Medical Centre-Al Wadi Al Kabir, Al-Khuwair
  • Royal Hospital
  • Badr Al Sama Hospital-Ruwi,Al Khuwair, Al Khoud,Barka,Sohar,Salalah
  • Babylon Medical Centre, Amerat


If you are in a 4 star hotel, they will charge a lot for laundry. If you take a short walk to any of the numerous Indian run laundry stores, your money will go a lot farther. Keep in mind that if you drop off your clothes on a Monday, they typically won't be ready until Wednesday.


  • Times of Oman [38]
  • Khaleej Times [39]
  • Oman Daily Observer
  • Oman Tribune
  • The Week
  • H!
  • Oman Today - a small glossy magazine with tips on tourism, local trips and eating-out. It is published monthly.

A number of many Indian and Gulf newspapers are also available.


  • Au-flag.pngAustria, Al Baladiya St, Way no.3109, Moosa Abdul Rahman Hassan Complex, Bldg 477, Rms 203-204 (Ruwi), +968 24793135 (fax: +968 24783548).  edit
  • Ba-flag.pngBahrain, 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, +968 24605074 (+968 24605075, 24605133, fax: +968 24605072).  edit
  • Eg-flag.pngEgypt, Jamai'at al Dowal al Arabyia St (in the Diplomatic Area), +968 24600411 (+968 24600982, fax: +968 24603626).  edit
  • Fr-flag.pngFrance, Jamai'at al Dowal al Arabyia St, +968 24681800 (fax: +968 24681843), [7].  edit
  • De-flag.png Germany, (Ruwi, near Al Nahda Hospital), +968 24832482 (fax: +968 24835690), [8]. Su-W 7:30AM-3PM.  edit
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, P.O. Βox 175, +968 24793072 (fax: +968 787714).  edit
  • Ir-flag.pngIran, Jamai'at al Dowal al Arabyia St (in the Diplomatic Area), +968 24696944 (+968 24696947, fax: +968 24696888).  edit
  • It-flag.pngItaly, Al Qurum House 842 Way 2411, +968 24560968 (+968 24564832, 24564838, , fax: +968 24564846).  edit
  • Jo-flag.pngJordan, Jamai'at al Dowal al Arabyia St (in the Diplomatic Area), +968 24692760 (+968 24692761, fax: +968 24692762).  edit
  • Sz-flag.png Switzerland (Consulate), Al Asfoor Plaza Bldg 1F 104 (Qurum), +968 24568205 (, fax: +968 24568206).  edit
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, Jami'at al Dowal al Arabya St (in the Diplomatic Area), +968 24693077 (+968 24609000), [9].  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Salalah - the jewel of southern Oman, with incredible beaches and plantations.
  • Dubai - you can cross the border and visit "disneyland" in Arabia
  • Nizwa - nice drive through the Hajar Mountains to this scenic town, or stay in Nizwa and explore the mountains and forts. Good base for the trip to Jebel Shams and many other historical sites, caves and walks.
  • Wadi Shab. This is perhaps the most spectacular of all the easily accessible wadis in Oman. It is located about 100 km southeast of Muscat, accessed from the main coastal road to Sur at the village of Tiwi. The pools here are a vivid emerald green colour, and the caves and sheer sides of the wadi are quite dramatic. The car park under the highway is the starting point for the short boat ride (1 OR per person) across the wadi, and thereafter it is a 45-60 minute walk to the pools. Rock scrambling required, be careful as many people have fallen while taking photos. Past the third pool there is a narrow underwater passage to an amazing waterfall. Wear clothes you can swim in (women can wear bikinis and shirts) and sturdy shoes, but leave your belongings in the car.

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