10 REASONS TO VISIT MUSCAT IN OMANby Rubi Ahsan Associate S.E.O Consultant Compared to its flashy Emirati neighbors like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Oman's capital is a breath of fresh sea air. We know Muscat for its dazzling souks and exquisite seafood, but the terrain offers the greatest thrills. The arid Hajar Mountains back this port city on the Gulf of Oman, meaning you can trek across deserts at dawn, watch dolphins at sunset, and enjoy lavish Omani hospitality in between. Here are ten reasons to make time for Muscat.
1. To Test you’re Bartering Skills
Muscat's Muttrah Souq is a maze of camel-themed ceramics, jewelry and souvenirs. The best bargains are llama wool pashmina leather goods and fine gold jewelry. Most stalls are open for barter, but there is less room for jewelry (which is sold by weight). If you are a novice magician, start with an offer of around 40-50% of the seller's opening price and try to meet somewhere in the middle. Sellers know their bottom line: if they like making you walk away from a sale, you've crossed it. For the best people-watching, arrive after 5 p.m. when the locals go out to haggle.
2. See A Remarkable Mosque
During 45 years of rule, Sultan Qaboos of Oman lent his wealth and name to many of Muscat's finest buildings. But most notable is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which sparkles from the top of its four minarets and 50-meter-high golden dome to the white marble floor. The men's prayer hall (visible to both genders) is particularly beautiful, with huge Persian rugs and chandeliers the size of dune buggies. Male visitors should wear long sleeves and pants, and women should cover their collarbones to below the knee and bring a scarf to wrap their hair. Oman culture tour packages at the lowest price..
3. Insight into Oman's reckless past
Swords and daggers are fundamental to Oman's heritage and even feature prominently on the national flag. Only the rich in Oman today carry the khanjar (traditional dagger), but the craftsmanship remains revered. See a range of historical weapons at the Bait Al Zubair Museum, from embossed straight swords to beautiful swords with Quranic verses.
4. For the freshest Seafood in the Gulf
While grilled meats, hummus and flatbreads pile up on many restaurant tables, Muscat is first and foremost a city of seafood lovers. in a broth of coconut, turmeric, ginger and garlic, but the fish is usually caught from the sea and grilled fresh. Enjoy the catch of the day overlooking the floating yachts at the marina's Blue Marlin restaurant. Even the hungriest travelers will be satisfied with platters filled with grilled tuna, prawns, trivially and a huge lobster. Book adventure tour packages in Oman at the lowest price..
5. For royal modern architecture
A natural starting point for contemplating royal architecture is Al Alam Palace, a dazzling royal residence of gold and blue. Next, discover the Royal Opera House, an admirable blend of marble imported from Oman and Italy and teak from Burma. It is even worth poking around in some luxury hotels: the Al-Bustan Palace Hotel has an atrium like many museums, 38 meters high, mixing art deco and Arabian opulence.
6. Watch the dolphins jump
Cheer on the aerial acrobatics of spinner dolphins on a boat tour in the Gulf of Oman. As their name suggests, these little dolphins are known for their dizzying pirouettes in the air when hunting tuna and sardines. Ocean Blue Oman regularly organizes two-hour cruises, with great chances of seeing these playful cetaceans frolicking in the water.
7. To access breathtaking hiking terrain
There's a reason Oman brings us our round-up of the world's best adventure vacations for 2022, with Muscat providing access to epic desert treks. While the region's most impressive walks can be accessed from Nizwa, a 90-minute drive southwest of Muscat, the capital itself is backed by the dramatic Hajar Mountains. Strap on your hiking boots for the rocky C38 trail from Muscat's Riyam Park into the hills; the rewards for this two-hour effort include panoramic views of the harbor and fortresses, and blissful solitude in the mountains. The hiking is at its best from October to April.
8. For Sweet Temptations
Customers at Omani houses are greeted with cardamom-scented coffee and sticky dates. There are 35 varieties to sample, from caramel Khalas dates to dark, less sweet Farth dates; look for your favorites at the fruit and vegetable markets in Sultan Qaboos Port. Another snack guaranteed to strike fear into your dentist's heart is Omani halwa, a jelly-like treat made with sugar, wheat starch, and saffron (find it at the Muttrah souk).
9. Discover the Endless Desert
West of Muscat, the world's largest continuous sand desert stretches across the Arabian Peninsula. Rub' Al Khali (the 'Empty Quarter') spans not only parts of Oman, but also neighboring Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates and comprises approximately 583,000 square kilometers of uninhabited dunes. Photographers are mesmerized by the play of light on these rolling sand hills; solitude seekers venture there to camp under the stars. but it is increasingly becoming an adventure travel destination. Desert tours with a 4x4 tour travel off-road tracks through the Hajar Mountains before circling the dunes (Viator offers day trips from Muscat).
10. For sunset walks along the Corniche
Muscat's popular promenade winds east from Sultan Qaboos Port along the waterfront along Al Bahri Road. One side of this scenic path skirts glittering storefronts and the sky-blue Al-Lawati Mosque; on the other, dhows (traditional sailing boats) wave in the Gulf of Oman. Along the promenade, discover the significant 16th-century Mutrah Fort and a watchtower shaped like a giant incense burner overlooking the verdant Riyam Park. Walking along the Corniche is spectacular at sunset, when the sea shimmers in shades of magenta and orange and the Islamic call to prayer rises from the minarets.
If you are looking for something different for your next vacation, contact Mountain Valley Holidays. We provide Oman holiday packages at the lowest price with no hesitation. Oman is the land of dramatic contrasts; this is a land where arid and barren deserts and immense sand dunes give way to lush, fertile valleys and a scenic, untouched coastline. Jeep safaris, desert camps, and camel rides give you the chance to experience life in the desert and rolling sand dunes.
Created on Jun 28th 2022 07:05. Viewed 211 times.
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