Discover Oman's captivating capital16/09/2019
Muscat, the capital of Oman, the Middle East's best-kept secret remains refreshingly low-rise, maintaining its own authentic Arabic vibe. As the gateway to Oman, this captivating capital is the perfect place to start your Arabian adventure. Have you always wanted an insight into what this city is like? Gary, our Central and West Regional Sales Manager shares his experiences from his recent visit...
After spending a couple of days in Muscat you realise the city itself is more pockets of small townships like Mutrah, Qurum, Al Bustan compared to a major city that's spread out. The old town of Muscat is very small with only the fort and some old colonial buildings surrounding it. The real buzz to the city are the people who are always very polite and courteous.
Muscat is growing fast, but the Omani's are doing it their way. No mayor building can be over six storeys high and that's a real bonus to the city. The Sultan's mark is everywhere but in a very positive way. Around most corners, you'll see stunning Mosques. Some old, some new, but the real gem in the crown has to be the new Grand Mosque built in 2011. The Sultan has gifted his country a true wonder in the city and one that will rival famous mosques anywhere in the Middle East such as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. No expense has been spared with Italian marble, Persian carpets and Swarovski Crystal chandeliers weighing over 8 tons. The Sultan honours all Islamic traditions across the world with the outer courtyard respecting patterns and designs from India, Syria, Morocco plus lots more.
You can see how the Sultan is trying to bring this once sleepy country into the 21st century by building the Omani Symphony hall. No expenses were spared with rare antique violins from the 1700s, original trumpets from the early 20th century and a grand hall to rival any in the world. All still with that Omani flare and passion.
For those still looking for culture in the city, you have the Mutrah Souk, fish markets and old colonial forts dotted around. And with established 5 star hotels such as The Chedi, Shangri-La, the Al Bustan and contemporary hotels such as the Kempinski and brand new W hotel, all with fabulous sunset beaches, Muscat is the perfect city destination to visit before venturing into the country's interior for an unforgettable adventure.
Feeling inspired to visit Oman but not sure what to pack? Or looking to build an itinerary that helps you discover the beauty of this diverse country? Get in touch with our reservation team and search 'Oman holidays' on our main blog page.