Oman – Muscat

Muscat is the capital and also the largest city of Oman. A clean, safe and modern city, Muscat is a soothing introduction to Oman.

Over the centuries, Muscat has been a strategic centre of trade and exchange along the historic maritime Silk Roads from at least the 2nd century AD. The maritime Silk Roads relied on Oman and the port at Muscat in the transport of spices from the south east Asia. It was also important in the shipping of silks and textiles from China and a variety of timber from India.

Modern Muscat is still a fascinating city to explore and the port and old city areas ooze that old world Silk Road charm.

Muscat is located in a cove on Oman’s north-eastern coastline. It overlooks the Gulf of Oman and the Straits of Hormuz and is a found in a key geographical position linking Asia with Africa and Europe.

This position made Muscat a vital stopover point for merchants who would be travelling through the Persian Gulf to Asia, west along the Arabian coast to Africa, or east to India and the Indian Ocean.

In addition, Muscat was and still is a port with excellent natural shelter. Here sailors could safely escape any bad weather and shelter while they repaired their ships. The city had plentiful supplies of good quality fresh water and this was also of enormous importance to travellers departing for long and often uncertain journeys at sea.

Muscat’s Old City has a beguiling atmosphere of old-time, small-town Arabia which is quite at odds with the more modern, clean and somewhat sanitised areas that surround it.

As Seen in…

 

Places to visit on our Oman Holidays

Our holiday in Oman was such a surprise. This was our first visit to the ‘middle east’ and I must admit I was a little nervous. I shouldn’t have been. Everything was wonderful and we were made to feel so welcome.

J Rees, UK

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Why visit Muscat?

If you have never visited a Middle Eastern country before than Oman and in particular Muscat, is the perfect introduction.  The rich heritage that Muscat has, born out of centuries as an important trading port, translates in to a very welcoming and diverse city. Enjoy a coffee while watching the boats in the port and later in the day relax in one of the many fine restaurants serving local delicacies in Muscat.

So you have decided to visit Oman and want to know what is there to do in Muscat while you are there. Depending on your preference there are a multitude of activities, adventures and experiences that will make your visit one to remember.

The first place that you really must visit in Muscat is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This is the main mosque in Muscat and the largest in Oman. It is also one of the few mosques in the country that allow non-Muslim visitors. There is the beautiful architecture, gleaming white walls and a chance to view the largest recognised chandelier in the world which weighs a phenomenal 8.5 tons!

Your next stop on a tour of Muscat should be the Royal Opera House. One of the very rare Opera houses in the whole region, the Royal Opera House of Muscat looks more like a grand palace than an arts venue. The design is certainly influenced by the grand style of modern Omani palaces and the grounds are beautifully designed. It is worth going to view even if you do not get a chance to see a performance.

Another truly stunning building in the Omani Palace style is the National Museum. This is no stuffy and boring museum though. Modern techniques of interactive displays and multimedia bring to life the history of Oman and Muscat. From pre-historic times to the modern Oman we find today, the National Museum Muscat is an important stopping point on any tour of Oman.

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