Muscat, the flower of Oman
Muscat, the capital of Oman, is a city of contrasts. One side faces the Gulf of Oman, while the other is backed by mountains and desert. Even the skyline is a heady mix of high-rises and souks, modern malls and ancient forts. Whether you visit to experience Oman’s present or past, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Muscat.
Some of the city’s oldest structures are its four forts, whose towers often feature sweeping views of the mountains and harbour.
For an old-fashioned scene, head to the Mutrah Souk, whose labyrinthine alleyways are still shaded by slabs of wood.
Muscat may be in the desert, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plentiful opportunities to experience nature. From snorkelling in the Arabian Sea to lakeside picnicking in Qurum Natural Park and sailing a traditional dhow during sunset, there’s more than one way to take in this historic city.
DID YOU KNOW ?
- From 1698, the Sultan of Oman ruled Zanzibar from Muscat, its capital. To consolidate his hold on the islands, a fort was built on the town of Zanzibar, on the site of the Portuguese church around 1710
- Zanzibar became independent on April 6, 1861 by separation with the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
- The souk district of Muscat looks a lot like Zanzibar
- Al Qurum Beach - Al Qurum is one of the most famous suburbs – and one of the most naturally-attractive spots.
- The Al Alam Palace is one of the six royal residences of the Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, Oman‘s leader.
- The Muscat Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Oman, which attracts people from all around the world to witness a unique and cultural celebration every year. It takes place during the early months of January and February and includes several events and activities for visitors who want to get a taste of Oman‘s culture, heritage and traditions.
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the most famous – and the largest – Sultan Qaboos mosque in Oman. Muttrah is a must-see destination if you’re looking to feel the traditional spirit of Omani culture in the heart of the old city of Muscat.
- Burj Al Sahwa is a clock tower that is located in Muscat‘s city centre. It is considered to be one of its top monuments because it marks the entrance to the city and has a historic and cultural importance