Muscat, Oman: Beautiful Architecture and Mountainous Landscape

Muscat is Oman’s port capital located on the Gulf of Oman and surrounded by desert. What struck me when I first visited the city was how clean it was. Oman is a very wealthy nation due to her oil reserves and Muscat was listed as one of the best cities to visit in 2012 by Lonely Planet. Since it is located in the Middle East, the weather is typically very hot and  humid year-round.

muscat airport
Muscat International Airport - close to the city centre

We stayed at a reasonably-priced 4-star hotel (the Ramada by Wyndham Qurum Beach) for a nightly rate about USD 80 for a base room with breakfast. The hotel is located within a short walking distance to Qurum beach. 

The views surrounding Muscat are very interesting to say the least – the scenic Hajar Mountains dominate the landscape of Muscat and has a known reputation for its rock climbing activities

Hajar mountains dominate Muscat's landscape
Hajar mountains

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a prominent landmark in Muscat and should be listed in your travel itinerary. Apparently the total site area of the mosque is about 416,000 square metres while the complex covers an area of 40,000 square metres. The city centre itself is not particularly hectic compared to major cities around the world. 

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Muscat city centre
School-going kids?

Most buildings, monuments and residences in Muscat is white or almost white. Some of the structures are bleached with lime which magnifies the city’s architecture. 

Buildings in Muscat architecturally unique (and recognisably white)
Are these residences?

Muscat has several beaches which are highly recommended for tourists, namely, Al Bustan, Al Qurum, Qantab, Sifah, Al Jissah and Kalbuh. The beaches are very clean and not very crowded (well, at least, they weren’t the time I was there). 

For tourists interested in city tours, we would recommend checking out Viator for a range of tours like the full-day Muscat city tour (USD 67) or half-day Muscat city tour with National Museum (USD 47). The Muscat Sunset Dhow Cruise (USD 114) may also be worthwhile for tourists to join. 

Qurum Beach
Qurum beach near our hotel
Qurum beach near our hotel

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