Literally means the “safe anchorage”, Muscat is the capital city of Oman. It is a port city that continues to connect people though merchant and anything else. The place brings people on cruise ships. Besides, there are many containers arriving every single day. This city has historic ports that can still operate well. There are two wonderful historic ports such as Old Muscat and Mutrah that run the operations for cruises and container ships.
The seashore contributes a good amount of economic sources through the onshore refinery. Fishermen can keep going to the sea for a living. The beaches of Shatti al Gurm and Athaiba are two wonderful places for fishermen and tourists.
Muscat starts to receive international recognition better after opening the Royal Opera House in 2011. Performances around the world have made this opera famous. It is an international stage in Muscat. This city has been showing its forward-thinking loudly. Besides, it can now tell the world proudly that it is a progressive city.
The Urban of Muscat
As the capital city of Oman, Muscat has developed a lot. It is the largest and most essential city in this one of middle east country. It is the center of government and economy. The total population of the city is 1.28 million in 2015. The metropolitan area covers 3,500 km square. The infrastructural development in Muscat was started to improve under the ascension of Qaboos bin Said from 1970. The growth of Muscat as a city with multi-ethnic society makes this city be a great place for a tour.
The landscape of Muscat looks so amazing with the rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains. The city is surrounded by the Arabian Sea. It lies along the Gulf of Oman. The urban appearance of Muscat looks unique as we can see the low-lying white buildings. Muscat is the city that earns the prosperity through trades, petroleum, and porting.
Things to Get Prepared for Muscat Tours
Some cities in the world are comfortable to travel without a car. Most of the time, tourists can just use public transportation. But Muscat is different. It is a city that should be conquered with car rent. Tourists have to get prepared with additional cost for renting a car. It is recommended that travelers get the rented car in Muscat airport.
Traveling to Muscat and other places in Oman will need an experience in the outdoor tour. People have to at least bring the map. It is easy to get the map from Google map. However, it will not be useful as travelers go to the remote desert. Internet signal does not exist in such place. Besides, traveling alone is not recommended if a tourist does not own an experience for survival.
Accommodation in Muscat and other areas is limited. Therefore, travelers need to get prepared for this. If possible, it will be better to book the hotel before leaving. Today, tourists can easily find hotels and get the room instantly through an online travel agent. Most of the time, travelers will feel that to get a cheaper rate on the spot will cut the cost. Yet, it will be impossible in some areas of Muscat. Even in the adventurous areas, tourists can just camp instead of finding a place to stay.
Oman is a Moslem country. Tourists should thus give some respect to the cultures. Travelers have to wear modest clothes that are over shoulders and keen.
However, it is not necessary to wear head covers except in Mosques and other religious sites. If the tourists are leaving for the outdoor tours, long sleeves are recommended. However, if tourists fo for a camping by the mountains, layers clothes are important to pack. Besides, travelers need to pack outdoor tour outfit and comfortable shoes for hiking.
Things to Do in Muscat
This glorious piece of modern Islamic art and architecture is an unmissable place to visit in Muscat. This mosque is a gift to Oman nation from Sultan Qaboos as a mark of his 30th year of reign. The mosque looks so charming with a breathtaking prayer hall. It has the Persian carpet with 70 meters by 60 meters wide. The carpet is more than amazing. 600 women wove the hand-loomed for nearly four years. It is the second largest Persian carpet in the world.
It is not actually a tour destination because this mosque is an active place of Islam worship. Grand Mosque can accommodate 20,000 worshippers. Women Mushalla is made with special and private facilities. It can accommodate up to 750 women. Yet, tourists can still enter the area with modest dress code.
Sunset Dhow Cruise from Muscat
Sailing in Muscat is one special tour itinerary that travelers have to pick. However, ordinary cruise with a luxurious ship will be too ordinary. In Muscat, travelers can sail along the coast with the wooden Dhow. It is a traditional Arabian sail boar. The cruise will take 2 hours. In this cruise, travelers will be able to enjoy the sunset on the cushion-covered deck. It includes some visits to the wonderful villages, Muttrah’s Corniches, ancient harbors, and Al Bustan Palace.
Muscat City Tour
The city highlights will take only 4 hours private tour. It will be an unforgettable private shore excursion. Besides the Grand Mosque, tourists will enjoy their time in the Muttrah Fish Market. Also, Muttrah has beautiful Souqs with many ethnic supplies.
Additionally, we can go to the Old Town of Muscat to see Portuguese fortresses. After that, travelers can visit Sultan’s Palace. And the visit will also include Bait AL Zubair Museum visit. This tour will let travelers learn the cultural and historical richness of Muscat.
The Best Time to Visit Muscat
Muscat has a hot and arid climate. Summer in this city is very hot and long. Meanwhile, the winters are warm. The annual rainfall is low. Rainy season is from December to April.
However, because of the low rainfall rate, tourists can still those months for Muscat tour. The best time to visit is from November to March. Meanwhile, April to September will be off season. The temperature is not so comfortable and too hot.