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Muscat (مسقط) is the capital and the biggest city in Oman and has about 750,000 inhabitants. It is located in the northern part of the country along the coast roughly where the Indian Ocean meets the Persian Gulf. The city is one of the oldest cities in the entire Middle East and people have been living here for almost 2,000 years. Nowadays it is one of the busiest places in a country with lots of open space, and also the city itself keeps a relatively slow pace, with green parts and few highrise buildings compared to for example Dubai. The people are a welcome mix of Omanis and expats. More and more luxurious hotels are opening, but a few cheaper places are still available for travellers, although accommodation stays relatively expensive. From the capital, good roads (a rental car is recommended) lead in all directions but the city deserves a few days before exploring all the great scenery the country has to offer.
The Muscat Festival is one of the biggest events, perhaps the biggest, in the country’s tourism and cultural calendar. Held every January and February, the festival showcases Omani culture and heritage through artistic and cultural activities. There is also a circus and a large concert featuring local and international musical artists.
Warm or hot, that are basically the two options you have in Muscat and unlike the south around Salalah it doesn't have a rainy period (July/August in the south) at all. Winter obviously is the best time to visit, but expect to bake in the summer oven with temperatures well into the fourties on some days.
|Avg Max||25.1 °C||26.4 °C||29.5 °C||34.7 °C||39.6 °C||40 °C||38 °C||35.6 °C||35.6 °C||34.6 °C||30.3 °C||26.8 °C|
|Avg Min||16.7 °C||17.8 °C||20.3 °C||24.2 °C||28.7 °C||30.3 °C||30.1 °C||28.2 °C||26.8 °C||24.2 °C||20.8 °C||18.3 °C|
|Rainfall||13.2 mm||14 mm||16.4 mm||11.3 mm||0 mm||10.9 mm||3.4 mm||1.6 mm||0 mm||0.8 mm||1.6 mm||16.5 mm|
Muscat International Airport (MCT) (formerly known as Seeb International Airport) is located 15 km from the main residential localities and 30 kilometres from Old Muscat. Oman Air, the national airline of Oman, is based here. It has flights to mainly the Middle East destinations and also to several cities in India, Bangkok and London.
Good tarred roads lead to and from Muscat all the way to the south at Salalah, to the north at the Musandam Peninsula and into the United Arab Emirates. It takes about 10 to 12 hours to the southern tip of the country from Muscat.
If you are a member of couchsurfing.org, you can ask for advice and get a telephone number of a local taxi driver if you wish to save money when travelling from the airport to your hotel, as it will probably cost about twice as much to use the airport taxi service.
|Al Bhajah||Sultanate of Oman||Hotel||72|
|Coral Hotel Muscat||Hay Asaruj, Shati Al Qurum Governorate of Muscat 112||Hotel||-|
|Ramee Guestline Hotel Qurum||P.C. 114, Muttrah||Hotel||-|
|Ramee Dream Resort||Muscat Oman,||Hotel||-|
|Lanavilla Oman||Al Gubrah 37 street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Green Oasis Hotel Muscat||Muwaileh Street Opposite Oman Medical College||HOTEL||-|
You can find internet cafes in some places, but they are not very common in Oman, mainly also because there's no free press. To use the Internet, individuals, companies, and institutions are asked to sign an agreement not to publish anything that destabilizes the state.
Wifi is on the rise including free wifi spots provided by Omantel, mainly in Muscat and a few other places.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country code for Oman is 968. The general emergency number is 999.
Dialling out from Oman you will need to dial 00 + International Code + Number. Dialling into Oman callers use +968 followed by an 8-digit number.
These 8-digit numbers generally start with a 9 if it is mobile number, and with 2 for land line.
Telecommunication services in Oman are provided by Omantel. The company has a monopoly on the land-line telephone and Internet markets.
To avoid high costs when using your cellphone in Oman, buy a local SIM card, which are readily available in the country. Make sure you have an unlocked cell phone.
Oman Post provides postal services in the country. Post offices generally open from 8:00am to 1:30pm Saturday to Wednesday and 8:00am to 11:00am Thursday. Services are reliable and relatively fast, though if you like to send a package internationally, you could also try and use international companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.
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