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Muscat

Travel Guide Middle East Oman Muscat

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Introduction

Guarding the country

Guarding the country

© All Rights Reserved erodrigo

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.

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Sights and Activities

  • Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Souq and Medina
  • Mix of Hindu temples and Christian churches

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Weather

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.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max25.1 °C26.4 °C29.5 °C34.7 °C39.6 °C40 °C38 °C35.6 °C35.6 °C34.6 °C30.3 °C26.8 °C
Avg Min16.7 °C17.8 °C20.3 °C24.2 °C28.7 °C30.3 °C30.1 °C28.2 °C26.8 °C24.2 °C20.8 °C18.3 °C
Rainfall13.2 mm14 mm16.4 mm11.3 mm0 mm10.9 mm3.4 mm1.6 mm0 mm0.8 mm1.6 mm16.5 mm
Rain Days3.22.71.91.40.10.10.30.600.20.71.4

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Getting There

By Plane

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.

Indian Airlines and Air India Express also fly into Muscat from several cities in India.

By Car

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.

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Getting Around

By Car

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.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Al BhajahSultanate of OmanHotel72
Coral Hotel MuscatHay Asaruj, Shati Al Qurum Governorate of Muscat 112Hotel-
Ramee Guestline Hotel QurumP.C. 114, MuttrahHotel-
Ramee Dream ResortMuscat Oman,Hotel-
Lanavilla OmanAl Gubrah 37 streetGUESTHOUSE-
Green Oasis Hotel MuscatMuwaileh Street Opposite Oman Medical CollegeHOTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Quite a few hotels have (free) wifi and fees and regulations differ per hotel.

Muscat International Airport has a free wifi service but you need a local sim card to activate, and the sim card you buy at the airport may not be activated until one hour after you buy it, so bear that in mind. The kind gentleman at the Friendi desk was very helpful and I think used his local phone to get a code for me, although he did not mention it. Once you get the activation code, you will be able to access the internet and get access to WhatsApp, Gmail and internet browsers etc. The service is pretty fast.

Phone

Sim cards are available from at least three locations at the Muscat International Airport. Be sure to ask them how long it will take for the sim to be activated and what the rates will be for outgoing international calls if you are in need of that. Incoming calls are free if you get a sim from the Friendi desk. Your caller will need to dial a +968 before the local number for Friendi sim cards. Friendi sim cards cost 1 OMR. You will pay at least 2 OMR, one for the card and one for airtime. Recharging the sim will be possible online at Friendimobile.com. Airtime is very limited if you make calls during the day because daytime calls cost more.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 23.6086
  • Longitude: 58.5922

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This is version 12. Last edited at 7:24 on Sep 26, 13 by Utrecht. 36 articles link to this page.

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