Muscat and other cities

Muscat and other Cities of interest in Oman

Where to visit in this amazing country

Muscat, Seeb and Salalah are the largest cities, in that order, with Muscat, the capital, home to around 1.4 million people, including the Sultan, Qaboos bin Said al Said, who is incidentally the longest serving Arab leader, since way back in 1970!

Muscat is the most important city in Oman, as it is the capital. With just shy of 1.4 million inhabitants and covering around 1,400 square miles, it comprises of 6 different quarters, which are called ‘wilayats’.

Because of its important position on the Arabian Sea, it rose to prominence as a port, and has had links with many other countries over its history; the Ottomans and the Portuguese to be some of them.

Climate wise, you’ll find Muscat to be hot and humid during the months of the summer, with daily temperatures between June and September ranging between 30 to 40 degrees centigrade and precious little precipitation. So ensure you take penty of sun cream, hats and protective cotton layers to shield you from the sun’s strong rays.

Fish in Oman

Fish – one of the renowned trades of Oman

The city, owing to its geographical position is dominated by its biggest trade market, which is of course, the oil and petroleum industry. But fishing, pearls and spices and precious hand made carpets are some of its other exports.

 

 

Old Muscat

Old Muscat, nestled in amidst the mountains on the coast of the Arabian Sea

Old Muscat houses some of the most interesting buildings in Muscat. It can be reached by headed out to the East end of Muscat on the old coastal road via Road 1, or Old Riyam Street. In Old Muscat you will find the Al Alam Palace, the Al Mirani Fort and the Al Jalali Fort – all of which can be viewed from the outside, but none of which can be entered.

Sultan Quaboos Grand Mosque

Simple, elegant and exquisite, the Sultan Quaboos Grand Mosque

There are several key areas to visit and take not of in Muscat:

• The Almouj Marina – This is the area where the expats tend to congregate, and also the area where you can get boat trips out to the Daymaniyat Islands, which are of course very beautiful

• Mutrah – this is the old city, and here you will also find the fish market and the Souq, where you will ber able to make your purchases of spices and carpets and the like. This area is also home to the Corniche

• Riyam – here you will find a stunning park, a massive public incense burner and you will also be able to get some amazing photos as the views from this area of Mutrah and beyond are awesome

• Muscat Centre – houses some fabulous museums, palaces and forts

• The Ruwi – homes the CBD and more museums

• Marina al Rowdha – this is the principal marina where you will find more boat excursions if that is your thing.

Sultan Quaboos Grand Mosque

A simple and elegant design – the palace is quite breathtaking

The Grand Mosque is one of the most celebrated modern landmarks of the Arabian Peninsula.  The building was commissioned by the Sultan Quaboos bin Said al Said back in 1995 and took 6 years to complete.  The 300,000 tonnes of sandstone, from India makes up the stunning building as you can see from these pictures.

 

 

Other cities of interest in Oman are Salalah and Seeb.  Salalah is located in the south of the Sultanate of Oman and is the second largest city in Oman, with 2 state operated universities and a privately run one as well.

Up until the ascent of Sultan Quaboos, it was the capital of Oman, but upon his coming to power, he changed both the capital and the city in which the Sultan resides to Muscat.

It is cooler than the capital of Muscat, and is affected by the monsoon rains during July and August.  Because of its climate it is able to grow fruits like pineapples and coconuts.

Seeb is a city that is located not far from Muscat.  It is not a large city, and is mostly famed for its fishing industry, the Naseem Garden, the Bait al Baraka Palace and of course the Royal Stables and Equestrian Centre.