Destination Information: Oman, One Of The Hidden Gems Of The Middle East. When Are You Going? (MCT)

by Kerwin McKenzie on May 20, 2016

 

Muscat, Oman (MCT) Airport TagIn early 2014, one of my friends said he was heading to Muscat, Oman for work. As I’d not been to Oman before and was always intrigued, plus I want to visit all the countries in the world, this was a no-brainer.
I flew from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB), after spending the night and took a very early flight compliments of FlyDubai to the capital city of Muscat, Oman. I had zero expectations, but to explore the country, meet its people and have a good time. Plus I have a friend who also lives there so I had made plans to link up.

 

What I found what that the Omanis are very friendly people who welcomed me to their country. I had quite the fun time interacting with them and just having a wonderful time. Here’s what you need to know when visiting.

 

 

Muscat Oman Waterfront Muscat Oman Waterfront

 

 

The Muscat International Airport is about 29 minutes drive from Mutrah, the seaside hub of the activities in Oman.

  • Scheduled Service Airlines Serving Muscat, Oman (MCT): Air Arabia (G9), Air Blue (PA), Air India (AI), Air India Express (IX), Biman Bangladesh (BG), British Airways (BA), Egyptair (MS), Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Emirates (EK), Etihad (EY), FlyDubai (FZ), GulfAir (GF), Indigo (6E), Iran Aseman (EP), Jet Airways (9W), KLM (KL), Kuwait Airways (KU), Lufthansa (LH), Oman Air (WY), Pakistani International Airlines (PK), Qatar Airways (QR), Rotana Jet (RG) Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV), Shaheen Air (NL), SpiceJet (SG), Sri Lankan Airlines (UL), Swiss International (LX), Thai Airways (TG), Turkish Airlines (TK) and United Airways of Bangladesh (4H).
  • Cargo Airlines Serving Muscat, Oman (MCT): Cargolux (CV), DHL and Martinair Cargo.
  • National Airline: Oman Air (WY)
  • Airfare Tip: If looking for a low fare, book at the Web sites for the low cost carriers as you’ll more than likely get the best value there. Try my partner SkyScanner.
  • Airport Lounges: British Airways-Terraces (OneWorld), Executive Lounge (Emirates, Lufthansa and Qatar), KLM Crown Lounge (SkyTeam), United Club (Star Alliance),  additional information.
  • Airport To The City: Walk to the nearby highway and take a local minivan from the bus stop to the city center. Or you may take a taxi for about 7 Rials. Muscat, Oman Minivans Muscat, Oman Minivans

     

    Muscat Oman Taxi Drivers Muscat Oman Taxi Drivers

     

  • Airport Area Hotels – Golden Tulip Seeb
  • Currency: Omani rial (OMR).
  • Language: Arabic. English is spoken as well, but not widely.
  • Visa Information: For most citizens, visa is on arrival. Otherwise, you can apply onlineUse this link to check visa requirements. Here is some additional information for U.S. Citizens.

 

Food

As there are a lot of immigrant workers in Oman, the food is quite diverse. Here are some photos of a few things I saw.

 

Muscat Oman Rice and Chicken Muscat Oman Rice and Chicken

 

 

Muscat Oman Lunch Muscat Oman Lunch

 

 

Muscat Oman Menu Muscat Oman Menu

 

 

Muscat Oman Mango Juice Muscat Oman Mango Juice

 

 

Where to Stay

There are places to stay in all price range in Oman. You can do the Ritz Carlton if you like or a modest Guest House. Use the box below to find a place to stay.

 

Muscat Oman Ritz Carlton Muscat Oman Ritz Carlton

 

 

 

Things To Do in Oman:

Check out Muscat – So this is the capital and where the Sultan’s Palace is located. Not much happens here, its just has the parliamentary offices and other buildings. But its worthwhile visiting. All the action is in Mutrah.

 

Muscat, Oman Sultan of Oman's Palace Entrance Muscat, Oman Sultan of Oman’s Palace Entrance

 

Visit Nizwa – I did not make it to Nizwa, but am told its worthwhile going. You’ll have to get one of the minivans to take you there.

Souks – In the town of Mutrah, there are many souks; these are traditional markets where you get any and everything. Some of the walkways are very narrow and some shops are literally laden with gold. You can also get frankincense and myrrh. As a matter of fact, Oman is believed to be have been and perhaps still is the center of the frankincense trade.

 

Muscat Oman Soux Gold Muscat Oman Souk Gold

 

Muscat Oman Souks Store Muscat Oman Souks Store

 

 

Muscat Oman Lamps Muscat Oman Lamps

 

 

Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – If you make it to Oman, this is a must see. Be sure and check the visiting times though and ensure that you observe the rules of dress and conduct.

Muscat, Oman, The Grand Mosque Muscat, Oman, The Grand Mosque

 

 

Muscat Oman Grand Mosque Muscat Oman Grand Mosque

 

 

Muscat Oman Grand Mosque Muscat Oman Grand Mosque

 

 

Visit Mutrah – This is the heart of the country. It’s right by the port where all the cruise ships arrive and its bustling with activity. There is no shortage of cab at the port as you can see below.

 

Muscat, OmanTaxi Stand Muscat, OmanTaxi Stand

 

Muscat Oman - Al Riyam Park Muscat Oman – Al Riyam Park

 

The esplanade that is build around the port is amazing. You can pretty much walk as far as the eye can see. You also get a great view of the Al Riyam Park you see above. Just take some time to enjoy the views from this seaside port. If you don’t want to walk, you may also rent bikes.

 

Muscat, Oman Bike rental Muscat, Oman Bike rental

 

Visit the Fish Market in Mutrah – This is located close to the cruise ship port. I love to visit fish markets as you learn so much about the people and their culture. If you don’t like fish blood and guts though, stay away.

 

Muscat, Oman Fish Market Muscat, Oman Fish Market

 

Visit a Wadhi – A Wadhi is a valley in Oman, typically with a river running through it. I visited one just outside the city of Muscat and its pretty amazing. Its like finding an oasis in the desert really. This particular one actually has a cave at the end of it and you have to swim between this very narrow opening to get in the cave. But once you do, its pretty amazing. Caution, you must be a strong swimmer to make it as you do have to swim quite a bit to get there.

 

Muscat Oman - Wadi Muscat Oman – Wadi

 

Muscat Oman Wadi Muscat Oman Wadi

 

 

Muscat Oman Wadi Bridge Muscat Oman Wadi Bridge

 

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