Grand Mosque Gate, Muscat, Oman

Muscat

Muscat is a warm, welcoming city surrounded by rugged, mountainous peaks and the beautiful beaches of the Arabian Sea.

To look at, much of Muscat is very modern. With nearly a million inhabitants, it is Muscat that you will find Oman at its most contemporary, with luxurious 5-star hotels, exclusive restaurants and designer fashion boutiques.

However, underneath this modern facade is the city’s past remaining in the form of the port district of Muttrah and Muscat’s Old Quarter. Here you will find old Portuguese forts, colourful mosques and traditional Arabian buildings. Great tolerance is shown towards Western customs; however, Omani’s retain strict morals concerning their own. The men still wear their floor-length dishdashas with the women generally wearing open-faced scarves. Visiting Muscat is an essential start or finish to a holiday to Oman and offers a greater understanding of this fascinating country.

Chedi Muscat garden, Oman, hotel image
The Chedi Muscat, Muscat, Oman

A little more about Muscat

Muscat’s foundation’s date from the first century yet it didn’t gain recognition until the fourteenth and fifteenth century when traders were attracted. The sixteenth-century brought the Portuguese and until 1970 Muscat would lock its gates at night and citizens weren’t allowed out.

Today the city is full of bustling souks selling piles of colourful cashmere shawls and antique silver jewellery. Sultan Qaboos has transformed the country and his greatest contribution being the Muscat’s astonishing five towered Grand Mosque built in 1995 with his own money.

Experiences

What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman

The Grand Mosque

Visit the Grand Mosque – a perfect blend of modern architecture and traditional values.

Decorative lamps, Muttrah Souq, Muscat, Oman

Muttrah Souq

Shop for scarf’s and frankincense in the traditional Muttrah souq.

Beach View, Muscat, Oman

Relax on the beach

Stay at one of the stylish hotels and relax on Oman’s beaches.

Royal Opera House, Muscat, Oman

Muscat Royal Opera House

See world-class performers grace the stage at the architecturally impressive Royal Opera House.

Whale Shark, Oman

Whale Watching

Take a private speedboat for a morning of dolphin and whale watching.

Golf course, Oman

Play a round of Golf

Play a game of golf on world class golf courses close to the city.

Omani Brooches, Oman

Visit Bait Al Zubair

Visit the Al Zubair museum to see the collection of the Zubair family’s items that showcases Oman’s traditional heritage.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa £££££

  • Oman
  • Beach and Island Escapes

The Shangri La consists of three separate hotels all around 124 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. Al Waha caters primarily for families with kids clubs and activities, and then there is the 5-star Al Bandar and lastly the 6 star Al Husn, which has fewer rooms and suites and caters for the top end of the market.

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Crowne Plaza Hotel £££££

  • Oman
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Set on a clifftop overlooking the Gulf of Oman, this chic, waterside hotel is 3km from the Royal Opera House Muscat and 15km from the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

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Al Bustan Palace by Ritz Carlton £££££

  • Oman
  • Beach and Island Escapes

The Ritz Carlton Al Bustan Palace features 250 luxurious rooms and suites. The expansive kilometre of white sand beach, the largest in the country, provides a wealth of waterfront activities. Relax by one of the five swimming pools including the Olympic sized infinity pool and a dedicated children’s pool.

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The Chedi Muscat £££££

  • Oman
  • Beach and Island Escapes

The Chedi Hotel offers spectacular views over the Gulf of Oman to one side and Muscat’s mountains on the other. The hotel combines traditional Omani architecture with comfort and luxury to create a wonderful retreat with all 158 rooms decorated to the highest standard.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Kate Hitchen

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way.

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