5 Things To Do In Muscat, Oman

Royal Opera House of Muscat
This is a magnificent building, inside and out. If you’re able to catch a performance there, we’re thrilled for you and a bit envious. If not, we highly recommend a taking a tour. The monumental proportions, sublime design and state of the art technology are testament to the high value Sultan Qaboos places on the arts. He’s a big fan of classical music himself but he had the opera house built for the people of Oman and visitors. Besides world-class performances, the opera house offers arts education programs, lectures and workshops.

Al Alam Palace
This is the ceremonial palace of the sultan of Oman. It’s not open to the public but it’s easily accessible for photos and visual consideration from the front and back. It’s a very unique piece of architecture, especially the central building, which I found kind of obnoxious initially, to be honest. But the more I look at it, the more I love it. It was completed in 1972, which explains a lot. The modern, organic Islamic style is whimsical and flamboyant in the most friendly way. I love it even more now than I did when I started writing this paragraph.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Another awesome building, outside it’s all cool, serene elegance, with gleaming marble surfaces and pearly arches. Inside, the exposed timber ceilings are warm and earthy, while heavenly multitudes seem to open out to infinity in the massive central dome. Modestly dressed non-Muslims are welcome.

Stroll the Corniche
The Muttrah Corniche pedestrian promenade rambles for about 3km along the sea wall in the Muttrah district of Muscat. If you avoid the midday heat, it’s bustling with locals and visitors and is the perfect vantage from which to take in harbor sights on one side and the pretty sea-front avenue backed by the craggy Hajar mountains and old Portuguese watch towers on the other side. From the corniche you can access the fish market, best in the early morning, and the adjacent fruit and vegetable market and down the way is the Muttrah Souk. You’ll find benches, a park and fountains along the corniche.

Muttrah Corniche, Old Muscat, Oman

Muttrah Corniche, Old Muscat, Oman

Muttrah Souk
This, the oldest market in Oman, is a must, whether or not you’re a shopper. The streets closest to the corniche are pretty touristy but if you persevere into the maze you’ll find a feast of authentic shops. Some good buys are gold, silver and frankincense. Be sure to bargain. The souk closes from about 1-5pm each day and it especially bustles with locals in the evenings.

Read more about Oman here.
See more pictures of Oman here and here.
See our tours to Oman here.

Foto Friday – Oman

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Al Hamra village, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Al Hamra village, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

local entertainment in the Sharquiya Sands desert of Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

local entertainment in the Sharquiya Sands desert of Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

 

Foto Friday – Dome Alot 2

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman

Baha'i Gardens and Shrine, Haifa, Israel

Baha’i Gardens and Shrine, Haifa, Israel

Bin Ali tomb, near Mirbat, Dhofar, Oman

Bin Ali tomb, near Mirbat, Dhofar, Oman

Chora Museum, Istanbul, Turkey

Chora Museum, Istanbul, Turkey

Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem, Israel

Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem, Israel

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel, photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel, photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism

Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey

Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey

Qasr Amra, Jordan

Qasr Amra, Jordan

 

Another Arabian Peninsula Foto Friday – Dubai & Oman

We have so many great images from our Arabian Peninsula fam trip to the UAE (specifically Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and Oman, I’ll keep posting them in nice juicy batches until you’ve seen them all. Most of these are from fam group member Sallie Volotzky, with one or two from our Midwest Sales Manager, Rich Davis.

DUBAI

Here are a few shots of the Bastakiya Mosque. The Bastakiya district is one of Dubai’s oldest neighborhoods and is full of traditional character.

Dubai’s Gold Souk is located in the business district of Deira. With hundreds of shops, the souk contains something like 10 tons of gold.

walking through the Gold Souk, Dubai, photo by Rich Davis

walking through the Gold Souk, Dubai, photo by Rich Davis

OMAN

Traditional elements merge into a sleek, modern whole in Muscat’s sparkling Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It was completed in 2001 and can hold 20,000 worshippers.

The ancient city of Sur, Oman, about 93 miles southeast of Muscat, was an historically important port and center for ship building in the Arabian Gulf.

restored Ghanjah Dhow, Sur shipyards, Sur, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

restored Ghanjah Dhow, Sur shipyards, Sur, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Al Hamra is a largely-abandoned, 400-year-old, mudbrick village, the best-preserved of its kind in Oman. It’s located in northeastern Oman, about 140 miles northeast of Muscat.

Al Hamra, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Al Hamra, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Bait al Safa is a cultural center/museum in Al Hamra, where local women demonstrate traditional methods of milling grain, cooking, weaving etc.

Bait al Safa, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Bait al Safa, Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

On the road to Al Hamra…

For impressions of Oman in words, read Rich Davis’ post. For more Oman and UAE pictures, see these posts – Foto Friday and Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman: a few photos.

Our tours to Oman can be found here and our tours to the UAE can be found here. They are all privately escorted and open for customization. We will also create custom itineraries from scratch in any of the areas we serve – Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey and Cuba.

Enjoy the weekend!