Muscat is home to various magnificent palaces like the Al Alam Palace (Flag Palace). It is one of the best examples of contemporary Islamic architecture with its artistic design and polished marble surface. The palace also houses its own pool and spa as well as walled gardens. You can also visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque that houses the world’s second largest hand-woven carpet. It also houses the second largest chandelier in its prayer hall. The Al Hajar mountain range, which borders the northeastern area of the city, is home to a wide range of fauna and flora, including various types of plants and birds. It is a haven for trekking and hiking enthusiasts as well as bird watchers. You can also enjoy a mesmerizing view of the sunset from the sea ports, buy antiques and souvenirs at busy traditional markets, and gorge on the delicious Omani cuisines served in various eateries of this city.
Useful Tips for Tourists Flying to Muscat
Where to shop
The traditional markets in Muscat, also known as souks or souqs, offer a variety of traditional and casual clothes, handicrafts, accessories, and artworks. One such place is the Muttrah Souk, which is filled with shops on both sides of the streets offering white dishdashas (thawb), embroidered kumahs, and multicolored head scarves. You can also visit the City Centre of Muscat which offers products by more than 142 international and local brands. The mall also houses 18 eateries and has a seating capacity of almost 1,000 people.
What to eat
Omani cuisine is famous for its flavor as well as its blend of spices, herbs, and marinades. Some of the must-try dishes include Harees (wheat mixed with meat), Mashuai (whole spit-roasted kingfish, served with a side of lemon rice), and Machboos (a rice dish flavored with saffron and cooked with spicy meat). Some of the local eateries where you can enjoy these dishes are Ubhar, Bin Ateeq, Begum’s, and Al Angham.
A Few Arabic Words
The official language in Oman is Arabic. Because of the large Pakistani and Indian communities in the city, Hindi and Urdu are also widely spoken. Many people speak English as well, so you can easily converse with the locals. Here are few Arabic phrases that will help you.
• Thank You:
• I want to rent a car:
urid isti'jar sayyara
• Do you accept credit cards?
hal taqbal el-k(e)redit kard?
• I don't speak Arabic:
la atakallam el-`arabiyya
Dos and Don’ts
• Avoid wearing revealing clothes. According to the Oman culture, women should cover their arms and shoulders. It is useful to carry a shawl to cover your hair in more conservative areas.
• It is highly offensive if you show the soles of your feet or shoes. Be sure to keep your feet flat on the ground and not cross your legs.
• If you are not a Muslim, avoid visiting mosques or any other holy sites, because it is considered disrespectful. However, you can visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Al Ghubra between 8-11 am, except for Fridays.
Emergency contact numbers
• Police/Fire/Ambulance: 9999
•Which airlines offer cheap air tickets to Muscat?
The airline offering cheap air tickets to Muscat is SriLankan Airlines
•What is the time zone used in Oman?
The time zone of Oman is GMT+4.
•What are the most popular airlines flying from Bangkok to Muscat?
From Bangkok to Muscat, the most popular airlines are Qatar Airways
, Etihad Airways
, Malaysia Airlines, and Emirates
•What is the shortest time for a Bangkok to Muscat flight?
The shortest time for a direct Bangkok to Muscat flight is 6 hours.
•What are the top tourist destinations of Muscat?
Some of the must-visit tourist destinations in Muscat are Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Bait Al Zubair, Qurum National Park, Amouage Perfumery, Royal Opera House, and Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum.
•What is the currency of Oman?
The currency of Oman is Omani Rial (OMR).
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