Situated between the Sea of Oman and the Eastern Hajar Mountains, Muscat’s beautiful natural scenery is matched by the style and atmosphere of its townscape. Some of Oman’s most beautiful rural scenery is a short drive away from the urban areas, while Muscat’s modern public and private buildings still reflect the traditional architecture of Oman; creating a city unlike any other in the world. Steep yourself in Muscat’s welcoming ambiance with every visit you make to Oman’s capital city; as we say ‘Beauty has an Address’.
Bandar Jissah Beach
Set within a beautiful amphitheatre of honey coloured sea cliffs, the beach at Bandar Jissah is one of the most attractive in Oman. Less than 15 minutes by boat from Marina Bandar Rowdah in Muscat, the rugged mountains create an atmosphere of rural isolation. Small coral reefs lie against the small islands off the beach to tempt swimmers, while the bay is a popular boating destination. Stretching away behind the beach, the wadi is one of Muscat’s prime mixed-use development of hotels and fashionable housing.
Overlooked by cliffs rising steeply to 100 meters above the sea, the beach of Qantab fishing village is a popular leisure destination in Muscat. Clustered on the beach and anchored offshore small fiberglass boats are available for hire to enjoy the scenic coastline of Muscat’ old city’ which is 20 minutes away by sea. Farther along the beach, at is western end, is a small traditional boat construction facility where the famous ‘Jewel of Muscat’ was hand built.
Bandar Al Khiran
The calm waters and low hills of Bandar Al Khiran includes such a remarkable variety of nature that it is a place that can be returned to innumerable times while still enjoying a different experience. Covering some 9sq kilometers, sun seekers are tempted by sandy beaches, birding enthusiasts can scan mangrove-fringed mud flats and scuba divers may drop in on over a dozen scuba diving sites, including a wreck just offshore. Bandar Al Khiran can be reached in less than 40 minutes by boat from Marina Bandar Rowdah or a scenic drive of just under 30 kilometers from Hamriyah Roundabout.
Through a delightfully twisty road in some of the more varied mountains near Muscat, Sifah Beach is less than 50kilometers from the roundabout at Hamriyah in Ruwi and just under an hour by boat from Marina Bandar Rowdah. Stretching for almost 10 kilometres with the village of Sifah as its central pivot, the beach is an increasingly popular leisure destination with the stylish Jabal Sifah Resort at its southern end. Sit and enjoy the views over its Marina, or enjoy lunch overlooking the white sand and sparkling waters of the Sea of Oman.
Immediately opposite Al Alam Palace in old Muscat, the National Museum’s impressive exterior houses many of the key elements that have led to the Oman known today. You can immerse yourself in the workings of Oman’s UNESCO Falaj water distributions system, explore the sea voyages of Oman’s pioneering sailors or contemplate Oman’s intangible cultural heritage. This is a destination to revisit for the National Museum’s temporary exhibitions will continually extend your understanding of the Sultanate’s history and present.
Spread like a string of pearls in the Gulf of Oman, the archipelago of the Damaniyat Islands just over 50 kilometres north-west of Muscat, is an important Nature Reserve in Oman. With more than 11 islands and healthy hard and soft corals, these Islands are an increasingly popular Scuba Diving location, either from Muscat or the Sawadi area on the coast. In midsummer Whale Sharks feed in the nutrient rich waters and throughout the year Sea Turtles, Moray Eels, Stingrays, Leopard and Reef sharks, and an extraordinary variety of fish contribute to a location that draws divers time and time again.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Oman’s principal place of worship the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque has been created using superlative craftsmanship and the finest material. The buildings, located just south of Sultan Qaboos Road in Ghubra, is on an east west axis towards the Qibla in Mecca. Entered through the formal gardens on its eastern perimeter, the building is set on an elevated podium, as is the case with the majority of traditional mosques in Oman. There are 3 main prayer areas in the complex; the Ladies Prayer Hall, an Inner ‘Sahn’ (courtyard) and the Main Prayer Hall. Within the Main Prayer Hall, the pulpit overlooks space for a congregation of 7,000 people. They sit on what is considered to be one of the world’s finest Persian Carpets in an area illuminated by Swarovski Crystal Chandeliers reflecting the appearance of the Mosque’s Minarets. These Minarets act as a reminder of the 5 key elements of Islam; reciting the Muslim profession of faith, praying five times each day; giving Charity, Fasting during the month of Ramadan and, if possible, undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque opens for non-Muslims Sunday-Thursday 08:00-11:00.
Men to be conservatively dressed with long trousers and women to be fully covered with head scarf.
One of the largest wadis in Oman, Wadi Dayqah flows from the Sharquiyah region from Wadi Dima wa Tayyin, through the Eastern Hajar Mountains and on to the coast just south of Quriyat at Daghmar. The large water catchment area has enabled what is probably the largest dam in Arabia to be constructed. The dam has reduced flooding, increased the supply of irrigation water and acts as a buffer water supply for Muscat. Some 30 kilometers by road southwest of Quriyat, the dam with its public park and leisure facilities overlook water of innumerable shades of blue, creating one of Muscat’s most popular leisure areas during holiday periods.
Wadi Al Arbiean
Hidden away deep within the mountains some 50 kilometers by road south of Quriyat, Wadi Al Arbiean is one of the most rewarding wadis to visit in Oman, yet it is one of the least visited. Steep sided mountains with convoluted rock strata overlook small villages with Date plantations. A constant flow of water from the Eastern Hajar Mountains has created several pools of water that act as water storage facilities for the Date plantations downstream. The wadi junction at Hail Al Qawasim offers several scenic treks through the area where the scenery can be enjoyed at first hand.
Prominently located overlooking Port Sultan Qaboos , Matrah Fort dates from the years after 1622 when Portugal was expelled from Hormuz Island and made Muscat their principal regional port. The fort protected what was the fortified trading center of Matrah, just west of the main entrance to Matrah Suq and also the entrance to the sheltered bay.