The Governorate of Muscat
The Governorate of Muscat
Muscat is the modern Capital of Oman and offers visitors a stunning combination of old & new with a breathtaking intermix of ancient culture and heritage alongside a modern metropolis.
There is an abundance of choice for visitors, from the architectural masterpiece that is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, world-class shows at the Royal Opera House Muscat, to fine dining at one of the many restaurants scattered across the capital or shopping for traditional souvenirs at Muttrah Souq, one of the oldest in Arabia.
As for activities, the capital region has almost endless possibilities. Whether it is snorkeling at the Daymaniyat Islands, trekking from Old Muscat to Muttrah, a guided city tour or a day trip to a nearby wadi, Muscat welcomes all to experience its unique charm.
Main Cities of Muscat Governorate:
AL AMARAT • BAWSHAR • MUSCAT • MUTTRAH • QURAYYAT • AS’SEEB
MUSCAT - SITESEEING
Azure waters, and a large, expansive shore ideal for taking a run or a stroll, is what makes the Qurum Beach one of the most ideal tourist spots in Muscat. Only a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle from the commercial activity of Qurum, the beach is popular amongst the locals at sunrise and sunset to view the awe-inspiring colours of the sun dash across the shimmering waters. A great place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing, walking enthusiasts can also enjoy the boardwalk along the beach.
Location: Al Shatti Street, Qurum
Located in the wilayat of Seeb, the Seeb Beach is renowned for its soft, golden sands and unadulterated waters, with a view that is awe-inspiring. Built on its shores is a large park that serves as a children’s playground and also has an artificial lake for the purpose of water sporting. Fast food chains along the promenade make the Seeb Beach an ideal picnic spot for tourists.
Location: Al Seeb, Muscat
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Situated in the wilayat of Bousher, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a marvel of architecture that repeatedly awes the traveler and the citizen alike. The sensational blue, white and gold interior of its dome, along with an eight tonne, 1,122 bulbs Swarovski crystal chandelier, intricately carved wooden doors, brilliantly stained glass windows. The mosque’s prayer hall floor is topped with a single piece Persian carpet composed of 1,700 million knots which took about 27 months to make, covering an area of 4,200 square metres, and weighing 21 tons. 28 different colours made from plant or natural dyes, in varying gradations, are used in this carpet’s weave.
Timings: Saturday – Thursday, 08.00AM – 11.00AM
Location: Bousher, Muscat
Tips: It is important to respect the local norms and customs before entering the mosque; shoes should be removed, and modest, full clothing should be worn. Women should cover their heads. Children under 4 years are not allowed inside the mosque. Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the mosque every day, except Friday, from 8:30 until 11:00 am. Visitors are asked to dress modestly and in a way befitting places of worship. Women are also required to cover their hair.
The Royal Opera House Muscat
The Royal Opera House Muscat is the leading arts and culture organization in the Sultanate of Oman, with a vision to serve as a center of excellence in a global and cultural engagement. The multidisciplinary work at the Royal Opera House Muscat showcases rich and diverse artistic creations from Oman, its surrounding regions and the world, providing a space for the nurturing of creativity with innovative programs, and promotes tourism.
Timings: Saturday – Thursday, 09.00AM – 06.00PM
Location: Al Kharjiyah Street, Shatti Al Qurum
Tips: The Opera Galleria, situated on the ground floor of the Royal Opera House Muscat, is host to upmarket shops dealing in international brands, designer couture and perfumes, and also has an array of exquisite cafes and dining options. Timings are from 10AM to 10PM. The restaurants and cafés will operate daily from 8:00 am to 12:00 am midnight throughout the year, during weekends and public holidays. Visitors will be offered easy access to the “Opera Galleria” through a special vehicle entrance and near-by parking lot. For more information – Opera Galleria: 24403440 - See more at: http://www.rohm.org.om/venue/opera-galleria.
The Muttrah Souq is one of the oldest markets in Oman, dating back to about 200 years, and sells various Omani handicrafts, sweets, spices, and Arabian perfumes. Located in the wilayat of Muttrah, the Souq starts from the gate facing the Sea of Oman and the Muttrah Corniche, and ends at the gate leading into the city’s old quarters. Characterized by narrow winding alleys roofed with wood, this Souq is also known as the Market of Darkness amongst the locals due to its myriad lanes lined by shops that block the sun during the day.
Timings: Saturday – Thursday,
08.00AM – 01.00PM / 05.00PM – 09.00PM
Friday, 05.00PM – 09.00PM
Location: Muttrah Corniche, Muttrah
Stretching for more than three kilometers on the harbour of the Sultan Qaboos Port, the Muttrah Corniche overlooks beautiful rugged mountains and is one of the most gorgeous sites in the Governorate of Muscat. The northern end of the Corniche serves as a fish market and a dhow dock, and the entire length of the esplanade is dotted with pristine gardens and fountains.
Location: Muttrah, Muscat
Bandar Khayran Reserve
Situated at a distance of 35 minutes by boat from the Marina Bandar Al Rawdha, the Bandar Khayran Reserve is a spectacular display of rugged mountains and the azure waters of the sea, permeated by coral reefs that are considered home to diverse organisms and fish. The water crossing is a pleasurable experience with dolphins that swim alongside the boat. The Reserve is abuzz with divers and has more than 22 diving locations, each with its own charm and beauty.
Timings: September – May, 08.30AM – 05.30PM
Location: Marina Bandar Al Rawdha
Wadi Dayqah Dam
Considered to be the biggest dam in the Sultanate, the Wadi Dayqah Dam is situated in the wilayat of Quriyat, and consists of two sub-dams. The dam connects a number of neighbouring wadis from the A›Sharqiyah region and has spectacular views of deep ocean blue waters against rugged, golden hills. The dam is a very prevalent tourist spot, and is situated off the highway to Quriyat from Muscat.
Location: Off the Quriyat Highway, Quriyat
Hawiyat Najm Park
Located in the Dabab area of Quriyat, the HawiyatNajm Park is a deep natural depression in the earth’s crust that has filled with water from the nearby coastline, rendering a remarkable view. Legend has it that a meteor fell on this spot of land, resulting in the natural depression that formed a small lake within the crater, which is a popular spot for diving and swimming.
Location: Dabab, Quriyat
Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre
The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is located in its own fully integrated precinct only four kilometers from Muscat International Airport. The design of the Centre ensures a flow of the meeting spaces to suit the most discerning conference and exhibition organizers. Fitted with the very latest technology, OCEC is a venue for events of all sizes. A space to inspire and connect, it offers a gateway to Oman’s magnificent landscape and its famously welcoming hospitality, making OCEC a venue where the world meets.
Location: Madinat Al Irfan
Phone : 00968 2423 3800