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Everything You Need to Know About Muscat: A Guide to Oman's Capital City

Muscat is the capital city of Oman and its single most important city. It’s home to over 200,000 people, which represents almost half of the entire population of the country. Although there are several smaller places that are more worthwhile visiting, Muscat is where you’ll find most of the action in Oman. If you plan on traveling to this beautiful country any time soon, this blog post will be useful to you. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Muscat: its history, sights, cost of living, restaurants, nightlife and practical information such as what documents you need to enter or leave the country.

Guide to Muscat

History of Muscat

The history of the city goes back thousands of years. The Arabian civilization flourished here from as far back as 3000BC until about the seventh century AD, when the area was conquered by the Persians. In the fifteenth century, a new maritime trading power emerged in the form of the Omani empire. Its capital, Muscat, came to be seen as the hub of the Indian Ocean due to its strategic position. The Portuguese conquered the city in 1580. They were expelled in 1650, after which Omani power again emerged, but the city remained in Oman’s hands. The British conquered Muscat in the early 19th century and made it their chief military base in the region. They controlled it until the 1970s, when Oman regained its independence.

Sightseeing in Muscat

There are several must-see sights in Muscat, such as the old city, the Bait al Baraka mosque, the royal palaces, the Qurm cultural and folk museum, the Al Alam Royal Palace, the Omani Maritime Museum, the Sultan’s Palace, the National Museum, the Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum, the Grand Mosque and the Nizwa Fort. There are several forts and towers that were built by the Portuguese, including the famous Al Alam Tower, which is the oldest standing structure in Oman. There are also many mosques to visit, such as the Bait al Baraka mosque and the Sultan’s Mosque. The Bait al Baraka mosque is ornately decorated with intricate woodwork and hand-carved marble on the interior walls. The Sultan’s Mosque is the largest mosque in Muscat and was last renovated in 2012.

The food in Muscat

The food in Muscat is a blend of East and West, reflecting the Omani people’s origins. Seafood is very popular, as it is along the coast. The most famous Omani dish is fish, which is either grilled or baked, or else served in a coconut curry. Other popular dishes include dhufish (fish cooked in dhow leaves), baba ganoush (eggplant dip), hummus and ful (beans). Rice and bread are staple foods. Bread is eaten with every meal and comes in many forms, such as date bread, bagels, buns, French loaves and naan. There are a few international restaurants in the city, but most are Middle Eastern or Asian.

Travelling to and from Muscat

The airport of Muscat is called Seeb International Airport. There are direct flights from and to Muscat from many major cities, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, London and New York. There are ferries to Muscat from Salalah and Sohar. Boats depart from Salalah at least once a week and the journey takes about six hours. You can find more information about the ferries on the website of the Oman Shipping Company. The main roads leading in and out of Muscat are the Airport Road and the Muscat-Dhalqir Road.

The cost of living in Muscat

The cost of living in Muscat is below the average for the Arabian Peninsula. On top of that, there are many tax exemptions for expats. The cost of living for expats is around $1,200 per month for a single person. Housing is the biggest expense in Muscat. The price of living in Muscat is similar to that in other Middle Eastern cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.
Muscat is a great city to visit if you want to experience the Middle East. It is an exciting place where modernity and tradition coexist. You can visit the old city to learn about Oman’s history and enjoy authentic Omani food. You can also visit the Bait al Baraka mosque, the Omani Maritime Museum, the Qurm cultural and folk museum and the Grand Mosque. If you want to see more of Oman, you can easily travel to the nearby places of Nizwa and Salalah, or else head to the island of Musandam by ferry. If you’ve been dreaming of an exotic vacation to a beautiful country, Oman might be the perfect choice. It’s a cheap country to visit, it’s easy to get to and there’s lots to see and do. Most importantly, you’ll experience a charming mix of East and West in one amazing place. With this guide, you’ll know exactly what you need to know about Muscat and you’ll be able to fully appreciate this wonderful country.

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