If Dubai is shining gold, Oman is the fresh water. I am glad I went to Oman as a short getaway from my Dubai trip. Due to short stay, I mainly stayed in the capital Muscat. It turned out to be a delight experience.
Muscat means “safe anchorage”, where we can tell the Ocean plays an important role in the city life, from fishing industry to travel industry. Our journey of Muscat will start by the seaside.
These photos were taken at the top of the Mutrah Fort (built by the Portuguese in the 1580s, was used as military defensive measure against attack from the Ottoman army). The Fort rises out of the rock on which it’s build, so even if you are not interested in military history here, it’s still fun to scale the steps for a great view of the Mutrah and the ocean.
After the cardio session in Mutrah Fort, you should definitely visit the Mutrah Souq, which is just 10 minutes walking distance from the Fort. Mutrah Souq retains the chaotic interest of a traditional Arab market, selling Omani and Indian artefacts together with some antiques jostle, hardware and jewellery stores, where bargaining is expected.
Getting a cup of coffee in Royal House Restaurant by the Souq, sitting in their outdoor patio while watching the harbor across the busy road, is a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
If the time only allows you to visit one place in Muscat, it has to be Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. As an architectural wonder, it’s named after Sultan Qaboos, who is the current leader of Oman. There are several mosques named after him, as showing people’s love, respect and appreciation for him.
Dress code: Men and women must dress conservatively in long trousers and covered shoulders. Woman must also cover their hair.
For hotel recommendation, I would love to introduce the Chedi Muscat Hotel. As one of the leading hotels in Oman, Chedi Muscat is a 5-star offering a sundeck, an outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court. The property opened in 2002 and features Arabic architecture: gently arching halls, majlis-inspired lobby and updated Moorish water gardens. The exterioe & interior designs are following the ideation of minimalism.
For foodies, I also found a hidden gem in Muscat- Kargeen Café.
“Kargeen” is the old Omani word for a little wooden cottage, and this restaurant combines that concept with a modern lounge experience. The menu consists of a rich variety of traditional and authentic Omani dishes, with great Arabic spices. Arabic style dining tables, chairs, and the spectacular garden view add to this café a romantic touch.