Muscat is the capital of the Sultanate of Oman and the country’s largest metropolitan city. The city boasts an enviable geography, nestled between the dramatic Al Hajjar mountain range and the glistening Gulf of Oman. Thanks to Muscat’s strategic location, the city has been one of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s busiest trading ports between the East and the West for more than 2 000 years.
Given its role as an influential port city, Muscat has always appealed to traders and settlers from all over the world. Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as the Sultan of Oman in 1970, the city has undergone rapid development, which has led to the growth of a vibrant and diversified economy.
Things to do in Muscat
Muscat is truly a place of culture and rewards visitors with a wealth of insightful museums and inspiring buildings.
Royal Opera House Muscat
The Royal Opera House Muscat inspires visitors not just with the powerful opera and graceful ballet performances that take place there, but also with the harmony between the wood, marble and Arabesque design. They all combine to create a wonderfully elegant building worth stopping just to admire if you decide not to catch a show. The performance season at the house lasts from September to May.
The Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque in Muscat is something of an architectural tour de force. The mosque was a gift to the Omani nation from the Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year as ruler. The mosque accommodates up to 20 000 worshippers. The Persian carpet is particularly impressive: it took four years to weave, with 600 people working on this.
The Sultan’s Palace
Although closed to the public, the Sultan’s Palace is worth stopping by just to take a photograph, thanks to delightful features such as the golden mushroom pillars. The palace has actually been built over the site of the former British embassy. Since the Sultan prefers a quieter residence near Seeb, the palace tends to be used for ceremonial purposes.[PJ4]
Business in Muscat
Ruwi is the main commercial hub and business district in Muscat and is located about 11 miles to the west of the city centre. The district is one of the oldest parts of Muscat.
The main airport, Muscat International Airport — formerly known as Seeb International Airport — is only eight miles from the city centre.