Ultimate guide to exploring Muscat – A land with many wonders

Compared to flashy Emirati neighbor Abu Dhabi, the capital city of Oman, Muscat is breath of fresh air commonly well-known for splendid seafood and dazzling souks.

Mutrah Souq| Img by: Shawn Stephens via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY 2.0

 

Marvel at the Grand Mosque

An architectural masterpiece, the grand mosque was a gift to Oman from the Sultan Qaboos to mark the 30th year of his reign. The mosque is massive and is surrounded by landscaped gardens, giving it the feel of a serene oasis. The grand mosque is situated near the outskirts of the city, so those who are residing at many a Muscat hotel the likes of Al Falaj Hotel Muscat, the mosque is 17 minutes away.

Shop at the Mutrah Souq

The Mutrah Corniche is home to several stunning mosques and buildings with traditional latticed work which provides a stunning backdrop during sunset. However, aside from the picturesque landscape, the bustling Souq is another good reason to head down to Mutrah. The Souq retains all the charm and chaos of a traditional Arabic marketplace.

Explore Muscat’s Old Town

Muscat’s Old Town is famous for its 16th-century forts and the Al Alam Palace (Sultan’s Palace). The 2 forts are settled on neighbouring cliffs which look out over the Gulf and form the boundary of the historic capital. You’ll find plenty of things to see and experience here apart from its scenic landscapes and a blend of ancient and modern architecture.

Dune Bashing at the Wahiba Sands

The Wahiba Sands is a stark desert with massive dunes as high as 100 metres, perfect for dune bashing. Dune bashing isn’t for the faint of heart as an experienced driver will take you hurling over dunes at top speeds.

 

 

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Dhow Cruise – Journey to Paradise

The Arabic term for a sail boat is ‘dhow’ and the vessel has evolved considerably over the years before achieving its current form as a fully fledged yacht that offers all the comforts and luxuries of a small cruise liner. From its humble beginnings as a tiny craft with a large sail and lean hull the dhow has grown by leaps and bounds to a wide bodied, spacious vessel that transports hundreds of passengers in one go.

Dhow cruises are very much in vogue along the coastal belt of Oman; the Dibba Musandam Port is where the liners anchor for people to embark. Then it sets sail into the ocean either for a day cruise or an overnight tour of the water. The therapeutic powers of water, the gentle lull of the ship’s hull and the constant crash of the sea waves will relax agitated nerves, soothe souls and form the backdrop for some unforgettable memories.

The double decked dhow offers plenty of space to sprawl and enjoy the view while sipping a cup of traditional Arabic tea or fresh fruit juice. The fishing village and civilization are left far behind as the dhow voyages seaward and the dhow finally docks at a picturesque location where you can fish, snorkel and dig into a delicious buffet lunch. The equipment can be hired from the agent itself or sometimes it may be complementary with the dhow ride.

Rest your arms on the sturdy rails of the dhow and use a pair of binoculars to see far into the ocean and watch how fishermen find their catch, how aquatic birds fly in every now and then in search of their prey and observe the movements of the sun. The scenery coupled with the rejuvenating winds of the ocean keep all aboard merry and tranquil.

The fashionable Oman hotels are very much in demand as discerning travelers have now taken a penchant towards visiting the Middle Eastern country that offers romantic getaways, explorative tours, multiethnic cuisine and plenty of shopping. A Muscat hotel is undoubtedly star class; a short stay at a hotel such as the Al Falaj Hotel should be testimonial for same.