The Sultanate of Oman, more commonly referred to as Oman, is an Arab country situated on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan, and is bordered to the northwest by United Arab Emirates, to the west by Saudi Arabia, and to the southwest by Yemen. Oman is divided into two distinct regions: the interior is Oman, while the coastal area is dominated by the capital Muscat.
What to see & do
Royal Opera House Muscat - The Royal Opera House Muscat is an opera house in the Shati Al-Qurm district of Muscat and the prime musical arts and culture venue in Oman with a capacity of 1,100 people. Aside from the concert theatre, the complex comprises of an auditorium, a cultural market, restaurants, formal landscaped gardens, and an art centre.
Omani Aquarium and Marine Science and Fisheries Centre - Located between the Al Bustan Palace Hotel and the Capital Yacht in Muscat is an aquacultural museum devoted to increasing public knowledge of the marine life. The museum also places emphasis on ecosystem conservation and the preservation of endangered species.
Muscat Gate Museum - The museum located in Al Saidiya street features displays regarding the history of Oman from the Neolithic times to the present. The museum maintains the original gates used, until the 1970s, to keep out marauders from the city.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque - The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque serves as the main Mosque of the Sultanate of Oman. The most notable features of the Mosque, apart from its size and architectural design, is the prayer carpet. The carpet that covers the floor of the prayer hall is the world's second largest hand-woven carpet, weighing 21 tonnes and containing 1,700,000,000 knots. The carpet took four years to produce and reflects classical Tabriz, Kashan, and Isfahan design traditions.
How to get around within Oman
Taxi services that are booked over the phone are more safe and comfortable, but can be much pricier than regular taxis. Owner-operated taxis that can be hailed off the streets are usually unmetered, so travellers will have to negotiate fares before getting in. Expect that the taxi driver will stop for extra passengers while you're still in the vehicle, especially if you're paying a cheap fare. If you want to avoid this, say 'engaged taxi' to the driver, which means you will pay for all four seats to essentially have a 'private taxi'.
Mini-buses work the same way; sharing the vehicle means a lower fare. Women are required to sit next to other women at all times to avoid misunderstandings due to mixed signals.
Renting a car is another good option, but there are cons to driving independently. One drawback in particular is that there are parts of the Sur-Muscat route with no phone signal, and that could mean additional problems should your vehicle break down in that area. Petrol is relatively cheap, but the road distances are also relatively long.
How to get there
International flights to Oman arrive at the Muscat International Airport, also called Seeb International Airport, located in the capital Muscat. Scheduled passenger services are provided by airlines such as Oman Air, Emirates, British Airways, KLM, Swiss International, Lufthansa, and Qatar Airways. Flights to Muscat International Airport depart from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Delhi, Mumbai, London, and Kuwait, among others.
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