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Experience the exotic Arab charm during your layover at Oman!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016
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Bored of your 24 hour transit halt at Muscat Airport waiting for your connecting flight?

How lucky you are, standing in the holy grail of transformational travel? (Source: Forbes, 2016). Rated as the 2nd best city to visit in the world according to Lonely Planet, 2012, Muscat is beyond exotic with its rugged mountains, beaches, forts-every-few-miles, desert and historic architectural magnum opus.

Oman is home to over 2 million global expats, whose remittances constituted to 12.6% of Oman’s GDP of OMR 27 billion in 2015. So who knows? You may even bump into someone from your neighbourhood back home!

Grab your transit visa along with sufficient foreign exchange and head out to hire a taxi to explore the best of Muscat.

Oman Transit

Marvel at the Sultan Qaboos Mosque

With limited time at hand, it’s advisable that you enjoy the best spots that are closer to the airport. Begin by taking the 15 minute ride to the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, a glorious piece of Islamic architecture with an estimated area of 416,000 square metres that can hold more than 20,000 worshippers at one time, making this one of the largest mosques in the world. The 8 ton Swarovski crystal chandelier hanging from the central dome is a feast to one’s eyes. The hand-woven prayer carpet is said to have taken 400 weavers and four years to complete.

Marvellous craftsmanship indeed!

Gaze & Shop at Muttrah Corniche & Souq

Another prominent place to visit is Muttrah, just 17 minutes from the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, famous for its Corniche and Souqs. Enjoy a breezy walk along the Corniche for an excellent view of the Sultan's boat and Muscat Fort. You can also see faded relics of merchant houses dating to the time of Portuguese influence.
Don’t forget to go bargain shopping for handicrafts, fabrics, frankincense, essential oils, resins, spices, gold jewellery and bronze souvenirs at the antique souqs in Muttrah. The fish souq will leave you fascinated by the large live catches and the way it is sold to the public.

Muse at the Bait al-Baranda Museum

Situated in the Muttrah area, the Bait al-Baranda museum is a place you must surely visit to understand the rich culture of Oman. The displays and exhibits at the museum are highly interactive and engaging, taking you to another era.

Dine Heartily

Feasting one’s eyes isn’t complete without feasting ones tummy. Muscat offers you the best of world cuisines. If you are into Western Cuisine, then try D’Arcy’s Kitchen, Paul’s restaurant or Fauchon Cafe for yummy continental food. To enjoy the best of Omani food try the Bait Al Luban Omani Restaurant or Shuwa Express. Super Cafe Chef A offers excellent Mediterranean delicacies.

Indulge at the Royal Opera House

Now it’s time to head back in the direction of the airport. Visit the Royal Opera House, an architectural masterpiece with splendid interiors that host international cultural shows and Oman’s own Royal Symphony Orchestra.

Chill at the Muscat Grand Mall

To experience the best of fashion, food and entertainment, you’ll have to visit the Grand Mall in Muscat. Finish off any last minute shopping and refreshment or even dinner at the mall and return to the airport. Make sure you return at least 3 hours prior to your flight time.

Oman hums a charming tune that casts its spell leaving the visitors comfortable, nestled-in and laid back!

Tell us your favourite place to see or thing to do in Oman!

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 May 2016 05:24