Muscat has always been a major port in the Gulf of Oman. This city has served as an integral trading link between the east and the west and Muscat is influential widely.
Mucat is the capital of Oman and remains an extremely important city to the governorate of Oman. In fact it is the largest city and also happens to be the seat of the government. Muscat includes six provinces or wilayats. Muscat has a multi ethnic society and has been witness to rapid industrial and infrastructural growth.
Quietly imposing from the outside, this glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year of reign. The main prayer hall is breathtakingly rich. The Persian carpet alone measures 70m by 60m wide, making it the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world; it took 600 women four years to weave. Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering arms and legs and avoiding tight clothing. Women and girls (aged seven and above) must cover their hair. Abayas (full-length dresses) and scarves can be hired from the mosque cafe and giftshop for OR2.5; some form of ID is required as a deposit.
Al Jalali Fort:
Guarding the entrance to the harbour to the east, Al Jalali Fort was built during the Portuguese occupation in the 1580s on Arab foundations. The fort is accessible only via a steep flight of steps. As such, it made the perfect prison for a number of years, but now it is a museum of Omani heritage. Admission is strictly by permit only – apply to the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture, through the contact page on the ministry website.
During palace military occasions, bagpipers perform from the fort battlements, and the royal dhow and yacht are sailed in full regalia into the harbour. With fireworks reflected in the water, it makes a spectacular sight.
Marina Bandar Al Rowdha:
Apart from offering a full range of boating amenities, Marina Bandar Al Rowdha is a popular launching point for a range of watersports, including fishing and diving. It is also a pleasant place to enjoy harbour activity and relax at the Blue Marlin restaurant. The marina offers free use of its pool for those dining at the restaurant, making it a potential day’s outing when combined with a boat trip.
The journey to the marina, along the coast road from Old Muscat to Al Bustan, offers spectacular mountain and sea views and a glimpse of local life. A water taxi service connects the marina to the resort at Al Seifa (Jebel Sifah) and the marina at Al Mouj.
Kebab a dish of spiced and salted skewered meat (usually chicken or beef) barbecued or grilled, is served with a side of vegetables. Mashuai is a dish consisting of a whole spit-roasted kingfish, served with a side of lemon rice.