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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 20, 2018
Headline for Why Should you Visit Muscat? – A Million Reasons to Rediscover Muscat
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Why Should you Visit Muscat? – A Million Reasons to Rediscover Muscat

If you feel that seeing one Gulf nation suffices to know what life is like in the entire subcontinent, you are in for a surprise. Let Muscat be the eye opener and the pathway to the rest of the Gulf.

1

To Shop

There are certainly a number of other capital cities in the Gulf region that offer some amazing shopping experiences, yet there is uniqueness in the shopping opportunities in Muscat. Most of the trading happens in souks; the local term for bazaars where haggling is permitted, loud promotions are common and a buzz is always created. A few of the souks even allow trading through the barter system which is a methodology that was in use hundreds of years ago where two parties with a coincidence of wants trade in one's goods for the others. From fresh produce to ceramics, gold and pashmina shawls, the souks are little treasure troves waiting to be discovered by tourists. Disproving common misconceptions that life in the Gulf is dull after dusk, these bazaars become more appealing and interesting soon after 5 pm.

2

To Enjoy the Sea

In all honesty, the weather is quite sultry and warm as it is desert terrain after all. However, the Muscat Oman hotels warmly welcome tourists to enjoy the marine life, the sand and the sunny side of life along the coast that opens out to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Spinner dolphins are the fascinating sea creatures one would see while in this part of the world. As their name suggests they perform a little acrobatic stunt in mid-air every now and then, thus, one should rent a dhow and witness for themselves. The Corniche which isn't too far from Al Falaj Hotel is an idyllic place for an evening stroll where one can feel the winds of the sea while enjoying the lights that comes on along the promenade and the bobbing boats in the water.

3

To Savour what is Sweet

Juicy dates that boost your energy levels are up for grabs in most parts of the Middle East and when in Muscat you get to choose from about three dozens of types of dates. The taste, texture and colour differ vastly where some are as sweet as sugar while others are dark and rich or chocolate coloured and hard. To complement these tiny fruits, the Omanis serve cardamom scented Arabic coffee which is absolutely out of this world. This coffee is a symbol of pride and richness of taste of the locals; it is to be drunk on joyous occasions as much as it is to be drunk on a daily basis. The Arabic sweets mixed with pistachios, almonds, sesame seeds and various types of treacle are also among those that can be easily found in supermarkets, groceries and corner shops in souks.

4

To Go Hiking

Muscat is less than 100km away from the celebrated hills of Nizwa where the season to go trekking is on from October until April. The capital city has its own version of trekking on offer through the more modest yet enticing range of hills known as the Hajar Mountains. Depending on how many days you have marked off in your calendar for this strenuous physical activity, you can choose between these two mountains or if possible conquer both as the vistas are as distinct as the experiences.