Welcome to Muscat, Oman!
Formerly an unknown oasis in the Middle East, Oman is now gaining notoriety from international tourists for its picturesque natural landscape and fascinating culture. A gem nestled deep within the arid region, its capital city, Muscat, exudes a royal charm, complete with welcoming locals. Experience Muscat as a worldwide local with this insider’s guide as it navigates you through the city’s impressive architecture and bustling streets.
Begin by Relaxing with Shisha
Once you land at Muscat Airport, you’ll want to jump right into local life. To blend in with the locals, you have to experience Omani culture by taking part in their favorite pastimes. A quintessential Arab tradition is to socialize with a shisha. A stemmed instrument that is used to smoke flavored tobacco passed through water. Both men and women enjoy the tradition and a great way to mingle with the locals is at a chilled shisha bar. Most locals would also suggest drinking Karak Chai, a sweet and refreshing tea that is widely served in most coffee shops all around the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: Muscat is known for the wonderful collection of natural sea life along its coast. Take a boat trip through Muscat’s jagged coastline and discover the diverse aquatic life in crystal clear waters. Head over to the Bandar al Rowdha Marina to start your tour, where you can snorkel with marine animals and watch dolphins jumping out of the water.
Shopping in Muscat
To find the perfect Omani trinket, visit the labyrinth of stalls in Muttrah’s souk. A stimulating local market filled with various shades of colors and a boisterous atmosphere, just walking through the busy bazaar is a captivating experience. From local souvenirs to Arab style home decorations, the Muttrah souk has everything you could ever want to take home with you. Make sure to haggle, as tourists may get a more expensive price at first.
Worldwide Local Tip: Taste a piece of Omani culture by trying one of the national dishes, the Omani Shuwa, a savory stew consisting of fresh spices and succulent meat. Most locals would suggest eating at the Orient Restaurant and Cafe for best of delicious Omani cuisine.
Enjoy the Muscat Weather in Qurum National Park
Most of the Middle East may be a desolate and arid desert landscape, but don’t let that scare you into hiding inside one of the nice hotels in Muscat. Oman’s capital boasts a gorgeous green haven within the city limits. Qurum National Park is an expansive park, complete with play areas and quaint waterworks. Take a relaxing stroll through the park’s elegant pathways and smell the floral aroma from its rose garden. The park provides a pleasant contrast from the beige backdrop and the busy streets.
Worldwide Local Tip: While Oman is a relatively progressive country compared to some of its neighbors, it is still important to remember that they base their lifestyle around the Islamic faith. Remember to dress modestly and avoid any form of personal displays of affection to keep from attracting unwanted attention, or worse, being reprimanded by the local authorities.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Here in Muscat, time moves differently. Oman has retained its undiscovered charm without extreme urbanization, despite gaining more attention as a great tourist destination. A country known to be the last bastion of unspoiled Arabia, Oman’s capital city is still rife with old traditions and brimming with proud culture that worldwide locals love to experience. With serene natural wonders and rich cultural traditions, Muscat is a terrific city to roam around as a worldwide local.