Nestled between the ocean and mountains is a city rich in history and hospitality. Muscat, the capital city of Oman, literally means safe anchorage. This port city boasts not only gorgeous natural beauty, but has a friendly local population, which makes it all the more appealing.
As I drive along the wide avenues, one by one idyllic palm trees pass by. Beyond them lie rows of white alabaster homes. Clean block-like structures, they look more like pillars that have stood there for ages as they contrast with the jagged mountainous landscape.
When it comes to combining the old and the new, Muscat seems to be stellar at it. To get a view of modern Islamic architecture there is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It’s exactly how you’d imagine a mosque to be with its massive marble courtyards, lush gardens, and groundskeepers outnumbering the worshippers.
Walking along the curved promenade in the old city, waves of seagulls come and go, greeting the visiting cruise ships. You’ll find many of them in the nearby Old Mutrah Souq is a labyrinth of traditional stalls. As of late, Muscat has become more of a tourist destination, especially due to the Royal Opera House. Built in 2011, many visitors come just solely see performances there.
Whether in a mosque or hotel, Muscat has plenty of archways, woodwork, and lush gardens.
The beaches are some of the best in the region, with fine dusty brown sand and deep blue waters. Even when the sky isn’t cloudless, the sea has a beautiful blue tone to it. The coast is dotted by many of the city’s five-star hotels, such as The Chedi Muscat and the Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa. The hotels are also where you’ll find some of the best restaurants specializing in seafood and local cuisine.
Exploring this Middle Eastern city was a treat. With a quiet mystery, and a humble quality about it, it’s easy to fine peace in today’s Muscat.