Oman is one of the most underrated countries in the Middle East. From the mountains to the ocean and the desert, the country has it all! I started my journey from the capital city of Muscat drove down South to Sur to the Wahiba Sands desert before coming back to Muscat.
Sightseeing in Muscat
I started my first day of sightseeing by visiting the iconic Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. I took a self-guided tour of the mosque and walked around the vast verandas on the marble floor in the mosque. The mosque is quite big so it will easily take 2 -3 hours to tour the entire mosque.
My next stop of the day was the Royal Opera House Muscat. Located near the Grand Mosque, the Opera house is a true representation of Oman's rich art and culture. A beautiful white marble structure with majestic and grand galleries was truly mesmerizing! There I took a guided tour of the opera galleria which lasted a little more than an hour.
For a late lunch, I drove to the Shatti beach and dined in at a beach-front chic cafe named Al Makan cafe.
I started the second day of the trip by driving down to Al Mouj Marina where I had booked a diving trip to the Daymaniyat Islands. It is a beautiful turquoise colored water island and I dived at two different locations. The marine life at the island was something I never expected to see in the Middle East. I was dropped back to Al Mouj Marina from the island and then I spent the rest of the afternoon strolling and shopping at the marina.
After a long day of diving and snorkeling, I only had the energy to go out late in the evening to Muscat Grand Mall where I had my dinner and watched a late-night movie show in the Vox cinema inside of the mall.
For the last day in Muscat, I started it off with a tour of the Muttrah Fish Market, which was crazy and chaotic during the early hours of the day! However, it is a great place to see the local life of Muscat and particularly for chit-chatting with the super friendly fishermen!
Next up, I took a long stroll across the iconic Muttrah Corniche, a beach-front street in the heart of old Muscat laying right across the Arabian Sea. There is a park at the end of the Corniche walk, Al Kalbu Park where I stopped to have a light lunch from the small cafeteria inside of the park with the views of the calm ocean.
To beat the calmness I enjoyed in the park, I went straight to the vibrant and buzzing Muttrah Souq (market) which is right across the street. It is the oldest market in Muscat and now it has turned into a great souvenir shopping market for tourists! You can find everything there from frankincense to Arabic scarf, sweets, daggers and what not!