Muscat is the Sultanate of Oman’s capital and its most significant and populated city (at 1.2 million).
Muscat has been known as a major commercial port between the west and the east from the early first century CE, and has been governed by numerous local tribes as well as foreign powers such as the Persians, the Portuguese Empire, and the Ottoman Empire at various periods in its history.
Muscat’s environment is dominated by the craggy Western Al Hajar Mountains. The city is located on the Arabian Sea, in the Gulf of Oman, and is close to the strategically important Straits of Hormuz.
It has a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community and welcomes the most international tourists in the country. Muscat, unlike other Gulf towns, most notably those in the UAE and Qatar, lacks a contemporary skyline. Following the Sultan’s preferences, contemporary building must conform to historic Arabic architectural styles, resulting in a more subdued metropolitan setting.
Muscat – Info Card
|POPULATION :||Metro: 1,288,330|
|TIME ZONE :||Oman standard time (UTC+4)|
|LANGUAGE :||Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian|
|RELIGION :||Ibadhi Muslim 75%, other (includes Sunni Muslim, Shi’a Muslim, Hindu) 25%|
|AREA :||3,500 km2 (1,400 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||23°36′N 58°35′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 63.60%|
• Female: 36.40%
|ETHNIC :||Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African|
|AREA CODE :||24|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+968 24|
Tourism in Muscat
Muscat is home to a variety of museums. The Omani Heritage Museum, the National Museum of Oman, the Oman Children’s Museum al Zubair, the Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre, the Omani French Museum, the Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum, and the Omani Aquarium and Marine Science and Fisheries Centre are among them. The Bait Al Falaj Fort was significant in Muscat’s military history.
There are various mosques in the city, including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Ruwi Mosque, Saeed bin Taimoor Mosque, and Zawawi Mosque. There are also a few Shi’ite mosques in the area.
One of the most recent initiatives was the construction of an opera theater, which opened on October 14, 2011. The Oman National Museum is one of the most significant new initiatives. Along with the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, it is projected to be an architectural treasure.
Old Muscat and the Old Palace are highly recommended for visitors. The primary retail sector is in Al Qurum Commercial Area, however shopping malls can be found across the city. Oman Avenues Mall, situated in Ghubra, Muscat, is one of the largest malls in Oman.
Muscat International Airport is about 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the city’s commercial sector of Ruwi and 15 to 20 kilometers from the major residential areas of Al-Khuwair, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Shati Al-Qurm, and Al-Qurm. Muscat is the home base for the local airline Oman Air, which travels to locations around the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, East Africa, and Europe. Other airlines that use Muscat International Airport include Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, SriLankan, Royal Jordanian, British Airways, PIA, Jet Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, Swiss International Air Lines, Kuwait Airways, Air India, and Thai Airways.
- National Travel Tourism, Ar-Rumaylah Street, Wattayah, tel. +968 24 566046, e-mail: [email protected], Sat to Thu 8am-1pm, 4-7 pm
Climate of Muscat
Muscat has a hot, dry climate with long, scorching summers and mild “winters.”
Muscat receives roughly 10 cm (4 in) of rain each year, with the most of it falling between December and April.
The climate is often quite hot, with summer temperatures regularly surpassing 40 °C (104 °F). Summer humidity is between 40 and 60 percent, which is rather high for such high temperatures.
Geography of Muscat
Muscat is situated at 24°00′N 57°00′E in northeast Oman. The Cancer Tropic runs through the region to the south. It is bounded to the west by the plains of the Al Batinah Region and to the east by the plains of the Ash Sharqiyah Region. Muscat’s southern boundary is formed by the interior plains of the Ad Dakhiliyah Region, while the city’s northern and western borders are formed by the Gulf of Oman.
The sea around Muscat’s shore is deep, producing two natural harbours, one in Muttrah and one in Muscat. The Western Al Hajar Mountains extend along the city’s northern shore.
Volcanic rocks, made of serpentine and diorite, are visible in the Muscat region, spreading along the Gulf of Oman coast for ten or twelve 16-kilometer (9.9-mile) stretches from the district of Darsait to Yiti. The hills and mountains of Muscat are made up of Plutonic rocks that stretch for around 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Darsait to Ras Jissah. These igneous rocks are composed of serpentine, greenstone, and basalt, which are characteristic of rocks found in the Arabian Peninsula’s southeastern parts. South of Muscat, the volcanic rock layers are broken up and twisted, rising to a maximum elevation of 6,000 feet (1,800 m) at Al Dakhiliyah, an area that contains the country’s highest mountain, Jebel Akhdar. Muscat’s hills are generally barren of flora, yet they are rich in iron.
Economy of Muscat
The economy of Muscat, like that of Oman, is driven by commerce.
Dates, mother of pearl, and fish were among the city’s most traditional exports. Many of Muttrah’s souks offer these things as well as traditional Omani artifacts.
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has been an important part of the Muscat economy since at least 1962, and it is the country’s second biggest employment behind the government. PDO’s principal owners are Royal Dutch/Shell, Total, and Partex, and its projected production capacity is 720,000 barrels per day (114,000 m3/d).
Suhail Bahwan Group, which is a trading partner for corporations such as Toshiba, Subaru, Seiko, Hewlett Packard, General Motors, and RAK Ceramics; Saud Bahwan Group, whose trading partners are Toyota, Daihatsu, KIA, and Hertz Rent-a-Car; Zubair Automotive, whose trading partners include Mitsubishi, and Chrysler brands such as Dodge; and Moosa AbdulRahman Hassan, which operates as one of There are various hospitals and clinics in Muscat, Oman’s private health care industry.
The Muscat Securities Market is Oman’s main stock market. It was founded in 1988 and is based in Muscat’s Central Business District. It has since distinguished itself as a pioneer among its regional counterparts in terms of openness and disclosure norms and criteria.
With an annual throughput of around 1.6 million tons, Muscat’s principal trade port, Mina’a Sultan Qaboos, serves as a commerce center between the Persian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent, and the Far East. However, the development of the Jebel Ali Free Zone in adjacent Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has elevated that port to the region’s largest marine commercial port, with around 44 million tons of cargo exchanged yearly.
Internet, Comunication in Muscat
Omantel sells pre-paid Hayyak SIM cards and top-up cards in mobile phone stores and hypermarkets. Pre-paid Jibreen Cards, valid on both mobile and landlines, are also available in amounts of OMR5 and OMR1.5. You receive 11 minutes of talk time with an OMR5 card.
In Oman, Skype is prohibited and can only be accessed with a VPN. Other VoIP services had previously been prohibited; however, Google Talk, Viber, FaceTime, and MSN Messenger are presently available.
The Global One calling card is not accepted in Muscat. Although the Global One website provides the prices for calls from Oman, no phone numbers are provided. The closest Global One customer service center is in Dubai.
Several public parks, including Qurm National Park, Naseem Garden, Al Amerat Park, and Wadi Kabir, provide free Wi-Fi. Visitors are sent to an Omantel landing page, where they must enter their cellphone number and get a password; consumers are restricted to 1.5 hours per day. Costa Coffee also provides free Wi-Fi in the following locations: Qurm City Centre, Muscat City Centre, MQ, Bareeq al Shatti, and Oasis Mall.
Omantel Ibhar hotspots may be found all across Muscat, mostly in coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping malls. Pre-paid Ibhar cards may be purchased at any Omantel desk or hotspot point.