A Day in the Omani Capital
Muscat is capital of Oman and a port like no other; formed by the merger of three smaller towns its growth in recent years has been astonishing. In a city surrounded by consumerism this opulent metropolis is truly mesmerising. Considered as an emerging shopping destination, the shopping centre houses a number of well-known international retail brands.
One of Muscat’s most treasured tourist destinations is that of Muttrah Souq. This traditional Arab market has its own distinctive flare, a labyrinth of brightly coloured market stalls adorned with Omani and Indian artefacts. The only market where gold, frankincense and myrrh can be brought under the same roof, it’s a juxtaposition of tradition and the modern world.
Elsewhere, Muscat proudly showcases its Omani heritage at any available opportunity, and the Grand Mosque is no exception. Commissioned in 1992 the Grand Mosque is an exquisite display of Omani, Indian and Arabic culture. Hidden within the Grand Mosque are other architectural triumphs, the library and outer corridor are a continuation of this country’s grandeur. Able to hold 20,000 worshippers, the Grand Mosque opens its doors to the public from Saturday-Thursday (8-11am).
Rounding off a day in Muscat, Bayz Al Zubair is another impressive display of Omani heritage, with exhibitions highlighting Omani customs and craftsmanship. The collection was curated by the Al Zubair family and spans over three separate buildings: Bait al Bagh, Bait Dalaeel and Bait al Oud. In stark contrast to this, the Royal Opera House is a reflection of Oman’s contemporary culture. The Royal Opera House first opened its doors in 2011 and has established itself as a pinnacle of Omani culture since. The marble exterior of the Royal Opera House is just the beginning; the laid wood interior is a sheer demonstration of the attraction’s lavish affluence.
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