Trip to Muscat, Oman
Me and the wife were planning for this trip during Eid Al Adha vacations. We left Dubai at Friday 5am and decided to offer morning prayers at Hatta, which is a UAE-Oman border town and avoid the weekend rush at the border. We offered our prayers just minutes before Hatta and headed straight to the border, we stamped our passport at UAE border and drove to the Oman border, after a swift customs check we paid a small fee, stamped our passport and off we go. We then reached a small town near the sea name Shinas at 7a took the right turn and were on the Shinas-Sohar-Muscat highway.
After a couple of minutes on this dual-carriage way we stopped at a gas station to purchase a SIM card but unfortunately was told that the mini-mart will open in an hour, without waiting we took the highway again passed a few small towns on the way and reached a small and beautiful city Sohar at 9p, we stopped at a market to get our legs straight again after a few hours’ drive, I reached a Nawras telecom shop here but tough luck again.
In about 45 minutes we entered the Muscat’s suburbs and found myself driving among many Omani number plates, after observing their driving pattern for a few minutes I realized that it’s not much different, so being the only Dubai car number plate in sight and having the experience of driving on the deadliest roads in the world(Dubai 🙂 I felt like the king of the roads so I jumped to the fast lane and started driving Dubai-way :).
We were on the same highway which goes right through the city and takes the names Seeb street, Sultan Qaboos str among others. Muscat is a beautiful city, this is what we realized as soon as we entered within the city borders, on the way we found Muscat City center and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque where we had decided to pray Friday prayers. We reached our hotel at 10.45a, after the check-in formalities were over, we landed in our room. While the wife took shower I switch on the TV and changed few channels.
We then took the same road back to the Sultan Qaboos Grand mosque – what a beautiful mosque this is. I parked the car, took a few pictures of the magnificent architecture of the mosque, this was only the beginning of my excitement. I was then told that photography is forbidden here, so I put the camera in the back pocket of my trouser and entered the main hall.
I was literally shocked to see this beautiful mosque from inside and could hardly wait to take the pictures. After the prayers were over it was time for some click-click, I didn’t stop till the same guy told me to stop. This mosque had the biggest hand woven Persian rug until very recently until this record was taken over by the new Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi.
By that time we were starving, I was dying to taste some any authentic Omani cuisine but at that time the only place I knew is the MCC, we reached and filled ourselves with two Hardees burgers. I then purchased a Oman Mobile SIM card, called a friend who suggested that we go to Qantab beach, we found the directions with our map (but still took some wrong turns thanks to the exciting road and picturesque Muscat scenery), we finally reached the beach using a beautiful Jabeel-e-hafeet like road but only more breath-taking and exciting. By this time the wife was feeling a little tired but I still wanted to enjoy before sunset so we took a boat-ride along the coast, a nice experience in a long time.
We then headed back to our hotel, took rest then went for dinner, we tried Bin Ateeq in Al Khuwair on a friend’s suggestion and really liked the food and their service. After a day roaming around the city we needed to get some rest so we headed back to our hotel. Click here to view all photos