Oman is located near the Indian Ocean – Muscat goes to the Gulf of Oman, and to the south of the capital is the Arabian Sea. There are really many beaches here, and they are all clean and really beautiful. At the same time, hotels are forbidden to occupy the beaches, so they are all free.
Tourists especially like the beach next to the Raz Al Jeans hotel, where you can watch giant tortoises.
The beaches of the coast of the Arabian Sea are very beautiful, they are often framed by bizarre rocks, and in some places the rocks form bizarre arches.
There are beaches in Muscat itself, so the capital of Oman can be considered a resort town. For example, the beaches near the Crown Plaza hotels and the Shangri La hotel are notable. But on the beach near the Millennium Hotel, you need to be careful – there are a lot of sharp shells at the bottom, so you should swim more carefully.
The resort town of Salalah has good beaches, but tourists do not always go that far.
- Jibin123: Provides information for visa application to enter Oman, as well customs regulations and import restrictions.
Shopping in Oman
Shopping in Oman, according to tourists, is not very interesting – the goods here are quite expensive, and often not of such high quality. However, there are still some opportunities for shopping. Most of them, of course, in Muscat, in local shopping centers.
Most shopping centers are located in the Kurum district, on Sultan Qaboos Street.
- Sabco Center is one of the oldest shopping centers in the city. It also has a small semblance of a traditional market with 27 shops;
- Al Araimi – European brands, appliances and fashion accessories and clothes are sold here, as well as two cafes, one of which is Burger King;
- Al Khamis Plaza – a shopping center with exclusive boutiques, a jewelry store, a sunglasses store, an art gallery and some other stores;
- Capital Commercial Center – a supermarket combined with a shopping center. Many famous cafes are also located here, and there is an opportunity to buy leather goods and local souvenirs;
- Al Sarooj – a shopping center with a cafe, a large pharmacy, souvenir shops, a bookshop and a large supermarket;
- Muscat City Center is a large shopping mall, the largest in Muscat. Its area is 44 thousand square meters. On the territory of the mall there is a hypermarket, shops and an entertainment center.
However, it will be much more interesting to visit not a large shopping center, but a real oriental market. In Muscat, the best place to visit is Matrah, the oldest market in the country. Here you can buy a lot of interesting goods, from jewelry to traditional local knives and coffee. Some items can cost thousands of dollars. At the same time, you should definitely bargain – this is a real local tradition.
A two-hour drive from Muscat is the city of Nizwa, where you can also buy rare silver jewelry, as well as daggers dating back to the 19th century, in the market. The market also continues with meat, fish and fruit stalls.
Remember that visiting the market will take you at least two hours, especially if you want to look into all the shops. And it’s definitely worth doing.
It is best to bring from Oman as a souvenir:
- Essential oils and frankincense;
- Products made of silver and gold (the main thing is to check their authenticity);
- Omani headdresses – kums;
- Arabic traditional men’s dresses – dishdads;
- Traditional Omani knives are khanjars.
For some time now, the French, together with the Omanis, have been producing Amuage perfumes at a factory in Oman. These are the most expensive and prestigious perfumes in the world, and you can buy them here at a slightly more attractive price, mainly in large shopping centers. Also, Amuage can be bought inexpensively before departure from Muscat in duty free.
The best coffee in Oman is also better to buy not in the market, but in supermarkets. A 450 gram vacuum pack costs less than one real and the coffee here is really good.
IMPORTANT: Remember that on Friday, many shops in the markets and shops do not work due to the fact that Friday is an official day off in the Sultanate of Oman.
Cuisine of Oman
The national cuisine of Oman is characterized by spiciness of dishes quite acceptable for a European and large portions. Be sure to try the local seafood and spiced fish dishes, such as shark meat. Of the sweets, dates and halva are good.
The main drink in Oman is coffee. It is brewed very strongly here, adding cardamom, ground fruit seeds or a little rose water. It is customary to finish coffee drinking with caraway seeds – they refresh the oral cavity.
You can eat in Oman in small eateries, or right at the hotel. Please note that it is difficult to find traditional cuisine in them, as Omanis very rarely eat in cafes, preferring homemade food. So basically you will stumble upon Indian or European cuisine, using local ingredients.