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Muscat by Night

Duration: Half Day

muscat by night

Despite being a desert country, bordered by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, Oman is surprisingly green. Lush wadis (oasis), beautiful coastline, golden beaches lined by swaying palms and dramatic mountains are just some of the natural treasures you will discover here.

Surrounded by sea and mountains, the capital Muscat is a delight to wander around, with its tree-lined streets, well manicured lawns, public parks and beautiful flowers and shrubs. Full of charm and character, this bustling city is often described as “Arabia’s Jewel”. Muscat is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East and remains true to its traditional culture, offering an interesting mix of the old and the new which is evident throughout the city, particularly in its modern and traditional Islamic architecture.

Muscat is beautiful by day, but the city takes on an exotic splendour at night. Mosques, palaces and other architectural delights are illuminated, and the harbour waters reflect the lights of the shops and town. Muscat becomes magical. Get your camera ready as the beautiful Grand Mosque comes into sight. The grand architecture comes alive as the floor lights illuminate the mosque from every side. Completed in 2001, it was built using 300,000 tons of Indian sandstone and is a fine example of modern Islamic architecture. A breathtaking domed prayer hall can be found inside, as well as the world's largest hand-woven carpet. We then drive along Embassy Road, which is lined by trees and streetlights that cast shadows on the beautiful Embassy buildings, which were designed like typical Arabic villas.

From here you will drive to Mina Sultan Qaboos, Muscat’s main trading port, and the scenic Corniche (waterfront promenade), which fringes Muscat’s old town, better known as Muttrah. Stroll along the harbour and watch the city lights dance in the water below. Marvel at the beautiful dhows, ferries and cruise ships illuminated against the dark night sky, their bright lights reflected in the harbour waters. You may even see His Majesty the Sultan Qaboos’ personal yacht. Browse the colourful Muttrah Souk for typical Omani souvenirs. This traditional souk is one of the oldest and best preserved marketplaces in the country. The shops sell everything from hand-woven textiles, carpets, silks and cottons to spices, fresh produce, Omani silver jewellery and even Khanjars (Omani daggers). Shopping in Oman is an experience not to be missed.

Your next stop is the Bait Al Zubair Museum, one of the most informative museums in Oman, which focuses on the country’s fascinating history and the traditional culture and lifestyle of the people of the Sultanate. From here we continue onwards to see the magnificent Al Alam Palace, the Sultan's exquisite waterside palace. This is guarded by the imposing Jalali and Mirani forts, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century.

On the way back we shall pass through the old city of Muscat before we stop for dinner at a typical Arabic restaurant, which will include a set menu of a variety of delicious Arabic specialties. This is the perfect end to an exotic evening of Middle Eastern delights.

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