Visit Muscat, the premier and sun-soaked city of Oman, where desert plains meet a sea so blue it rivals the sky.
Muscat International Airport (MCT)
Muscat International is the largest airport in Oman. Having almost doubled the amount of air traffic in the last decade, MCT now sees over 8 million passengers pass through its gates every year. It has had extensions and improvements over the years, and as such it is a well-equipped airport with lots of facilities. There is free WiFi available within the airport, as well as access to ATMs, a currency exchange service, tourist information desks, a post office, showers, travel agencies, lounges, a wide range of eateries, plus a duty free shop to pick up gifts and souvenirs from.
Airlines to Muscat
There are a large number of international carriers that operate into Muscat International Airport, these include, but are not limited to: Qantas, Air Arabia, Air India, British Airways, Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad, Gulf Air, IndiGo, Jet Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, SpiceJet, Thai Airways and Swiss International.
If you’re flying from Australasia you’ll discover that almost all flights will be subject to a stopover through Doha (DOH) or Dubai (DXB) to refuel or change planes.
Getting into Muscat
There are taxis outside the airport, which can take you directly into the city. These will usually cost 8-12.000OMR ($30-45) depending on where you’re going within the city. If you want a more accurate idea of costs, there is a comprehensive list of prices on the Muscat International Airport website, found here.
By public transport
There are public buses, but you have to walk out of the airport complex to the Sultan Qaboos Highway to catch them.
There are a number of car rental services within Muscat International Airport, but if you would prefer to book a vehicle in advance, you can do so using our handy car hire search tool.
What can you do in Muscat?
Muscat hits all the balls out of the park when it comes to pleasing its guests, with plenty to offer in the way of sightseeing, shopping, food, culture and the outdoors, it’s one of the Gulf’s hidden gems.
For sightseeing, there is the impressive Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, a piece of contemporary Islamic architecture, with a bone white exterior that reflects the bright sunshine, and then softens, turning orange and then pink as the sun goes down. If you want to see something a little older, visit the arresting 16th century Mirani and Jalali Forts, both built by the Portuguese, and sit in positions that overlook the gorgeous Gulf of Oman.
Shopping is an art in Muscat, and it would practically be a crime to come to this city and not indulge in a little retail therapy. There’s perhaps no better place to start than at the Muttrah Souq, a traditional market selling unique crafts, glittering jewellery, and intoxicating spices.
Then, there are of course the spectacular beaches, a mix of long stretches and sheltered coves that all welcome water that is bright turquoise under the warm sun. Qurum and Qantab are perhaps the most well known of Muscat’s beaches but it is easy to find secluded beaches in this part of the world. If you don’t fancy sunbathing, take a boat trip out from the marina and keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins jumping out of the water.
When should you go?
Muscat has a very hot, dry climate, so generally the best times to visit are in the colder months from October-March when the temperature gauge doesn’t drop below 15°C and rarely spikes above 30°C. Expect lovely, warm and dry days of about 23-25°C in this season.
What do you need to know?
Currency: The Omani Rial (OMR)
Visas: Though all travellers do need a visa to enter Oman, many nationalities are able to obtain one on arrival. To check your eligibility, prices, and to apply, please go to the Royal Oman Police website where you can get all the appropriate information. Please note, you will not be able to enter the country without valid permission to do so.
Please note all information is current as of January 2016.
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