New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANSlife) Beauty seems to have found a new address in Oman’s capital Muscat, where modernity walks hand in hand with tradition, lending a unique idiom and flavour to the city.
Visit some of the exquisite mosques, forts, well-stacked museums, and bustling souqs. Located just 2.5-3 hours away from India, Muscat is well connected via direct flights from various Indian cities. The city is an ideal getaway for a long weekend.
What to do in Muscat with just 48 hours in hand?
1. Royal Opera House for musical performances
A state-of-the-art opera house exists in Muscat where world-class operas and musicians perform round the year. The opera house complex consists of a concert theatre, auditorium, formal landscaped gardens, luxury restaurants and an art centre for musical, theatrical and operatic productions.
2. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque for its architectural grandeur
This mosque is a real feast for the visual senses. The lavishly decorated mosque with its archways, courtyards, chandeliers, ornate doors, white marble floors, and manicured lawns is an architectural marvel. The elegantly carved arches lead to the courtyard and from there you can enter the huge main prayer hall, entirely decorated in white, blue and gold. An opulent Swarovski crystal chandelier hangs from the dome and the floor is covered with a handmade Persian carpet spanning 4,263 sq. metres.
3. Amouage Perfume factory for its luxury scents
For a sniff of something exotic, head to Amouage factory where the most valued perfumes in the world are found. Amouage is a home-grown perfume brand that uses exotic ingredients like frankincense, roses, saffron, and spices to make their trademark scent. Take a tour of the factory during which the guide explains the perfume production process.
4. Golf for sport lovers
Muscat has become the new golf destination in Oman and hosts three 18-hole grass golf courses located at Muscat Hills Golf & Country Club, Al Mouj Golf and Ghala Valley Golf Club. For those wanting to learn the game, each course also has an academy staffed by qualified golf instructors who will be happy to guide you through the early stages. The climate makes golfing most popular in Oman between the months of September and May.
5. Sailing and Dolphin watching
Oman is a sailor’s delight as it houses several world-class yachts, cruises, and a stunning marina. Take a coastal tour of Muscat and sail deep into the sea to watch hundreds of dolphins jump in the air acrobatically. There are also dive centres for professional divers to experience the beautiful marine life.
6. Explore Omani art and culture
The historical forts and castles of Oman are the country’s most striking cultural landmarks and a major draw for visitors today. Walk up to the gates of the Sultan’s ceremonial Al Alam Palace and get an insight into Omani life by visiting the Bait Al Zubair Museum or National Museum.
7. Oman Aquarium
Built inside the Mall of Muscat, the aquarium is first of its kind in Oman and likely the largest in the Gulf region covering 8,000 square meters of the mall and spanning three floors. The Oman aquarium showcases around 1,000 types of Omani fishes and 30,000 marine animals including sharks, lobsters, turtles, rays, local corals, penguins, and crocodiles. The main tank has a walk-through tunnel for visitors to get an up-close and personal look at the variety of fishes inside.