Early morning Saturday, after several 5-minute sleeps from the night before, I found myself in the airport of Muscat, Oman. On my way out, I saw a Nawras booth; Nawras is one of the two telecom companies in Oman. I asked the guy for a SIM card to use during my stay and how I can activate the blackberry service. He was very friendly and helpful; offered me that SIM card for 2 OMR with a credit of 2 OMR already in it. I charged my credit with another 7 OMR because I did not know what to expect regarding prices. Later, I found that they’re relatively cheap, especially when I went to Dubai after Muscat and used Nawras’s SmartRoamer; very convenient and cheap! Make sure you roam through Etisalat though, it’s cheaper than Du.
Before going to Muscat, I’ve read some blogs and articles on how beautiful Oman is and how everyone, especially expats, fall in love with it. This made me want to look for their reasons everywhere around me, for the small details and the overall look of Muscat. It was so obvious why everyone is so fond of Oman.
People are very kind, laid-back and helpful. Everyone is ready to help when you ask them to. They don’t rush into things, especially on the road, which is not the case in Amman. All men wear the traditional Omani outfit and women mostly have their hair covered, except for expats. I found it amazing how they keep their traditions and are very proud of it.
There is a place called Jawharit Alshati in Muscat, it’s a beach area with different cafés and restaurants like Slider station, Starbucks, Costa Café and others around you. Just take a cab or park your car there and go to one of them, enjoy the great service and the sound and smell of the sea. I love water!
Another must go place is called Matrah, it’s also by the sea, has old souq and beautiful mosques, nearby is the Sultan palace, we could get to the gate, beautiful clean streets, amazing architecture and lovely weather this time of the year. I heard it gets REALLY hot during summer time.
Taxis around Muscat vary from 2 OMR to 7 OMR for far places. One cab took us around the city and showed us different areas for only 10 OMR. I thought they were expensive but then realized it’s the range of prices there.
I stayed at the Ibis hotel; friendly staff, convenient, adequate, affordable (49 OMR/night) and clean. It’s a walking distance from McDonald’s, BinAteeq (Omani restaurant) and a pizza place. Also from there you can go by taxi to a sea food restaurant called Turki House, very famous there and their food is delicious.
My overall experience was great, met great Jordanians as well, they told me more about Oman and, again, how beautiful it is. I will definitely go back soon. 🙂