Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Oman Day One - Muscat

I landed in Muscat the capital city of Oman a few hours ago and me being me, I hit the ground running by touring some of the popular highlights of the city before jet lag humbles me and knocks me out. Oman is located in the Middle East and shares borders with Yemen, Saudi Arabia and The UAE. You hardly ever hear about Oman in the news so a lot of people don't know anything about the country, at least that is the impression I have judging by the common question I kept being asked when I mentioned that I was visiting Oman, "Where is that? how do you even spell that?"  

I hope writing about my adventures in this country during my week long stay will be informational and better yet, inspire any reader of this blog to visit. Now let me give you a quick run down of what I have been up to for the past few hours. 

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque - This is the largest mosque in Oman and took 6 years of construction to complete. The mosque has a blend of Arab, Middle Eastern and Omani architectural design and it was once famed as having the largest chandelier and carpet in the world, before the Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE swooped in and claimed this fame. The Sultan Qaboos mosque is one of the only mosques in Oman that allows visitors of all religions inside the prayer halls.

Al Alam Palace - This is the official ceremonial palace of the Sultan of Oman and public entry into the palace is not allowed unless you are a visiting dignitary.

Mutrah Souq - This is one of the oldest market place in Oman where you can find a variety of goods for sale, heck! you can even buy Luis Vuitton bags and all the big designer brands, authenticity is definitely not guaranteed.

The Royal Opera House - This is the leading arts and culture organization in Oman with a vision of serving as the center of excellence in global cultural engagement. World renowned concerts are held here and I got the chance to peak inside, the stage is huge! I can only imagine how amazing the performances are.

That's it folks! it was an active day, just the way I like it and now it's time to succumb to jet lag and rest up as tomorrow I continue on with yet another exciting adventure.

Random Thoughts of The Day

Muscat has to be one of the most chill cities that I have ever visited, maybe my opinion will change later during my trip but so far I have observed it to be so quiet and not bustling with activities or people. I was told that most people come out in the evening and at night since it is cooler. I will confirm this later.

With half a day, you can see pretty much most of Muscat city's highlights. It is easier to do this with the help of a car as the public transportation system is not really catered to tourism.

The roads in the city are in perfect condition and the drivers are not aggressive so it's not intimidating to drive here. Ooh! and Oman being an oil producer, expect gasoline prices to be pretty cheap!

Oman's population is in the 5 million range and about half of it comprises of foreign workers who provide cheap labor. You will see many of these foreign workers in Muscat working in restaurants, shops, hotels etc. 

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