Muscat is the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. The city has long history, located in the upper bay of Khor Muscat. The city is built on rocks, steeply over the sea. It is such a strategically advantageous location, because of the popular seaport of Muscat, which is visited by many ships sailed all over the world. In the time of the Roman Empire, Muscat was one of the points in the chain of towns famous “Ladanova way”. On this way brought to the court of the Emperor incense the weight in gold. When in the XVI century, the Portuguese captured the port, they have turned into an important strategic city, well fortified and armed. Since 1649 over 200 years, was the capital of the Sultanate of Muscat travel.
The modern Muscat is very beautiful and unique. It occupies a huge territory, stretching almost 200 miles along the coast of the Gulf of Oman. Muscat is one of the hottest cities in the world. But, despite the exhausting 35 degree heat that prevails here most of the year and the sand tornadoes, which are regularly visiting the city in the spring and early summer, Muscat is perhaps the most beautiful and green city of the Arabian Peninsula. The fresh water in the region has large deficit. Omanis desalinate sea water, drill boreholes and even collect precipitation, occasionally falling here in the form of rain.
The modernization and improvement of Muscat city began only 40 years ago. Until that time, the city looked more like a large village, surrounded on all sides by smaller villages. Today the capital of Oman, with the suburbs covers an area of approximately 1,500 square km. It is divided into three historic and six modern districts, each has its own beautiful and interesting. The historical areas of the city are Muscat, Matruh and Rui. They have a lot of attractions and includes a compulsory part of a visit to the many tourists who come here to relax. There are no hotels and large shopping centers, and so the situation is a tale of the “Arabian Nights”, which involuntarily shudder, seeing luxury foreign cars in the driveway, built in the style of the eastern palace.
Walking through Muscat is pure pleasure. The Arabs were very complacent and welcoming. In addition, different people proud calm, firmly confident in its future. Oman is not just a tourist country, but also the owner of a decent stock of “black gold”, whose production provides its citizens a comfortable existence. Along with the Arabs, who make up 75% of the population in Muscat, here you can meet a lot of Pakistanis, Indians and Chinese. Matrah harbor promenade with the name of Sultan Qaboos, which one of the finest places in the city. Walking through it, you can enjoy the beautiful sea view. Many fine dhow boats, fast boats and yachts ply the waters of the harbor. If you’re lucky, you can see a boat the Sultan himself “Sheikh al-Salamah”. Sultan Qaboos is a man who contributed greatly to the prosperity of Muscat. Not only what government can boast that their country is not glorified political intrigue, and the construction of the unique project and cost structures. Such as the Great Mosque of Muscat. The large mosque on the outskirts of the city near Gubra. This is the first thing that they see tourists coming to the capital city, on the way from the airport. The mosque, whose construction lasted seven years and was completed in 2001, is the second largest after Mecca Holy Mosque. The impression which it produces for its exquisite architecture, is magnified when you learn about what’s inside a mosque. Library with more than 20,000 books of Islamic and historical literature, equipped with the latest modern technology and provides users free Internet access. Here is the Islamic University. The mosque was built on the personal resources of the Sultan. Its interior is a wonderful luxury and splendor. Carpet covering the floor great hall of the mosque consists of 58 separate parts joined together. Its weight – 21 tons, the size – 70×60 meters. 600 masters carpet woven by hand for 4 years, using only natural wool and natural dyes. In the same hall of the mosque is located at 1122 chandelier lamps, weighing 8 tons. The sightseeing of Muscat takes days, because they are all located a good distance from each other, so that each of them deserves careful study. In the neighborhood there are three historic fort. Two of them – Jalali and Mirani – guarded the entrance to the city, and the third – the ICTR, built on a hill, was a bit of sentinel points. So far, the forts used by the military and the police for their needs. Tourists are not allowed inside. But can be any pictures of the outside of the fortress. Not less than the original photos are at the “Al-Bustan Palace Hotel”. Every day this hotel is visited by tens of tourists to see the beautiful decoration of halls and make interesting pictures on the background of the luxurious interior of the hotel.
In Muscat, there are many interesting museums. Museum of Oman in the Medina Habu contains a huge exhibition on the 50th century history of the country. The National Museum of the “Al-Mathaf al-Uatani” with its unique collection of silverware. No less interesting is the Military Museum, the Navy and the Omani French Museum “Beit-France”. If you are visiting the capital of Oman, with the children, they will not be bored. In Muscat is the largest aquarium in the Arabian Peninsula, populated with unique marine life. And there is a children’s entertainment and educational complex called the Museum of the child, parks Callebaut, Al Qurm, Al Kharus, amusement park “Sinbad Fan City”. Most of the hotels facilities and a children’s pool for kids with well-trained staff. You can always leave a child under the care of if you want gone into the town for several hours. Children under 6 are free almost anywhere.
Under the word “shopping” in Muscat, in the first place, means visits to the famous Arab markets. The most common of them Bazar al-Matruh. Here you can buy anything – spices, incense, gifts, beautiful oriental clothes and wonderful objects of gold and silver, for which you can pay in local currency is Omani Real. Going shopping, to consider the local schedule. After dinner, at the height of the heat Arabs traditionally a rest, and Friday is a public holiday, when the majority of men going to the mosque for collective prayer. The Arabic food is one of the most diverse in the world. Numerous dishes of meat, poultry, fish and seafood are offered to visitors cozy restaurants Muscat. The prices are rather democratic: the equivalent of 10 U.S. dollars you can have lunch together. Especially recommended to try the dried shark meat and shark soup. With fish is usually served vegetable garnish, lemon sauce and, of course, the national food Arabs – boiled rice.
In Oman, there are dozens of ways to cook pilaf, which compete for popularity can except Omani bread. It here as dozens of varieties. In Arabic bread sounds like “hubz” or “aish”. The last word means “life”. Local people are very respectful of this product essentials. You will never see bread thrown in the trash or wallow in the street. For tourists it will be better to respect the traditions of the ancient city and its people.