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Be inspired by the magic of Muscat


The magnificent city of Muscat is a treasure trove of holiday magic for visitors to Oman - a land of adventure, culture and jaw-dropping beauty in the sun-drenched Arabian Peninsula.

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The capital is among the country's most popular coastal destinations for holidaying in luxurious beachside hotel surroundings.

However, there's so much more waiting to be discovered.

Muscat is the perfect base for any adventure in Oman, an unspoilt paradise which attracts the discerning traveller and boasts formidable mountains ranges and canyons, huge expanses of date palm groves, rolling desert sand dunes, spectacular wadis, and more sun, sea and sand than you could imagine.

Beautiful buildings

Stretching for 70kms along the coast, the bustling metropolis of Muscat exudes charm and character and is a superb example of modern and old buildings residing together in perfect harmony.

There are dozens of impressive structures of cultural, historical and architectural importance, but three places definitely worth a visit are Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat Gate Museum and Al Alam Palace.

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The Grand Mosque is a wonderful example of modern Islamic architecture, with many areas of staggering beauty inside, including the main prayer hall. You can't fail to be impressed by this majestic building which was a gift to the nation from the Sultan.

Muscat Gate Museum is the perfect place to extend your knowledge of the history of Oman. The building, which features the gates into the old walled city, is visually powerful and offers incredible views over the city.

Al Alam Palace is the private home of Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Visitors are not allowed inside but the unique exterior provides a great photo opportunity.

Shop in the shade

When it's hot in Oman, a bit of shade can be very welcome. If you also crave some retail therapy, a way to escape the heat is to visit the Oman Avenues Mall, the country's largest shopping centre. Whatever you want, this shopper's heaven has probably got it - electronics, designer clothing, perfumes, watches, sports gear, footwear, jewellery - and much more.

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Another huge shopping venue in Muscat is the City Center in Al Seeb, which features more than 160 international stores and 24 places to eat. If you still have money to spend, you might also want to visit Muscat Grand Mall, in Dohat Al Adab Street, and the Al Qurum Shopping Complex, in Al Wilaj Street.

A souk is worth a look

No visit to Muscat would be complete without checking out an Omani souk, a traditional Arab market where you'll find everything from pottery, jewellery, textiles and clothing to herbal medicines, local food delicacies, perfumes and precious frankincense.

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Muttrah Souk in Muscat is one of Oman's most popular tourist attractions and comprises a network of alleyways filled with a myriad of stalls and little shops - the smell of incense fills the air and if your obligatory haggling skills are up to scratch you should have no trouble bagging yourself a bargain.

City nights

If you fancy some night life, you will find plenty of music bars featuring live bands, as well as a multitude of pubs and licenced restaurants. There are also a few nightclubs including Copacabana at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Why Not Super Club at Hotel Golden Tulip.

When it comes to dining you'll discover an abundance of delicious traditional Omani delicacies in restaurants and cafes across the city. Popular favourites include Kabsa, a national dish made with rice, saffron and spicy red or white meat, and Mashuai, which consists of roasted kingfish and savoury lemon rice.

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And you can bet your life you'll find dates on a menu somewhere during your visit - after all Oman grows more than 250 indigenous varieties of them!

Sensational sands

The stunning white sandy beaches and exclusive hotels have to be seen to be believed - it's no wonder it's the destination of choice for those seeking a relaxing sun-soaked dream holiday. Qurum Beach, the longest in Muscat, is a great example and stretches for an impressive 4km.

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Other idyllic beaches along the Muscat shoreline include Al Bustan Beach, Shatti Al Qarum, and Sifah Beach. An invigorating stroll along the Muttrah Corniche, a vibrant harbour area on the Muscat shoreline, is an experience not to be missed.

So when you decide to book a dream escape to awe-inspiring Oman, make it a priority to set some time aside to visit mesmerising Muscat and wallow in the wonders of this amazing city.

Book you luxury Oman holiday with Destination2.co.uk today!

For more information on Oman, visit www.experienceoman.om.

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