Located in the south eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is a country with an abundance of natural beauty. A largely untouched coastline overlooking the Arabian Sea, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf, Oman is a country of mountains, deserts, palaces, forts and the old walled cities.
Muscat is the capital of Oman and is surrounded by the beautiful scenery of its mountains, desert, and wonderful sandy beaches complimented by its semi-arid tropical climate. It combines historic prestige with 16th century Portuguese forts and the largest mosque in the world alongside a mix of high-rise buildings and upmarket shopping malls.
Its natural harbour is among the largest in the world, serving as a transhipment point for goods from Arabia, India and Europe. Muscat International Airport is located 30km west of the city.
Michel Mandrea, General Manager, recommends:
“I’d recommend a visit to The Royal Opera House which is Oman’s leading venue for musical arts and culture. It’s the first opera house in the Gulf and I just love its beautiful interior and exterior decoration. It doesn’t surprise me that it attracts world-class performers and orchestras. Its grand exterior in classic Islamic style and traditional marble Omani architecture make the venue fit for a palace. Undoubtedly it has put Oman on the international classical music circuit, and Muscat on the world’s cultural stage. The complex includes a concert theatre, auditorium, landscaped gardens, cultural market, luxury restaurants for post-opera dining and an arts centre for operatic productions. A full list of their productions can be found on their website, which I myself check regularly. I would highly recommend Richoux Café located within the complex for its international cuisine and sophisticated ambience.
For something to eat, drop into Kargeen Caffe which offers a really authentic Arabian experience. Its lantern-lit illuminated courtyard, ambient music and Majlis-style dining make this restaurant an excellent venue for experiencing the local heritage through their culinary expertise and hospitality.
In the daytimes, I love to visit Al Qurum Beach which is at the heart of Muscat’s popular beachfront area. It’s ideal for a relaxing day at the beach or stroll along the seafront. Dolphin spotting is common and there’s lots of water-sports available. While you’re there, I would highly recommend the Tche Tche Café for its sea views, shisha and superb food. Japengo is a wonderful Japanese restaurant situated in the Shatti Al Qurum area offering excellent Japanese cuisine in a formal dining setting – their sushi is superb!
Lastly, my other top recommendation is Al Makan Café - the rooftop views and Omanian food ensure a special dining experience.’’