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World Travel Guide > Guides > Middle East > Oman > Muscat

Muscat Weather

39°C

Local time Muscat

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Getting around Muscat

Public transport

Transport around Muscat is provided by private minibus operators. A major hub for these minibuses is opposite the ONTC bus station in Ruwi. It can be hard to understand the routes however, and timing is erratic.

Taxis

Taxis are the most common way for people to travel around the city and fares are generally inexpensive. Hello Taxis (tel: +968 2460 7011) offers a reliable service. Taxis, which are generally white and orange, can be hailed from the side of the road.

Driving

Given the large distances involved in travelling around the city, driving is a convenient option. All road signs are in English as well as in Arabic, and brown signs indicate major tourist attractions.

If driving beyond Muscat, especially to off-road destinations in the mountainous or desert interior of Oman, a 4-wheel drive is necessary. All car hire outlets cater for this.

Car hire

Car hire is available from Avis (tel: +968 2451 0342; www.avis.com); Budget (tel: +968 2451 0816; www.budget.com) and Hertz (tel: +968 2462 6200; www.nttoman.com). A reliable local firm is Mark Tours (tel: +968 2478 2727; www.marktoursoman.com).

Bicycle hire

Oman Bicycle Shop, on the corner of the Muscat Expressway and Bawsharstreet (tel: +968 9966 4710; www.omanbicycle.com), hires out road, trekking and mountain bikes.

Featured Hotels

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Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa

Though just a short drive from the city centre, you'll feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of Muscat at this secluded 5-star gem. Actually encompassing three luxurious hotels, it's an oasis of calm, beauty and fantastic fine dining. Its tastefully decorated rooms are huge and come with air-con, Wi-Fi and flash TVs. A real treat.

Grand Hyatt Muscat

With exotic marble flooring, indoor palm trees, stained glass windows, Bedouin tents and a revolving Arab on horseback, the decor of this luxurious and quirky beachside Hyatt was the inspired by its owner, a Yemeni sheikh. It offers some quality Arabic and Italian dining, along with the elegant ambience of the John Barry bar.

The Chedi Muscat

The Chedi is the original luxury hotel in Muscat, and arguably still the best. A true icon of the city, it combines traditional Arabic design elements with Asian-inspired minimalism, so a stay here feels like a true escape from the city. It also boasts the longest (and one of the loveliest) swimming pools in the Middle East.

Crowne Plaza Muscat

With cliff top views over the Gulf of Oman, this 4-star resort is popular with holidaymakers intent on working on their tans – and no wonder, given the sparkling swimming pools, private beach and sun-soaked terraces. Its fitness centre has tennis and squash courts as well as a sauna and steam room.

Hotel InterContinental Muscat

Tastefully decorated and festooned with luxury extravagances like swimming pools, tennis courts, sauna and Jacuzzis, this 5-star beachside hotel offers the upmost luxury without breaking the bank. Just a short hop from the Grand Mosque, the InterContinental is set among a glorious garden of palm trees. It also has five excellent restaurants and numerous bars.

Ibis Hotel Muscat

By far the best budget accommodation option in Muscat, you can count on the Ibis chain to deliver a cheap stay to a decent standard. This 3-star hotel might be no frills, but the rooms are modern, clean and comfortable, and have all the necessary amenities, including decent Wi-Fi.