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

Muscat Weather

39°C

Local time Muscat

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Things to do in Muscat

Enjoy excellent scuba diving all the year round

Warm seas, vibrant coloured fish and excellent reefs make Muscat a world-class location for year round scuba diving. Lua Lua Diving (+968 9691 7330; www.lualuadiving.com) offer PADI courses for beginners, excellent day trips to established sites such as the Daymaniyat and Fahal Islands for the more experienced, and some superb shoreline snorkelling too.

Head out to sea for some whale watching

The waters around Oman's port capital are teeming with a cacophony of creatures, including two of its most prized: dolphins and whales. For fans of these magnificent mammals, the best way to see them is with a boat trip. Climb aboard with Alsansool (tel: +968 9274 8669; www.alsansool.net) to see them in their natural habitat.

Make a splash with some watersports

Muscat's location means that much of its activity is centred on the sea, and the warm azure waters are a great place for adrenaline junkies to make a splash. From going full-throttle on a jet-ski and catching air with a kite-board to discovering the thrill of wakeboarding, Uniboats (tel: +968 9261 1222; www.uniboats.com) do it all.

Spend a night under the stars

Muscat is morphing into a very modern city and despite its transformation it remains rich in cultural traditions. For an insight into a lifestyle at risk of disappearance, visitors can spend a night in the Wahiba desert with the nomadic Bedouin tribe. Oman Sarafis (tel: +968 9286 4776; www.omansafaris.com) can make the necessary arrangements.

While away an afternoon with a round of golf

Golf is a game that's gaining popularity in Oman, and thanks to the warm weather and additional challenge of the sea breeze, it is well suited to Muscat. Ex-pro Greg Norman designed one of the finest courses in the area, Almouj Golf (tel: +968 2200 5990; www.almoujgolf.com), whose stunning coastline location offers golfers a memorable round.

Featured Hotels

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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.

Marina Hotel

For this price don't expect the Ritz. Overlooking Mutrah fish market this is a simple harbourside hotel offering great views of Muscat's famous corniche. It's basic and its basement bar can be a little noisy but its location is within walking distance of Mutrah Souk making it convenient for sightseeing.