Muscat is the capital of Oman and its biggest city to boot. Visitors will find an amazing city of contrasts, with old mosques, forts and the souks competing for attention with 5-star hotels, super markets, shopping malls and massive jewelry shops. To get a feel for the real Muscat, spend some time in the Mutrah Souk and walk down to the waterfront in the Corniche area. Muscat also happens to be a massive travel hub, with passengers from all over the world passing through Muscat Seeb International Airport (MCT) en route to other destinations in Oman, the Gulf and the Middle East. Any real travel on your own here will necessarily require you to rent a car in Muscat Airport.
To see all the must-visit attractions, you will either have to be in a tour bus or get a car for hire in Muscat. Assuming you have the choice to decide your own itinerary, the attractions in your list must include the Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace, Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts, and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which is the third biggest mosque in the entire world. You must spend some time in the Mutrah, especially the souk. From here, you can wander down to the waterfront and enjoy the pleasures of the Corniche area. If you intend to shop some more, then head to the Muscat City Center or the Sabco Center.
The Hajar Mountains are a favorite among the locals, and you might do well to see the Nakhal Fort in the Hajar foothills about 40 minutes from Muscat. Wadi Shab is a spectacular place near the village of Tiwi, some 60 odd miles from Muscat along the coast towards Sur. If you go the other way along the coast towards Al Ain, Buraimi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, you can have a nice coastal trip with regular halts at towns on the Gulf like As Sib, Barka and Sohar.
Muscat Airport is located in Muaskar Al Murtafa'a, about 16 miles from Ruwi, the city's business district. It currently has only one terminal, but the service is among the best in the Gulf. Oman Air is based here and Muscat is a huge hub for connecting flights to Europe and the Far East. All international passengers arrive at the same arrivals hall. The duty-free shops are located after the immigration counters. There are four car parks, with one each on the east and west of the entrance, one opposite the terminal building and a shaded premium parking lot opposite the arrivals exit road.
There are six agencies offering service for passengers who need to get a car for hire in Muscat Airport. Many more have offices and depots on the route between the airport and Muscat at Al Azaiba and Qurm, but ideally you should seek out an agency offering to deliver the vehicle at the airport. Compare all the offerings online, select the best deal you can find for the airport and book your car right now.
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