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About Muscat

Muscat is the mystical capital city of Oman. With a population of more than 1.6 million, it is referred to as the heart of Oman. Muscat has a firm foot in its culture, with most of its architecture showcasing traditional Arabian designs. Famous tourist attractions include The Royal Opera House, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Qurum Beach.

Cheap flights to Muscat are now available for a limited time, so get ready to be enchanted by this seaside city. Muscat is home of Muscat International Airport (MCT), which is located 15 minutes from the city centre. Muscat International Airport serves a multitude of airlines – including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways. Connecting flights are available from Cape Town and Johannesburg. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Muscat is approximately 10 hours, 40 minutes.

Why visit Muscat

muscat-shopping-souvenirs

Shopping and Bartering

Those who visit Muscat are invited to play a game of give-and-take in the exotic markets of this serene city, and walk away with the most beautiful gifts and souvenirs.

muscat-seafood-crabs

Seafood Lover's Dream

The harbour is home to an array of freshly prepared seafood that always leave visitors wanting more. Kingfish curry, grilled prawns, lobster and more – all perfectly seasoned, all reasonably priced.

muscat-arab-history

Ancient Arab History

Many a Sultan’s dagger or inscribed sword is said to have left its mark on the history of Muscat. Be prepared to be left in awe at Oman’s great historical background.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Oman
Currency Omani Rial (OMR)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.3 OMR
Language Arabic
Hub Airport Muscat International Airport (MCT)
Airline Oman Air
Time Zone GMT +4
Travel Adaptor Type G

Best time to visit Muscat

The most popular time to visit Muscat is during its winter season (October to March). This is when the weather is most agreeable and day time temperatures average 30 degrees Celsius, with night time dropping down to a cool 15 degrees Celsius. Majority of festivals and events take place during this period. As Muscat is located in the Middle East, it is known for its extremely hot summers that easily reach temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius. With this in mind, almost 100% of Muscat’s taxis, hotels and malls are air conditioned so you will not be affected by the heat when you are participating in indoors activities.

Weather & Climate in Muscat

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall levels (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 17°C 18°C 21°C 25°C 29°C 30°C 31°C 28°C 28°C 25°C 21°C 19°C
High °C 25°C 26°C 30°C 35°C 39°C 40°C 38°C 35°C 36°C 37°C 31°C 27°C
Rainfall (mm) 10 30 10 20 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

Overview

Set on a backdrop of crystal blue waters, traditionally Arab architecture and a desert terrain in the distance, Muscat is really appealing to the eyes. Look close enough, and you’ll find dolphins and turtles enjoying a swim in the warm sea waters of the Arabian Sea, and majestic eagles in the desert sky.

Not to be overshadowed by the city’s near-perfect landscapes – the culture, food and history of Muscat is enough to make you want to stay. In Muscat, you are greeted by the words, “Peace be upon you,” as is done by Arabs from around the Peninsula and invitations for a cup of mint tea at a nearby stall.

The souks are vast and mysterious, with locals and tourists alike trying to barter for the best price. Win the barter, and you have gained the admiration of the store owner, “Well done, you have truly arrived in Muscat now!”

Visa & Customs

South Africans who wish to visit Muscat do need to apply for a visa, but you can do this on arrival in Oman. To obtain this visa, you would need to have a return ticket to your home country or your next destination, and at least six months left on your passport. The visa is valid for 90 days. All paperwork will be done at Muscat International Airport.

For more information, contact the Embassy of Oman.
Omani Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa

11 Anderson Street
Brooklyn
P O Box 2650
Brooklyn 0075
Pretoria
South Africa

Tel: 012 362 8301 / 012 362 2766
Fax: 012 362 6258
Email: emb-oman@telkomsa.net

Health & Safety

Muscat is considered a highly safe city, with almost no reports of crime in the area. All hospitals and clinics have English speaking staff, so if you find yourself needing to visit the doctor then you need not worry. Also, treatment of minor ailments is free for your first visit, and there are 24-hour pharmacies available throughout the city.

As Muscat is in a very hot region of the Middle East, it is important to stay hydrated. Try to carry and refill your water bottle as not all public areas (such as certain beaches and parks) will have refreshment vendors.

It is important to respect the culture in Oman, and so women are advised to dress modestly and to cover their legs until their knees. You may be denied entry to certain places if you don’t adhere to the dress code.

Cost of Living

ITEM CAPE TOWN JOHANNESBURG MUSCAT
Meal inexpensive restaurant R90.00 R100.00 R84.00
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R22.00 R20.00 R100.00
Cappuccino (Regular) R19.00 R20.00 R58.00
Taxi 1km (Normal tariff) R10.00 R12.00 R7.00
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R35.00 R35.00 R40.00

Main attractions in Muscat

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