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Muscat reviews

Average Rating based on 2 Reviews:
OverallOverall = 4.504.50

bbimuscat saw things this way:
OverallOverall = 55
Dolphin watching, snorkeling, island excursion in Muscat, Oman, November 29, 2014
Reviewer: bbimuscat

Pros: Good Service, good marina, good boats, good snorkeling equpment, lot of dolphins

Cons: You have to use taxi service to reach marina to get this service

The dolphin watching and snorkeling trip starts at 10 a.m. every day from the marina. The marina is 15 minutes away from the port where all the ships dock.

Here we boarded luxurious speed boats and sped away in search of dolphins. As we leave the jetty we got a splendid view of Muscat from the Gulf of Oman. We enjoyed the scenic beauty of Omanís coastline in a fiber boat traveling over the pristine waters of Omanís capital area. We viewed several landmarks like the majestic Al Bustan Palace hotel and Al Bustan Village from the quiet seas.

Then we sailed towards Qantab Village, Bander Jissah, where you can see the Oman Dive centre and the Shangri-la resort from the sea. In awhile youíll encounter shoals of dolphins.

The most acrobatic of all dolphins, the spinners may be courting, communicating, resting, socializing, nursing or teaching their young. We saw their fantastic display of sheer joy and exuberance, undisturbed.

If itís your lucky day, you may come across the giants of the deep Ė whales.

Before we reached the island, you are given the opportunity to snorkel thus giving you an opportunity to have an underwater look at the rich marine life of Oman.

Az'Zaha Tours provides great services. More details can get from the website

Travelersx2 saw things this way:
OverallOverall = 44
Tidy, orderly; prosperous and modern, but definitely Arab., May 17, 2013
Reviewer: Travelersx2

Pros: The exquisite Grand Mosque; the setting; cleanliness

Cons: History overwhelmed by modern development; higher prices

Probably not on many bucket lists, this ancient port city on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula actually was on our ďif we can get there list,Ē and so, was a factor in deciding to take this cruise.

Oman today is a completely different country than it was 50 years ago. Oil revenues, modest by the standards of the Persian Gulf region, have been wisely invested under the leadership of forward-looking Sultan Qaboos, beginning in 1970. This has transformed Oman from an almost medieval place to a modern country. Free education and free quality health care are available to all Omani citizens. Electricity, roads and schools have reached even remote villages.

The city of Muscat is clean, safe and uncrowded. Ravi, our shore excursion guide is from India and he emphasized the contrast between Muscat and his homeland. He said he found the Omani people very friendly and hospitable. In fact, 25% of Omanís population of approximately three million people are foreigners. Most come from South Asia, like Ravi, but also from Europe and even Zanzibar. Foreigners hold many jobs in construction and services, but are generally not allowed to become citizens and must return home every two years to renew visas.

The Muscat that we saw on our excursion is a thoroughly modern city, with excellent roads, including super highways, modern shopping malls, huge, high-end auto dealerships, and many modern villas, all in an updated version of traditional architecture. With the exception of gasoline, which costs less than water in this desert country, the cost of living is high.

The most expensive thing we saw had to be the Grand Mosque, where thousands of faithful can pray at once. Built between 1995 and 2001 and financed entirely by the Sultan, the menís prayer room is lined with gleaming white Carrera marble, inlaid mosaics and French-made stained glass windows. The 4,000 square meter floor is covered by a hand-knotted Persian carpet created on-site over four years by 600 young women and girls from Iran. The ceiling is paneled in Malaysian teak and adorned with Swarovski crystal chandeliers, including one 46 feet tall, weighing eight tons, and illuminated with 1,122 bulbs. As Ravi showed us the much smaller and less elaborate womenís prayer room he explained that women are not obliged to attend mosque but could pray at home.

On our way to and at the Muttrah Souk (or market), we noticed the long, white gowns and embroidered caps worn by Omani men and the often black gowns or abeyyas on women, though style and color varied. There is no requirement that women be covered but tradition is stronger in some families than others. The Souk is a large and lively place with scores, probably hundreds of vendors, mostly of clothing, jewelry and perfumes and other items appealing to tourists. We were searching for spices and finally found one vendor, wearing a t-shirt, where we purchased some curries and a garlic-chili paste with a captivating aroma.

Our excursion continued at the Bait Al Zubair, or the House of Zubair, Museum where, in addition to getting oriented with a map of Oman and lineage chart of the Al Busaidi family, the ruling dynasty, we perused Zubair family collections of Omani artifacts. These include swords, guns, daggers, clothing, jewelry and household items.

We concluded with a stop at the Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace, one of eight Royal Palaces in the country. This one is not a residential palace, but a ceremonial one, really the Sultanís office. The modern, impressive building dates from 1970 but sits between two 16th century Portuguese fortresses, presenting an apt image for this modernizing, yet traditional country and city.

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