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Exploring Oman - Mountains, Deserts, and Forts
Part of the Al Hajar Mountain range and is one of Oman's most spectacular areas. Translated to "The Green Mountain" it rises to a height of 2,980 metres and is famous for it's wide plateau close to the summit. The journey from Muscat to Jebel Akhdar takes about two hours and can only be undertaken by four-wheel drive.
Not far from the beaches of Muscat with its harmonious architecture, and within walking distance of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the heart of the capital, visitors will find golden hills packed with drivers who enjoy sand-duning with their SUVs, or those who enjoy gliding on the sand bikes that are easy to rent in this area. Many visitors like to climb the hills to watch the sunset bidding farewell to Muscat, with its white-washed buildings surrounded by fresh greenery on those beautiful hills.
Al Jalali Fort
Al Jalali Fort lies in old Muscat and overlooks the Sea of Oman. It is also known as the Ash Sharqiya Fort. Some say that the origin of the fort’s name is "Al Jalal", meaning "great beauty", while others say the name is that of the Persian leader “Jalal Shah".
Bahla Fort lies in Wilayt Bahla in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate. Since 1987, its name has been included in the World Heritage Sites List. Bahla Fort includes: Bahla Oasis with its traditional souks, old alleys, ancient mosques, and its wall that extends over a distance of approximately 13 kilometres and whose construction dates back to the pre-Islamic era.
Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace
Guarded by the twin forts of Jalali and Mirani, this is the office of Sultan Qaboos, the ruler of Oman. This beautiful palace stands on the head of a natural deep water harbor. Visitors are not allowed to visit the palace, but they are allowed to take photographs at the entrance of the palace.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
This is the third largest mosque in the world and mostly the entire complex is open to non-Muslim visitors. Non-Muslims may visit from 8AM to 11AM every day except Thursday and Friday. Ladies are however expected to keep their heads, ankles and wrists covered while visiting the mosque. Must sees in the mosque include the Swarovski crystal chandelier, the second largest hand made persian carpet in the world and the marble panelling.
Bait az-Zubair Museum
The museum itself features displays on Omani social history, while tours are frequently run of the neighbouring reconstructed townhouse.
Qurum Natural Park
Muscat also has a large number of small and large parks, the largest being the Qurum Natural Park or rose gardens which include a large manmade waterfall, a lake and an amusement park which is a must to visit during the Muscat festival.
Malls and Shopping
In the heart of the city, a tall arch frames the entrance to Muttrah Souq, the oldest and by far the most well known in Oman. The Souq is a shoppers' delight offering anything from wallets for RO 1 to antique khanjars for RO 1,000. Frankincense, silverware, antiques and garments are most sought after items.
Al Araimi Complex
Al Araimi Complex is a popular shopping destination in Qurum that continues to be a major draw for leisure-seekers attracted by the selection of international consumer, lifestyle and luxury brands that have opened exclusive or multi-brand showrooms at the complex. Adding to its appeal are popular food joints, chic eateries, banks, ample free parking ample that can accommodate up to 1,100 vehicles and other conveniences.
Muscat City Centre
Muscat City Centre is famous as the place where ‘lifestyled by’. With over 147 stores to lose yourself in, Muscat City Centre is the ultimate destination for fashion and lifestyle shoppers. Our wide array of mid-market popular fashion shops, an extensive selection of electronics stores, dedicated Jewellery shops and Fashion Avenue, plus our hypermarket, Carrefour, will all leave you spoilt for choice!
Muscat Grand Mall
With more than 150 retail stores, one end of the mall boasts a modern department store and the other a traditional Arabic souk, with a landscaped oasis in the middle. The 30 outlets family-friendly food court is near the entertainment arcade offering electronic games, rides and 3 cinemas. The upper level provides a spectacular view of the sea. A supermarket and various service outlets are located on the ground floor, with convenient access to the large 1,800 bay parking lot.
Golf in Muscat
Muscat Hills Golf & Country Club
This is Oman's first 18-hole Par 72 PGA-standard championship golf course. The development is built into its own unique precinct of rugged hills, allowing for a challenging mountain golf course to be crafted into the topography, with views over the sprawling greenery and Arabian Sea. Muscat Hills is truly a world class facility like no other. The site has the luxury of accessibility, but also has the coveted feature of being private, making it an enviable playground for both residents and visitors alike.
Al Mouj Golf, The Wave
Following the natural lines of Muscat's pristine coastline, Almouj Golf at The Wave, Muscat is a links style course offering amateurs and professionals alike a challenging, yet rewarding, round of golf. Running alongside a six-kilometre stretch of white beach, it is a 7,342-yard course of lush green grass peppered with bunkers, water hazards and natural dunes.
Ghala Valley Golf Club
Ghala Valley Golf Club is unique in the Middle East. Built into a natural wadi (dried up river bed) it follows its course through a beautiful setting of mountainous backdrops and spectacular sea views. Originally created as a sand course in 1971, Ghala Valley Golf Club opened the first nine holes of its new grass course in December 2010 and the back nine will be completed in 2012. Although a members club, it is open to the general public subject to prior booking.