Araimi | Al
Harthy complex | Zakher
Muscat has come a long way from the simple old souks to the bustling , ultra modern shopping complexes that have sprung up in the city in recent times. The Capital area has a number of shopping malls, mostly situated in Qurum at the split of the main highway, and in the Al Khuwair area facing the Government ministries. Local produce in the super markets is reasonably priced and of a good standard. There are many furniture shops selling Western style furniture, handicraft shops,and a few galleries which renovate and customise antique Middle Eastern and Indian furniture.
All the shopping malls are fully air-conditioned,brightly
lit and cleaned round the clock, have their own mix of shops and showrooms,
car parks, cafes and food courts and play areas for children.
A popular meeting place and great find for the latest
in European and International fashion and accessories. Home to brand names
like JC Penny, Giordano, Mexx, Versace, Bata of Italy, Rolex, Kenwood,
Bose, Bosch, Carlton Cards and Acer. Also houses shops dealing in Music,
Electronics, Perfumes, Art, Crystalware, Footwear, Sports Gear, Gifts,
Greeting Cards, Furniture.Burger King and Golden Gate help in stemming
the hunger pangs of shoppers.
Location : Qurm
Easily recognisable by its uniqe design which features
a star filled dome, the Al Harthy Complex has spacious floors of shopping
with over 100 retail shops. From textiles, antiques, perfumes, children's
toys and games, fashion and beauty products, computer accessories, and
watches to books, greeting cards and flowers, everything is available
at the complex. Raymond Weil, Hallmark cards, Ouiset, Bally, Xerox are
some of the brands that grace the shops.With a video and amusement arcade,the
laser game Q-zar and Sindbad's play city, the complex is a hot favourite
with children. For lunch or a snack one can step into Kargeen Coffee Shop,
or stop by for a bite at Burger King.
Location : Al Khuwair
Away from the busy Qurum and Ruwi areas,this mall
houses shops selling the latest music tapes and CDs, Clothes, sporting
and diving equipment,a greeting card shop, an internet cafe, and Al Fair
supermarket. The mall has a separate food court and includes restaurants
like Cafe Glacier, Muscateers, Iranian restaurant and Pizza land.
Location : Shatti Al Qurum
Located in the exclusive Shatti Al Qurum area and close to the beach and the Muscat Intercontinental, the Grand Hyatt and the Sheraton Qurum Beach Resort. The centre has a Baskin Robbins, Coffee shop and a physiotherapy clinic. Outside is a small amusement park for kids.
Location : Qurum
CCC is a supermarket (Prisunic) and a mall combined. Just outside are Fuddruckers, Bollywood Chaat, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Baskin Robbins and Subway. The mall has shops that sell music, shoes, electronics,jewellery, carpets, clothes, lingerie, perfumes and photography equipment. The mall also houses a small souk from where one can pick up a wide range of leather goods, trinkets, omani handicrafts and Omani silver handicrafts. Pass by the Belgian coffee shop, Glacier, for a good cup of coffee.
Location :Ruwi, Qurum, Mattrah, Seeb, Salalah.
The Capital Stores, located near Sabco is another store popular for its range of upmarket brands like Christian Dior, EtieneAigner, Kenzo, Burberrys, Lacoste, Escada, Davidoff, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gautier, Van Cleef, Christofle silverware, St.Dupont bags, Pierre Clarence men's wear, Polaroid cameras.
The Khimji's Megastore which has the country's largest retail and wholesale distribution network is a virtual who's who of renowned brand names like Chanel, Jaeger, Paco, Rabanne, Nina Ricci, Jean Patou, Rochas, Ungaro, Cartier, Caron, Roger and Gallet, Tabac Original, Rayban, Cross, Moulinex, Sheaffer, Nikon, Noritake, Edinburg crystal, Fissler and Samsonite.It has an exclusive watches section which includes brands like Rolex, Cartier, IWC, Oris, Piaget, Gerald Genta, Chanel,Tudor and Chopard.
Location : Qurum
Also in the Qurum shopping district Al Khamis Plaza is a bustling shopping centre of trendy fashion boutiques, exclusive fashion jewellery, designer apparel shops like Lanvin and Givenchy and branded sunglasses like Police, Cartier and Carerra.The Plaza also features music and computer shops and a coffee shop.
Location : Near Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos traffic
City Plaza which is a relatively new entrant to the shopping scene, features Baby Shop, Shoe City, Splash, Lifestyle and Sports 4 All. It has a children's play area and a prayer room for Muslim customers. On the First Floor, a variety of household items, decorative items, artificial flowers and plants and furniture can be found.
Location : Al Qurum
Centrally located at the highway split in Qurum, Sabco has been in operation for more than 15 years making it one of the longest established shopping malls in Oman.The centre has multiple retail outlets and a traditional souq.The souq has 27 walk in shops that sell silver jewellery,handicrafts and clothes.
SABCO's own outlets: Godiva-a specialist gourmet and Belgian chocolate manufacturer, Muscat Beauty Salon, The Flower shop, and Oman Perfumery (the premier retail outlet of Amouage, Oman's own contribution to olfactory sensations and called the most valuable perfume in the world). The centre houses famous brand names of clothes, accessories, specialist music, beauty products and electronic items. It also has a coffee shop offering a variety of blended coffees and sandwiches - The Sabco Cafe.The Golden Arcade at the entrance of the complex provides laundry services exclusive leather goods, money exchange, watches and The Body Shop provides a range of cosmetics and perfumes.The Flower Shop is a one-of-its kind in the city providing an exciting range of fresh and dried flowers.
Location : Shati Al Qurum
Located in the exclusive Shatti Al Qurum area and close to the beach and the Muscat Intercontinental, the Grand Hyatt and the Sheraton Qurum Beach Resort. It has a variety of outlets selling items like crystal ware, toys and gift and handicrafts. The Oman Heritage Gallery showcases Omani locally produced crafts and gift items. Restaurants include D'Arcy's Kitchen, O Sole Mio and Pizza Land are found in the ground floor.
Location : Seeb
Muscat City Centre, the first 'super-mall' in Oman. Covering 44,000 square meters, and with 1,500 parking spaces, It features a Carrefour hypermarket - another first for the Sultanate - a food court, entertainment, and a vast array of shops.
Bait Al Zubair
Bait Muzna Gallery
Marine Science & Fisheries Centre
Natural History Museum
Omani French Museum
Sohar Fort Museum
The Sultan's Armed Forces Museum
There is no doubt that Oman is lined with some stunning beaches. With over 1600 km (1000 miles) of coastline, much of it accessible, there is just about any activity the average beach goer can find from sunning, swimming, diving, snorkeling, boating, surfing and sail boarding, beach combing and shell collecting. In the Muscat area several major hotels are on beach front property.
Just off the suburb of Shatti al Qurm is' The Intercon Beach' facing the Muscat Intercontinental Hotel. This beach is ideal for family outings, morning walks or a jog in evening. Its not uncommon to find local Omanis playing pick-up games of football (soccer) in the breakers at low tide. You will find restaurants, snack bars and cafes along the beach as well as local dive operators. The Intercon beach extends two km to the Crowne Plaza hotel. At the Qurum beach entrance barbecuing is allowed on the beach. You might find local youth singing in groups late into the evening
Close to Al Bustan is the road to Qantab beach and Bandar Jissah beach. At Qantab local fishermen will offer to take you fishing while at Bandar Jissah the view of the rocky coastline is fabulous. Just beyond Bandar Jissah is the Oman Dive Centre where you can arrange diving excursions and take courses (PADI instruction).
From the Al Hamriyah roundabout near Ruwi is the road to Yitti beach. This drive on a single causeway road through hilly terrain will lead to a fishing village with winding dirt track that lead to the beach through a long shallow cove. At the beach fishermen are busy at work. There is ample room for any kind of beach activity. You can wade in the shallows or investigate the shell encrusted outcrops along the shore.
If you would like to spend more time investigating Oman's beaches, rent yourself a four wheel drive and head southeast down the coast beyond Quriyat. After Dibab there are a variety of beaches between rocky outcrops, the most prominent being Mokallah (also known as White Beach). This spot is very popular for overnight camping on the shore. Here the snorkeling is excellent.
About an hour west from Muscat is the popular Al Sawadi Beach Resort, an ideal weekend getaway. For aqua sports enthusiasts, the resort offers dives, snorkeling speedboat rides, water scooters, temperature controlled swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
360 km from Muscat is the beach at Ra's Al Junayz where you can spend a night watching Oman's green back turtles nesting almost any time of the year.