Muscat Warnings and Dangers
Nestled in the deep valleys of the rugged Al Hajar mountains and framed by the Gulf of Oman along it’s northern coastline, the port capital city of Oman, Muscat, lures tourists with it’s charming array of mosques, castles and towers, luxury hotels, and expansive beaches. Still there are warnings to heed and dangers to avoid in order to stay safe while enjoying Muscat.
Dress Appropriately for Muscat Culture
It’s important to respect the Omanis‘ Islamic culture, so don’t wear anything that’s considered revealing including mini skirts for women and shorts for men. To be safe, keep your legs covered. Women don’t have to wear headscarves unless visiting a mosque like Sultan Qaboos’ Grand Mosque.
Taking Pictures in Muscat
Though tempting to capture Muscat’s impressive architecture on camera, it’s strictly forbidden to photograph embassies and restricted places like military facilities. Guards can confiscate your camera if you do. However, you can take pictures outside the entrance of the Al Alam Palace – office of Sultan Qaboos.
Also, ask permission before taking photos of the Muscat people. The men will usually allow you to take their pictures, but because of their religious beliefs, the women will not.
Taxis, Driving Around Muscat
With no trains in Muscat, you may have to use a taxi to get around. If so, use an English-speaking driver, and agree on a price for the trip before taking off. Also ask him if he has enough fuel for the ride as the drivers are known to stop at a gas station to fill up and ask their riders to pay for it in addition to the already agreed upon fare.
Use extreme caution when driving on the winding and narrow roads of the hilly Muscat landscape. Many Omanis speed, especially around the curves, and try overtaking the car in front of them. They flash their lights and honk while riding close to the back of the car trying to get the driver to move over. Just let them pass; it’s not worth a dangerous car accident.
Remember Your Water
Muscat is known for its lovely beaches, and with its Mediterranean climate, it is very hot. Remember to bring your own water as some beaches, like Al Qurum Beach, don’t have facilities that provide drinking water. To be safe, stay close to places where you can buy something to drink when you need to.
Changing Money in Muscat
If you need to change money, you will get a much better rate from the money changers in the Muttah Souq than you would from a hotel or bank. Just be pleasant and friendly when bargaining with them.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tips on warnings and dangers in Muscat.
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