Weekend Getaway: Muscat, Oman

This last week we were in Dubai for the Arab Health Exhibition. This tradeshow is fast becoming the worlds largest tradeshow and exhibition in the healthcare industry. Before Arab Health started, The Husband and I decided to do a side trip to Oman for 2 days the weekend before Arab Health started.

When we were living in Toronto, we loved to go for weekend getaways and going on road trips. This is one of the things we both missed after our move to Kuwait! For those of y’all who don’t know, Kuwait’s borders are Saudi, Iraq, and the Arabian Gulf! Going from one end of Kuwait to the other only takes about 2 hours so road tripping is not ideal.

When The Husband brought up this idea, I jumped on it! We decided not to fly into Muscat, but have an adventure and drive to Muscat from Dubai. Doing the drive from Dubai to Muscat was such a wonderful experience! We were able to enjoy seeing the beautiful sand, mountains, and greenery! I was amazed and couldn’t stop comparing it to Kuwait because we only have flat dry land all around us!

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We picked up our car from the airport and started our journey around 9 AM and so we started driving, usually when we do these road trips, we stock up on snacks, water, and The Husband always has a big cup of coffee with him! We were not able to do this but an hour into our drive we found a gas station, but no coffee shops or fast food places that sell coffee! (We’ve gotten so spoiled by the service stations in Canada!) We stocked up at the gas station and started the journey! About halfway through our journey, these gigantic tall brown mountains that looked like dirt came up to our left and right and I could feel my ears popping as we rolled up the mountain and then came down!

Mountains popping up

Mountains popping up

Once we entered Oman, it was like we were in a different realm! There were flowers, trees, and grass everywhere! I saw farming and greenery all around me! I couldn’t help but think of how the Israelite’s felt when they were walking in the desert for many years and finally came across to the promised land.  The natural beauty of the country astounded me!

We reached Muscat around 4 and we were dead tired! We hadn’t slept the previous night because our flight was at 3:45 AM from Kuwait to Dubai, so we took a 45 minute nap at our hotel before meeting our friends. Now starts our Muscat adventures!

Our friends took us to the Muscat Festival – this is a yearly celebration that happens with lots of traditional music, dancing, food, rides, games, and stalls that sold clothes, shoes, jewelry, knickknacks, etc. We drove in right when the fireworks were going on and I was so impressed! They did such an amazing job and I have to say it was one of my most favorite and best fireworks shows that I have seen! During the festival we came across a stand where a man was stirring a huge pot, we were told by our friends that he was making the traditional Omani Halwa. I never realized halwa was made outside India, and I’ve never eaten halwa right when it’s been made. This halwa was so soft that it just melted into my mouth. I couldn’t eat more than 2 small bites because the flavor was so rich and bold, but it was great to taste the “Pride of Oman” made by a local!

fireworks

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The next day, our friends took us on a boat ride around the beach and the water was so clear and beautiful! The water was a bit choppy so we were jumping at times and it was AMAZING! I loved feeling the wind blowing through my hair and feeling the splash of the water!

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We were able to take a stroll around the old palace of the Sultan of Oman! It’s so colorful and majestic! It would have been even better if we could take a tour of the inside! I love seeing glimpses of the life of how people live, their surroundings, etc.

*Some of these pictures were taken by my friend on his super fabulous camera*

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We were also able to visit oldest souk in Oman – Muttrah Souk, which was a narrow traditional souq with lots of little shops that sold perfumes, spices, coffee pots, abaya’s, and all sorts of things you could only imagine!! The Husband kept going into the shops to buy a Sword, but thankfully I was able to dissuade him!

Restaurants visited:

Thursday Night

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Fried rice, Crispy Fried Noodles in chicken, Beef and Broccoli, Mixed Lo Mein, Coriander rice and chicken, another chicken dish (This picture was taken by my friend and I stole it because I forgot to take pictures)

Great Indian Chinese place and something we do not get in Kuwait! So this was such a great treat!

Friday

Lunch: Turkish House – Don’t think kebabs and shish kebabs, but think fresh seafood that is prepared to perfection!

Mezze, Fish, and Shrimp

Mezze, Fish, and Shrimp

 

Dinner: This was a struggle because it was late night and so many places close early, we finally went to an area and found a Crepe place that was open. This faces the sea and the view would have been amazing if it were light out..

We also went to Trader Vicks by the Intercontinental hotel to enjoy some music and dancing!

Saturday brunch

D’Arcy – great place to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and have a delicious brunch! All that was missing were the Mimosa’s!

We only had 48 hours in Muscat, but the best part was just relaxing and being with our friends. They were such wonderful hosts and we had an amazing time because of them!

All in all, I really hope to visit Oman again and see more sites or even to just go and relax! I loved the energy and feel of the people and life in Oman! The scenery is breathtaking, with the mountains following you wherever you go. One interesting fact I found out was the ruler of Oman doesn’t like tall buildings so nothing is more than 9 floors. There is modernization, but with old world charm all mixed in! If we had more time, I would have liked to go on a hike or off-roading.

 

 

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