When in Muscat, never ever miss the beautiful three-kilometer stretch along the harbor, the Muttrah Corniche. It offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Oman, the Hajjar Mountains, the traditional Omani architecture, and the lovely fortresses popping out from Muttrah’s skyline.
Start your stroll at the northern tip of the corniche–the fish market, and get the fresh catch of the day. Also along this area are small hotels and museums. The old, white buildings are a stark contrast from its greyish-brown rocky background while these little golden-domed gazebos blend beautifully and at the same time add elegance.
The intricately patterned dome of Al Lawatiya Mosque looks pretty from afar and overwhelmingly gorgeous when viewed up close. Its nice design was inviting me to check out its interiors but unfortunately, it is not open to non-Muslims.
Further is the Mutrah Souk, one of the oldest markets in the Middle East. Although it resembles Dubai’s traditional souqs, it’s still a nice experience to get lost in its charming alleys. Traditional items like Omani dresses, khanjars, frankincense, pieces of furniture and jewelry are all available here. There’s a view deck before the entrance where you can get a nice view of the Gulf of Oman.
There are a few interesting (and quite weird) fish and dolphin sculptures dotting the corniche. I guess to emphasize the ties between the locality and the sea.
The historic Muttrah Fort is not to be missed.
The concrete wave barrier is like a huge art installation.
We passed by a few small parks on the other side of the road. Perfect spot to take a short break from walking. Yay, reminds me a lot of my day job!
Along the corniche, a white structure
that sort of looks like the inspiration of UAE’s Etisalat buildings stands out. The Frankincense Burner Monument in Al Riyam Park is one of the most prominent structures along the Muttrah skyline. I’m sure that from up there you can get a good view of the city but we did not bother go up there as it looks like it’s not open to the public and it’s gonna be a hell of a climb!
The crystal clear water was luring me to jump and
swim take a dip! I almost forgot that I don’t know how to swim, heh.
The design of the sea wall depicts the way of living and history of the country, from its fishing culture to its ancient civilizations.
All throughout the trip, I kept on remarking about the stunning backdrop the silhouette of the Hajjar Mountains offers. Isn’t it drop dead gorgeous?
Check out the rest of my Muscat Series: