Muscat arrivals

Reply

Old Dec 31, 17, 6:08 am
  #16  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 325
Originally Posted by TedToToe View Post
SteveF, simons1 and TheFlyingCyclist, many thanks for your replies. It does sound like our type of holiday and will be going onto our 'to do' list.
Is it possible/easy/inexpensive to get around without a car? Or would hiring one be almost essential for anyone who doesn't just want to sit in a hotel or on the beach the whole time?
LordBuckethead is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 8:05 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 82
There is hardly any public transport in Oman. You need a car (preferably a 4x4). You can drive yourself or hire one with a driver. Oman is a rather expensive country by the way. As for it becoming a new Dubai: won't happen as long as the present sultan is in charge.
pepe C is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 8:28 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Surrey
Programs: BAEC - Silver
Posts: 388
Yes youíll need a car - as above a 4x4 to get to the best bits. The roads are very easy to navigate as long as you have a basic idea of where you are going. All the road signs are in English and Arabic. The road up to the Jebel Akdar is 4x4 only; itís nowhere near as hairy as roads Iíve driven a Polo up in the Alps though. The roads are safe and generally empty outside of Muscat. We paid £260 for a Toyota Fortuner 4x4 for 8 days in december from Dollar. It was woefully under-powered but fine. Cost about £25 to fill up and it has a big tank.
TheFlyingCyclist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 9:18 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: NCL
Programs: BAEC and Hilton mostly
Posts: 249
Muscat is a great place for a holiday (not too hot Nov-Mar) - we were there last month. Would hire a car another time, this time we got a 4x4 with driver and guide (yes, 2 people) for a trip to Nizwa and Jebel Shams.
Arrivals not too bad, as described above, but departures was a disorganised mess - second full security check at the gate which caused a massive backup and no sign of any planned bus boarding - hope the new terminal will be better!
Tocsin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 9:42 am
  #20  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 37,690
A car certainly helps get around, however if you are staying near Muscat centre, perhaps on a resort hotel, and happy just to make occasional forays into the centre of Muscat, then it's OK to just hire taxis, they are inexpensive, a few dollars each way. Hotel taxis will be a lot more expensive of course. The Mutrah souq, Corniche and Marina area is all pretty walkable. It's the bit in between that's problematic - if you're staying at a hotel, don't like the food there and/or want to eat out a bit and your hotel isn't near anywhere interesting. So careful hotel choice makes sense.
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 9:52 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Surrey
Programs: BAEC - Silver
Posts: 388
Ah yes - as above, the second security check at the gate caught a lot of people out. Confiscated water bottles (purchased in departures) everywhere... Also the signage in departures was a joke and the TV screens showing departures were all broken...

We were a bit surprised that you couldnít wander to a choice of nearby restaurants in Muscat - the place is designed entirely around the car with few pavements that actually go anywhere.
TheFlyingCyclist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 10:58 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ayrshire
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, IHG Spire Ambassador, HH Diamond, Scandic Top Floor
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
A car certainly helps get around, however if you are staying near Muscat centre, perhaps on a resort hotel, and happy just to make occasional forays into the centre of Muscat, then it's OK to just hire taxis, they are inexpensive, a few dollars each way. Hotel taxis will be a lot more expensive of course. The Mutrah souq, Corniche and Marina area is all pretty walkable. It's the bit in between that's problematic - if you're staying at a hotel, don't like the food there and/or want to eat out a bit and your hotel isn't near anywhere interesting. So careful hotel choice makes sense.
Hi CWS,

Mrs DtB and I are going in March for the first time to Muscat (6 nights/7 days), I hadn't planned to rent a car as we usually just stay by pool or beach, we were considering either CP or IC (have a stack of IHG points) would you recommend either one of these over the other ? We would like to eat in different restaurants each night rather than the hotel if that makes a difference as to where to stay.

Thanks DtB
Down the back is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 11:04 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Montreux CH
Programs: FB Platinum, M&M FTL, BA Blue
Posts: 7,212
There actually is a local bus service in Muscat which is cheap, dependable and easy to use. There are three price zones. I used these buses the whole time I was in Muscat.
Concerto is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 11:38 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
A car certainly helps get around, however if you are staying near Muscat centre, perhaps on a resort hotel, and happy just to make occasional forays into the centre of Muscat, then it's OK to just hire taxis, they are inexpensive, a few dollars each way. Hotel taxis will be a lot more expensive of course. The Mutrah souq, Corniche and Marina area is all pretty walkable. It's the bit in between that's problematic - if you're staying at a hotel, don't like the food there and/or want to eat out a bit and your hotel isn't near anywhere interesting. So careful hotel choice makes sense.
Are there hotels in Mutrah or Old Muscat?
We stayed the first few nights in Ruwi. At first sight not a very attractive part of the city, but very lively and lots of great Indian restaurants in walking distance.
pepe C is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 12:25 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Programs: BA GGL, BA CCR, Honors Diamond, Accor Gold, MR Plat Elite
Posts: 439
The evisa site https://evisa.rop.gov.om/voa can be unstable. I couldn't get it to issue the visa using Chrome or Firefox, it worked sometimes in Internet Explorer and once in Safari from an iPad. If you can get it online, you save time and you can pay using credit card (although it didn't like some of mine). The VoA counters are hit and miss with credit card. My experience is miss, others in my group were hit. If you can't get it online be prepared with some cash.
rjn21 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 12:39 pm
  #26  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 38,756
Originally Posted by rjn21 View Post
The evisa site https://evisa.rop.gov.om/voa can be unstable. I couldn't get it to issue the visa using Chrome or Firefox, it worked sometimes in Internet Explorer and once in Safari from an iPad. If you can get it online, you save time and you can pay using credit card (although it didn't like some of mine). The VoA counters are hit and miss with credit card. My experience is miss, others in my group were hit. If you can't get it online be prepared with some cash.
worked every time with no issue in IE for me
Dave Noble is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 1:18 pm
  #27  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 37,690
Originally Posted by pepe C View Post
Are there hotels in Mutrah or Old Muscat?
We stayed the first few nights in Ruwi. At first sight not a very attractive part of the city, but very lively and lots of great Indian restaurants in walking distance.
There are some places in Mutrah, both hotels and self catering flats, but they cater predominately for out of town Omani visitors and not usually used by visiting Westerners. The Sheraton is 2 or 3 miles away, that is a good hotel, particularly for business visitors and very well run, but it isn't on the beach. Still, there are plenty of families that go there.

Originally Posted by Down the back View Post
Mrs DtB and I are going in March for the first time to Muscat (6 nights/7 days), I hadn't planned to rent a car as we usually just stay by pool or beach, we were considering either CP or IC (have a stack of IHG points) would you recommend either one of these over the other ? We would like to eat in different restaurants each night rather than the hotel if that makes a difference as to where to stay.
Personally I would go for the Crowne Plaza, these two hotels straddle the old mango creek but the CP in on the low cliffs at Qurm and many rooms have great views over the sea and over Muscat. So a good room with a balcony and a view is absolutely worthwhile there. If you are there for a few days I would be prepared to be a bit picky and perhaps ask for another room if the view wasn't too good in the first option they give you. Those rooms looking over the tennis courts can be good though there are other options. It was the first hotel I stayed in Muscat - rather a long time ago - so I'm a bit attached to it. Airline crews use it too.... It has its own rather good beach down the cliff, but there are fairly stiff steps going down to it so it's perhaps not best for the young or those with mobility issues. It has its own bus service to Mutrah and there is a street of mixed restaurants by Qurm park about 15 minutes walk away, Baba Salem is a Turkish one there with outdoor seating. The IC is nevertheless a solid alternative, and benefits from more restaurants in the immediate area, probably about a dozen or so. Their beach isn't quite as good as the CP, still perfectly good and easier to reach. IC has the better food reputation of the two. Neither hotel needs a car particularly, if you're ok being based at the hotel and spending the odd tenner on taxis.
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 2:02 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brighton, UK
Programs: BA Gold, IC Ambassador, HH Gold, SPG Gold, Fairmont Platinum
Posts: 3,153
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
You can save having to queue for a visa by ordering one online in advance. Still costs OMR20 and just need a scan of a photo and scan of passport page and easily done in advance. Just go to https://evisa.rop.gov.om/ , create an account and apply
If you have a valid reason, you can also get a proper visa stamped in your passport in advance. Suffice to say this is very difficult, but I achieved it a number of years ago. You get to use the diplomatic queue, which is most likely empty.
FrancisA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 17, 2:28 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Flatland
Programs: AA EP 1MM, BA Gold, UA Peon
Posts: 5,173
I also recommend the Crowne Plaza, good for both beach/pool hotel based stays and as a base for the coast and the northern interior of the country. I recommend getting a car for a longer stay, sights are much easier to get to if you self drive. Day trips to the mountains, interior towns with castles, etc, are all quite plausible. For example Niswa fort is two hours or so drive away. For a day or two, taxis, feet and the CP shuttle will get you about.
flatlander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 18, 3:52 pm
  #30  
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London Stratford, E7
Programs: BAEC Gold! Thanks to FT
Posts: 1,792
Now the BA flight arrives in the morning not sure if the queues are quieter. In the evening you would have got Lufthansa, Swiss, BA and a Qatar flight arrive within an hour or so.. I flew Swiss from Dubai after stopping over for 3 days. If you have a visa or entry permit for any of the other GCC states and are coming from there you don’t need an Omani visa on arrival if your stay is less than 15 days you just go straight to immigration. Being one of the last bags loaded in Dubai and one of the First off in Muscat and not having to queue for a visa I was airside within 10 minutes.
KeaneJohn is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread