5 Days in Muscat - Rent a Car?

Old Dec 3, 17, 11:59 am
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Formerly known as Stephenk19
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5 Days in Muscat - Rent a Car?

Hi FT,

Wife and I will be in Muscat for five days over year end. We are curious if anyone has any recommendations for renting a car versus taking taxis / day tours to some of the areas outside of Muscat such as Hajar Mountains and Wadi Ash Shab. Anyone have experience doing these things one way or the other?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 3, 17, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Steve_19 View Post
Hi FT,

Wife and I will be in Muscat for five days over year end. We are curious if anyone has any recommendations for renting a car versus taking taxis / day tours to some of the areas outside of Muscat such as Hajar Mountains and Wadi Ash Shab. Anyone have experience doing these things one way or the other?

Thanks!

As long as you are comfortable driving there, rent a car. It makes life easier, gives you more freedom, and i reckon it will be significantly cheaper than taking taxis and tours. Rental isn't expensive unless you go for something big and flashy, and the roads are (generally) very good. Shop around online, and for peace of mind it might be an idea to take out a separate annual policy elsewhere to cover yourself against the excess charges for damage/collision etc on this and subsequent rentals.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 12:53 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
As long as you are comfortable driving there, rent a car. It makes life easier, gives you more freedom, and i reckon it will be significantly cheaper than taking taxis and tours. Rental isn't expensive unless you go for something big and flashy, and the roads are (generally) very good. Shop around online, and for peace of mind it might be an idea to take out a separate annual policy elsewhere to cover yourself against the excess charges for damage/collision etc on this and subsequent rentals.
Thanks for the advice!
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Old Dec 16, 17, 7:42 am
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You mostly need a car to get around Muscat and Oman in general; while taxis are available, it's much easier with a car.

The roads are either excellent modern paved road, or well-graded dirt road. Most every more important road nearer Muscat has been upgraded to the paved standards. Local driving standards are OK; not nearly as good as Germany, probably about as bad as Belgians or enthusiastic Italians. Beware of the speed cameras on the main highways; there are many, they are not made to be seen, and the fines are high. Everyone sticks near the speed limit on the main roads. On the secondary roads, the speed limits are in the 90km/h range but the locals drive in the 140km/h range, there are few cameras.

Parking in central areas of Muscat is not great, but you can usually find a space. Parking by the Muttrah souk is OK except on Friday evenings and generally around prayer times, as the roads fill up with cars parked to go to the large mosque next door. So, same as any mosque in the world

Petrol is extremely cheap; petrol stations are invariably full service. The attendants understand "fill up please" just fine. There is a good density of petrol stations, but they often only sell petrol - even if there is a building that looks like a snack shop and toilet, it may be empty and closed. Buy food and drink at supermarkets in towns and villages instead.
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