Muscat has been an important port since the first century A.D., and its history is layered with the influences of indigenous tribes as well as the Abassid, Portuguese, Ottoman, and Persians who once ruled Oman. Today, Muscat is still a multicultural hub and you will get acquainted with it during our exploration, starting with the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Oman’s national mosque. Its giant prayer hall can hold 6,500 worshippers, and is illuminated by the world’s largest chandelier. Next we explore the famous Mutrah Souk, a sprawling labyrinth of shops and arcades where you can hunt for old khanjar daggers, silverware, Bedu jewelry, and yes, even frankincense, gold, and myrrh. More treasures await at the private Beit al Zubair Museum, whose collections include ethnographic artifacts, an exhibit of traditional Omani female attire, furniture, maps, and more.
As we depart, we’ll pause for a photo stop outside the stately Al Alam Palace, a royal residence of the ruling Sultan Qaboos. If you are wondering what it’s like to live in Oman, you’ll find out this afternoon when we meet with an Omani woman who shares her perspective on family life, native customs, and the changing role of women in contemporary Oman.
Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner