Muscat, Oman’s port capital, sits on the Gulf of Oman surrounded by mountains and desert. With history dating back to antiquity, it mixes high-rises and upscale shopping malls with clifftop landmarks such as the 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, looming over Muscat Harbor. Its modern, marble-clad Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, with 50m dome and prodigious Persian carpet, can accommodate 20,000 people. (Google)
Muscat is the capital of Oman and the country's largest city. The city referred to as "Muscat" is in fact three smaller towns which have grown together over time. They are: 1) Muscat - often referred to as the "walled city", Muscat proper is the site of the royal palaces. 2) Matrah (Matruh) - originally a fishing village, and home to the maze-like Matrah Souq. 3) Ruwi - generally considered the commercial and diplomatic centre of the city. This tripartite division will sometimes cause the visitor an inconvenience, as distances between sites can be very long.
As an alternative to these three areas there is plently of places to go and things to see along the main highway that heads North East out of these areas. This main road, The Sultan Qaboos Highway, goes past many areas on its way out to the Airport and further still to Seeb, Sohar and eventually the northern most tip of Oman. Heading along this road you pass the districts of Qurum, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Al Khuwair, Bausher, Al-Hail and Seeb. Each one has a range of sights to see and places to stay. There is also a very long beach road from Qurum to Seeb, some 50km. Situated along this are some of the large international hotel chains but more importantly you discover the true beauty of the Oman coast-line. Km's of beaches, fisherman with drag nets and open space to walk for hours. (Wikitravel)