Visit Muscat: the vibrant and cultured capital of Oman
Visit Muscat with kids and expect to be amazed by the extraordinary capital of Oman. A bustling port city celebrated for its hospitality, stunning architecture, rich culture, silk bazaars and souks. It’s a great for beach holidays and a brilliant base for desert adventures.
Why you should visit Muscat with kids?
The Grand Mosque, built by Sultan Qaboos in the late 1990s, is one of the city’s most popular attractions, but there are plenty of others. Don’t miss the Al-Mirani Fort and Bait Al Zubair Museum. The Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace is another must-see. And Al-Riyam Park will wow kids with its enormous white frankincense burner.
Children love the drama of the kaleidoscopic underwater world or playing on Oman’s beautiful beaches. A little further afield, the former capital city of Nizwa is fantastic on a Friday. This is market day and the surrounding population turn out to sell their wares and livestock.
When is the best time of year to visit Muscat?
The best time to visit Muscat is between September and May when temperatures are warm to hot and you can take kids exploring in comfort. Like neighbouring Dubai, Oman is at its hottest in June, July and August so that’s probably best avoided for holidays with kids. Whenever you visit, don’t count on wet weather. Rainfall varies from region to region, but stays low year round.
Visit Muscat for luxury family hotels
The vast Shangri-La Barr al Jissah is really three hotels rolled into one luxury mega-resort. It sits beside a 600m private beach and for families, the best choice is the unfussy Al Waha section. A complex of interconnecting shallow pools and a lazy river means kids can let off steam, that’s when they’re not in the kids’ club or resort dive club.
Al Bustan Palace Hotel sits in an oasis between the beach and mountains, and looks like a Sultan’s palace from the Arabian Nights. Its opalescent dome, turrets and archways shimmer at night as searchlights criss-cross starry skies. The lobby’s cavernous too, but despite the grandeur service is exceptionally friendly and there’s a fine selection of kid friendly restaurants.
The Chedi is Muscat’s boutique beauty. If kids prefer pools to beaches, then this is the one for them. It’s also ideal if you prefer to create your own activities rather than enrol children in clubs. Great for foodies too, The Chedi’s nine restaurants range from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern to Asian or barefoot and beachy. The hotel has three pools as well as Muscat’s largest health club, and a luxurious spa with a menu of Balinese and Ayurveda therapies.
How to plan a family holiday in Muscat
Muscat is the port capital of Oman and sits on the Gulf of Oman surrounded by mountains and desert.
How to get there
Direct UK flights to Oman take from seven hours, a four-hour time difference means jet lag is minimal.