Studying in Muscat offers you an experience you will never forget! The city of Muscat, with a population of approximately 850,000, prides itself on combining a distinctly Middle Eastern feel with all the hallmarks of a modern, forward-thinking city. Grand mosques lie side-by-side with modern shopping malls and Western restaurants and modern amenities can be found alongside traditional ways of life. You will notice a harmony and balance between the modern and the traditional that you simply can’t find elsewhere.
As a student in Muscat one of the first things you will notice is the warmth and hospitality of the people. The Omani people are open and tolerant and you will feel at home in no time at all. You will also notice just how multicultural Muscat is and during your stay you will get to be a part of Muscat’s truly cosmopolitan society and experience why Oman is ranked in the top 10 countries to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet.
A geologist once said that Oman is one big wonderful outdoor geological Museum; its geological stories can be found everywhere. Oman is the only country in the world composed mostly of oceanic crust and rocks that originated from the mantle - deep below the earth's surface. In addition, evidence can be seen of continental drift and geological processes that have dominated the earth's surface for many millions of years. 30 geoheritage sites have been selected in the Muscat region for you to explore, and on the way to learn more about the history of our planet. Each site can be visited either on its own or as part of a discovery trail. Wherever the topography of a location allows, you will find sign boards with illustrated information about the site. Free of charge i-tourguide applications for smart phones can be downloaded from either the link below or the bar code on the signboard. These enable guidance utilizing satellite navigation (GPS) and provide multimedia information to give you a better understanding of the geological processes.
Many people like to take a break away from the hustle and bustle of city life with its pampered lifestyle and go camping to break the routine of their lives. The diverse environment of Oman allows many options when it comes to camping. Camping is enjoyed on Shatti Qantab in Muscat Governorate, Shatti Ras Al Hadd in A'Sharqiyah South Governorate, on mountain tops in Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain) or Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain) in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate, camping in the desert, both in Badiya sands in A'Sharqiyah North Governorate, or in The Empty Quarter in Dhofar. This is not to mention the magnificence of camping in Dimaniyat Islands in Al Batinah South Governorate, or camping in one of the secluded beaches that spread in Musandam Governorate. Oman is sure to provide versatile options for fans of this outdoor activity.
Trekking season runs from September to May, but the best time for hiking is between October and April. Despite the rough terrain, hiking remains the best way to enjoy the Sultanate’s wonderful mountainous nature. You can make different excursions of varying degrees of difficulty: from wandering around Muttrah, to walking over the groove edges of Al Shams mountain- Oman's highest mountain - to reach its peak. There are plenty of tour operators in the capital and other areas who provide comprehensive tours.
Muscat is one of the most popular diving destinations in the region. It has an exceptionally diverse marine life and many marine cliffs, small islands, bays and caves, as well as a diverse and unique marine life and coral reefs. The best months for diving in Oman are the period from April to July, but diving can be enjoyed at all times. The most prominent diving areas around the capital Muscat are: Al Khayran, Al Fahil Island, Dimaniyat Islands, Al Makbara Bay (Old Muscat), in addition to Al Jissah Beach. Each of the above-mentioned locations contains not less than 11 different diving sites, each with a diverse environment.
Omani markets are characterised by their diversity. Old markets are full of handicrafts such as silver, gold, textiles and masterpieces produced by traditional industries like dagger-making, side by side with modern shopping centres that contain everything the visitor is looking for at the best prices. Shops and precincts open from nine in the morning to one in the afternoon, and from four in afternoon until ten at night for precincts and eleven at night for most retail stores, seven days a week, except Fridays, when they open after four o'clock in the afternoon. For the traditional markets in Oman, the morning hours are the best time for shopping.