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BKP Sep 6th, 2011 02:18 AM

Muscat, Oman in 25 hours -- what can we do?
My little family (two adults and a 6 year old) is flying from London to Zanzibar in October. Our flight has a 25 hour layover in Oman.

1) Reading online it looks like we need a transit visa to leave the airport and explore. We will be back at the airport within 24 hours, so can we go with the free 24 hour visa, even though we will be in the country for 25, or should we pay for the 72 hour visa? Obviously, that's not a make it or break it expense, but every little helps!

2) Given our time/family constraints, what can we do? We looked at tours to the Wahiba sands and the sites say they can last up to 9 hours. That sounds great but may be pushing it for us, after an overnight flight from London. But, then again, when will we back in Oman?!?

The hotels in Muscat look amazing, but we are on our way to stay at an AMAZING villa in Zanzibar so aren't too fussed to spend much time at a fancy hotel by the pool. A tour of Muscat looks interesting but we will be touring Stone Town a couple of days after and there is only so much walking through a city, looking at architecture, museums, and markets that my son can handle!

Any other Omani advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

qwovadis Sep 6th, 2011 02:33 AM

when there last years ago based at the Intercontinental

Got a reputable reliable guide did the city/nearby beaches

23 hours would be plenty especially since you are staying

in Zanzibat...things super dodgy there right now monitor register and always wise.

Happy Travels!

BKP Sep 6th, 2011 03:00 AM

<<things super dodgy there right now>>

Are you referring to Oman? I checked the US sites and their only warning is to avoid demonstrations. Good advice for any country I should think! Do you have any other information?

Nikao Sep 6th, 2011 03:34 AM

Wahibi sands seems to far for 24 hours I would say.. It's also not really something you drive to and go watch for 1 hour and go back.. its nice if you can drive into the desert and stay the night there..

I would go see some things in the city, visit the mosque, the old city that kind of stuff..

NoFlyZone Sep 6th, 2011 05:35 AM

The sands are really too far to effectivly see in less than 24 hours. (You will actually have maybe 21-22 hours on the ground taking into account small delays, security, check in requirements, and so on.) It's a long drive out and you don't want to leave vehicle troubles to chance either.

Stay close, visit the old city, forts and bazaar. Plenty to see the right in Muscat in your short time.

Nothing "dodgy" about Oman. Quite different from other Arab countries and quite peaceful. The Sultan is quite benevolent, has done a lot for the country and the people love him. Oh, check out his yacht if it's moored in the harbor.

And a note, the hotels are really not all that amazing except for the Chedi. Pretty ordinary so don't obcess over a hotel, just grab something in your price range in the Medinat Caboos area.

BKP Sep 6th, 2011 03:01 PM

Nikao and NoFlyZone -- thank you for your replies! I think you're right, the sands are too far away.

I started another thread asking for opinions on Muscat v. Nairobi if you wanted to weigh in over there.

I really appreciate your advice so far!

sandi Sep 7th, 2011 03:30 PM

... there goes qwovadis - what the heck is dodgy about Zanzibar when you're sitting on a beach?

As far as demonstrations... Rule #1, regardless where visiting - stay the heck away or you're asking for trouble.

Don't believe this is what BKP had in mind!

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