Mut (pronounced moot), Dakhla’s capital, is a likeable place if you get beyond the ugly rows of low-rise residential tenements that line its main streets. The town’s old Islamic quarter, partially obscured by modern buildings, is a fascinating warren of dark alleyways and crumbling mud-brick houses. At least 1,500 people still live in the district, going about their daily routine.

Mut is comprised of only a half-dozen main streets, but its lack of public transport means that without a car you could be doing a lot of walking. The wide avenues and “countdown” traffic lights suggest a chronic traffic problem, but for most of the day the town’s streets are eerily empty.

For travel within the oasis there are service taxi stations at Maydan Tahrir and—less conveniently—about 1½ km (1 mile) east near the hospital. Buses and service taxis also pick up passengers at Maydan Jama‘a, the sleepy square that was once the town’s center.

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