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MUSCAT - GETTING AROUND

By Bus

Muscat is served by a local bus service, the Mwasalat (https://mwasalat.om/en-us), with modern, air-conditioned buses that depart every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the route. Routes connect all three bus stations and cover the whole of Muscat and the suburbs, including Seeb. The website or bus app is available for routes and bus stops.

Bus stops are marked with red-and-white Mwasalat logos. Buses stop outside most main tourist attractions including the Royal Opera House (Route 1), Mutrah Corniche and Mutrah Souq (Route 4), Sultan's Palace and National Museum (Route 4), Grand Mosque and Muscat International Airport (Route 1) and Al Mouj (Route 10). Fares cost between 200 and 500 baisa, payable to the bus driver in cash.

By Taxi

Taxis are the most common way to get around the city and fares are generally inexpensive. Mwasalat taxis are red and white and are metered. The daytime flagfall is OR1 (OR1.3 at night) and 200 baisa per kilometre. A Mwasalat taxi app can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store. Apps like Uber and Kareem, are not available in Oman.

Other Muscat taxis are orange and white and do not have meters. Even if you bargain you will inevitably pay two or three times the going rate for locals, but this can still be less than a metered taxi, it is best to determine the rate before you get in. These are currently more abundant on Muscat's streets than metered taxis.

Landmarks (eg the HSBC in Qurm, or Burj Al Sahwa Roundabout) are more useful for navigational purposes than street addresses when travelling by public transport or taxi.

By Car

Given the large distances involved in traveling around the city, driving is a convenient option. All road signs are in English as well as in Arabic, and brown signs indicate major tourist attractions. If driving beyond Muscat, especially to off-road destinations in the mountainous or desert interior of Oman, a 4-wheel drive is necessary.

By Bicycle

Oman Bicycle Shop, on the corner of the Muscat Expressway and Bawsharstreet (www.omanbicycle.com), rents off-road, trekking and mountain bikes.