Oman's CapitalIyna Bort Caruso
Muscat is the capital city of Oman, located in the northeast of the sultanate on the Gulf of Oman and backed by the Western Al Hajar Mountains.
Trade in this port city has always played a vital role, impacting its history, economy and culture. In recent decades, the petroleum and natural gas industries have also contributed to reshaping the nation’s trajectory. The late Sultan Qaboos bin Said who ruled Oman from 1970 to his death in 2020 is credited with using the country’s oil wealth to modernize the nation, build out infrastructure and dramatically improve the standard of living.
The centerpiece of the city is the main mosque of Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque that dominates the city’s skyline and is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. The mosque opened in 2001 to mark the sultan’s 30-year reign. Built of white Indian sandstone, it blends Islamic, Middle Eastern and Omani styles and is embellished with detailed carvings and intricate mosaic patterns. It is one of the few mosques open to the public.
Traditional Omani architecture, characterized by low-rise white buildings with simple lines, is incorporated into even the most modern structures, including cultural institutions and residences. The Opera House Muscat, the nation’s leading arts complex, is an example. The style is a contemporary interpretation of heritage architecture with Islamic motifs and carvings. It opened in 2001. In 2019, the House of Musical Arts opened. It is connected to the opera house by a pedestrian bridge and continues the custom of integrating historical references into the architecture.
Muscat is a multicultural city. International buyers have wider access to real estate these days. Properties are available for purchase by non-Omanis in designated areas known as integrated tourism complexes or ITCs. They cover some of the most prestigious residential developments in Muscat such as Muscat Hills and Al Mouj.