Car Rental in Muscat
As Oman’s capital, home to many of the country’s finest cultural and historical attractions, Muscat is an excellent travel destination also offering plenty more for adventurous travelers with its outdoor pursuits and coastal location. While the city’s historical sites and best museums are quite densely packed together in Old Muscat, car rental is essential to get an experience of Oman’s natural beauty and stunning coastline.
Where to rent a car in Muscat
There are plenty of car rental companies at Muscat Airport including leading international providers like Sixt and Thrifty. Alternatively, many car rental agencies can be found inside central Muscat, most of which are reliable local companies. If you don’t want to collect your vehicle immediately upon touching down, the most convenient way to travel into the city is by taxi directly outside the airport terminal.
Driving in Muscat
Muscat is generally a good place to drive, with traffic laws in the country much more stringently enforced and local driving etiquette an improvement on other cities in the Middle East. However, you will encounter significant traffic in central Muscat if you drive during the rush hours of 07.00-09.00 and 17.00-18.30 so it is best to avoid the city during these times. Traffic in the country drives on the right side of the road and the airport is linked to central Muscat via the Sultan Qaboos St highway which makes it a speedy journey. Not all landmarks and roads are clearly signposted so you may want to consider getting a satnav system to make your journey more comfortable, especially if you plan on extensively traveling outside the city.
Parking in Muscat
In Muscat the parking facilities are very good and finding spaces usually isn’t a problem as the city doesn’t suffer from overcrowding. You will be able to find both paid and free street parking and modern malls and hotels will offer their own parking facilities. Parking lots across the city will all be paid for by the meter and many more are being implemented for street parking, so don’t get your hopes up about finding free parking. Parking violations will lead to heavy fines and the roads in Muscat are generally well-policed so don’t take your chances.
Where to go around Muscat
Muscat is usually divided into three different areas – Old Muscat, Muttrah and Ruwi. If you plan on seeing the main historic attractions in Muscat like Al Jalali Fort and The National Museum then visit Old Muscat, while the district of Muttrah is best known as the home of the thriving Souq Muttrah. There are many fascinating attractions outside of Muscat which become accessible with your own rental car like the stunning Nakhal Fort at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, the beautiful Wadi Shab pools around 100 km from Muscat or the area around Salalah, known for its annual monsoon.
* This information is correct as of December 2018