Several restaurants have opened in recent years, but many
people retain the habit of dining at hotels.
There is a huge variety of cuisine on offer,
including Arabic, Oriental, Indian, European and other international
dishes. Coffee houses are also popular.
Waiter service is the usual. Muslim law forbids
alcohol, however most hotel bars and restaurants serve alcohol.
Visitors are only allowed to drink alcohol in licensed restaurants
and hotels. To buy alcohol for home consumption, Western nationals
must acquire a licence from their embassy.
There are a few bars and nightclubs
in Muscat, mostly in the hotels. There are three air conditioned
cinemas in Ruwi and an open air cinema at the al-Falaj Hotel
showing Indian, Arab and English films.
The modern shops are mostly in Qurum and
Ruwi. The 2 main souks (markets) are situated
in Matrah and Nizwa. Traditional crafts
include silver and gold jewellery, coffeepots, khanjars (Omani
daggers), saddles, frankincense, carpets, handwoven textiles,
baskets and camel straps.
Antique khanjars (over 50 years old) can not be exported.
It is advised to check with the Ministry of National Heritage
and Culture for the necessary documentation before purchasing.
are from Saturday to Thursday 8.00 am to 1.00 pm and 4.00
pm to 8.00 pm.
Souks open from 8.00 am to 11.00 pm and 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm.
Many shops close on Fridays. Opening hours are 1 hour later
Shaking hands is the general form of greeting.
A small gift, either promoting your company or country, is
well received. As far as dress code
is concerned, it is important that women dress modestly, for
example long skirts or dresses (below the knee) with long
Tight fitting clothes must be avoided and
although this is not strictly followed by Westerners, it is
far better to adopt this practice and avoid causing offence.
Shorts should never be worn in public and beachwear is prohibited
for anywhere except the beach.
Collecting sea shells, corals, abalone, crayfish
and turtle eggs is also prohibited, as well as dumping litter.
It is polite not to smoke in public, however
no smoking signs are posted where appropriate.
Visitors should ask permission before photographing
people or their property. ‘No Photography’ signs
exist in certain places and must be observed.
has become more common and 10 % should be given.