Al Ghazal Pub is known as the best bar in Muscat. Located on the lobby level of the expensive InterContinental Hotel, the bar is full of expats and even quite a few locals who consume their share of the devil water.
During my short stay in Muscat, I went to the pub twice, one evening I stopped in during happy hour, and I enjoyed a few happy hour priced Kilkenny beers which were still expensive at 2.900 OMR ($7.50 US). I also bought a Stella for my friend for 2.500 OMR ($6.50 USD). During my hour here, I was entertained by what almost turned out to be fight between the bartender and a customer, caused by one of the old British expats who was a instigator.
I returned a few afternoons later around 2pm, and was surprised to find the bar was full of local Omanis, all with beer in hand, some playing pool. I again had a Kilkenny, but was disappointed to see the non-happy hour price was ridiculously expensive at 3.600 OMR ($9.35 US).
Al Ghazal has live music most nights, quiz night, and soccer games on TV.
The Shangri-La's Piano Lounge has a stuffy, fancy indoor area with a huge bar and live piano performances nightly. Outside if a much more casual second-floor deck overlooking the pools and beaches of the resort. This is a good place to get reasonably priced drinks -- OMR 2.200 (US $6) for Tiger beer and other varieties. They also offer free nuts and olives, and they have a small menu with light snacks.
The music is OK, but a bit odd to hear old rock songs sung to the piano.
I'd rather spend my time at one of the more casual bars down by the pools and the water, unfortunately they close earlier in the evening, while the piano lounge stays open until 2am.
Nightclubs and discotheques are found in the larger hotels, and alcoholic beverages are served only in these hotels and licensed restaurants.
But except from the alcohol, you can get a feeling of the nightlife when you are sitting in one of the outdoor restuarants in Mutrah and see all people passing by.
John Barry is the bar of the Muscat Grand Hyatt
Excellent decoration, in fact when inside you get the feeling you are aboard one old ship, with all those dim light effects, wooden covered walls.
There is a magnificent singer/piano player sometimes accompanied by a sax player.
They play mostly oldies in an extremely romantic mood.
Drinks are good, but food is excellent. All Italian menu, and I suggest trying the "Branzino" Sea bass.
What I personally didn't like was strong smell of cigars.
Dress Code: Anything goes
Casual or formal, even locals were wearing their usual Dishdasha (Arab men's wear)
CCC mall is supposed to have a good nargileh cafe - however, when we got there, during Eid, it was closed. Fortunately the parking lot was ful of locals, so we asked them about where to go... someone walked us to the back of the mall, where a small nargileh cafe was open...
needlessto day: the shisha was wonderful, the tea memorable and there were plenty of backgammon boards available for the guests' entertainment. Only local people were there...
Dress Code: it's better to dress modestly
Muscat, I believe, is not exactly noted for its buzzing nightlife... add to it the fact that we went during ramadan, and you have the complete picture. Not much was going on, and yet we had moments of amazing grace watching the sun go down on the beach. yes, sunsets were amazing, and made up fully for the "dead" nightlife.
Dress Code: Whatever... maybe it's better to dress somewhat modestly
Copacabana is a nightclub and maybe the only one in Muscat that is of International standard. The nightclub is situated at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in the Shatti Al Qurum area of Muscat.
The club plays all sorts of music ranging from Hip Hop, R n B, Soul, Dance, African, Arabic and sometimes Indian Hits. It is very popular with the locals and foreigners alike.
Thursday nights are the busiest, with large queues on the door.
Remember guys especially gentlemen, the club is strictly couples only but late at night the doormen relax this rule and allows men in without a date. This rule for gentlemen can be avoided if you belong to an aflfuent and rich family in Muscat.......which is how alot of things work in this city or should I add country.
Dress Code: Dress code is casual...no sandals and no shorts. Jeans are allowed.
We stumbled across an English-style pub @ the Intercon, and ended up staying to watch a replay of the NZ vs England game which had been played the night before.
The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly - the crowd was a mixture of Omani men and expats.
We didn't eat anything - eatings cheating after all. But some Glasgow lads we were drinking with said the food was pretty good - the prices looked high though.
Dress Code: Tidy - I wore jeans.
Located at the Hyatt Muscat. Starts to fill up around midnight. Beer and shots are reasonably priced compared to the Hilton. Example: OM 8 for 2 beers and 2 shots.
Dress Code: smartish casual clothes