With its shores open to the Ocean, Oman is graced by beautiful natural long beaches. Unlike other Gulf nations on the closed waters of the Gulf, the beaches of Oman have tides, waves and native sand. Greater Muscat is no exception. Lovely public beaches are found all along the newer areas of Muscat close to the airport, namely at Shatti el-Qurm. Attached are photos of this beach, taken from the area by the Grand Hyatt Hotel. It was October 2008 with perfect beach weather, yet there were only two or three people taking advantage! Not many places in the world offer such exclusivity! Note that women should feel totally comfortable going in the water in bathing suits.
The beach of Al Qurm is nice, but deserted. Forget about beach beds with sunshade, bars with refreshing drinks and water activites. Foreign workers from Pakistan are the only people on the beach. You don't see anything else than diplomatic residences and private houses with high fences along the seashore. You are actually trapped on the beach if you don't know where to exit (read more about this in the warning tips). The best place to be is at the Sheraton area, where you got some restaurants. This is also the only taxi stop on the beach.
Shatti el-Qurm is a beachside neighbourhood in Greater Muscat. It is the most expensive neighbourhood to live in and contains numerous embassies and diplomatic residences. Its villas and streets are large and perfectly maintained. The area contains some of the city's most expensive shopping as well as its luxurious resort-hotels such as the Grand Hyatt. The beaches along Shatti el-Qurm are beautiful.
Let's go to the beach... Oman style... I have mixed feelings about htis beach... it's long and beautiful, with very little people - the water is clear but, due to the dark colour of the sand, it's quite dark. Definitely not the tropical-like beach I was expecting. On the plus side, in Muscat the sea is alive with all sorts of sea creatures: shells, starfish, fish and seasnakes... and zillions of seagulls.
I wouldn't say that it's a good beach to swim, but it's a perfect one for long sunset walks... it seems like many ex-pats felt the same way - as most of the people we met were brits. The beach is also great to watch the fishermen come to the shore and unload their boats surrounded by the zillions of seagulls mentioned before