An old Omani Folk museum and an art gallery
Unique Suggestions: Visit Ghalya's museum in Corniche, a very nice little museum we first went through a folk museum featuring old Omani houses during the earyly 50's and 60's, impressive collection..... also includes a lovely modern art gallery with paintings of many artists Omani and international.. I uploaded a few pictures for you, enjoy your visit
Fun Alternatives: Visit the Muttrah Fort right behind
It accepted my Visa card, but delivered neither the money, nor the receipt. I tried to straighten things up with HSBC (ME) people in the main office in Ruwi (wasted 1/2 a day on it). They solemnly swore that they would check and the money would be credited back to my account. When I returned home 2 mths afterwards I've learned that they didn't and it wasn't and so $A700 went south. I'm trying to recover it through my bank disputed transactions facility, but with small to middling hope of success. The folks in the shop behind the ATM told me that this happened more than once.
Caveat Emptor. Buyer Beware. Its the souq in Muttrah. You can still get bargains, but I have found some not so scrupulous traders who will sell 'omani jewellery' which is definitely NOT omani. Some indian jewellry can be about 60-80% silver, omani silver is of a much higher content, 925+. Also i have found some of the frankincence sold in the souq is not of Omani origin.
Unique Suggestions: If you decide you like it then go for it, as long as you have been told where the item comes from. But why come to Oman to buy something made in China or the subcontinent? Also if you have the chance to go to the museums you can learn what is omani and check it out in the souqs. Buying frankincence, buy those in boxes vs packets or from an omani trader who will tell you what is what. Or go with a friend who knows where to buy and what to buy.
Fun Alternatives: Best tip is to buy from a shop where you see local (ie Omani) shopkeepers sitting. They will not steer you wrong and will tell you what is what. And have fun haggling (bargaining) with them.
As a tourist, you should know as many phone numbers as you can in case you have a question
Unique Suggestions: Directory Enquiries 198
International Directory Enquiries 143
Talking Clock 140
Weather forecast 519113
Talking Pages 600100
Airport Arrivals and Departures 1101 or 519223.
And remember to have your hotel Tel. No. handy with you, in case you need assistance when outside.
Fun Alternatives: You can easily buy a prepaid GSM off any supermarket/OmanTel outlet. Ask your concierge.
Pre-paid telephone cards available in All supermarkets, and so are pre-paid GSm top ups
Unless you are in a Mall, expect to always bargain- particularly with cabs and in local souq's (markets)
Unique Suggestions: Taxi fares from the airport should not be more than Rials 5, and even then bargain (you might get it down to Rials 2.5)
Don't overdo it though- sometime you just have to accept that you'll end up paying more than the locals ;-)
Fun Alternatives: Taxi's: if you know someone in the country, borrow their car, or be driven around. Even better, rent a car, you'll get cars for Rials 10 a day.
Markets (AKA Souq's locally): if your in Mutrah souq or the fish Market, it'll be fun to bargain just for the sake of it- either way, prices are fairly low in these areas and even if you're being ripped off, it's not a huge amount.