In Muscat there are no metered taxis only unmetered taxis. In most countries you are told NOT to take unmetered cabs because they will usually ripe you off. In Oman it is just the opposite. All of the taxi destinations have a set or fixed price which varies based on the length of the ride. You can talk to anyone at the airport or in the hotels and get quoted a fixed rate to anywhere in Muscat. The other interesting thing is that all of the taxis are owned and driven by Omanis. Where have you been recently where you find locals driving a cab??? I think this is one of the many reasons why the number of guest workers are so much less in Oman. Even in our hotel all of the folks behind the reception decks etc, where Omani too. The government has reserved certain professions for the Omani citizen.
We hired a cab from the hotel to take us to the grand mosque, we were quoted a round trip price. The cabs will wait while you visit the mosque and then return you to the hotel. When leaving the mosque we asked the driver if he could take us to a particular restaurant to have lunch, which he did and he said he would wait for us again. We then asked if he would mind driving us around to see some other sites. He asked if we wanted the “city tour” and we said sure. So without really telling him where we wanted to go he took us all around city to all the places we wanted to go plus more. He was a very nice man who spoke just enough English. It was a wonderful afternoon. We agreed on a price which was fair for us and for him and off we went. What follows are some of the places we sort of asked to go and some other places he took us to.
One last note, when looking at these pictures and the pictures in the next post please look at the background, the landscape, the rocks. A geologist once said that Oman is one big wonderful outdoor geological museum with unique geological values. Oman is the only country in the world composed mostly of oceanic crust and rocks that originated from the mantle deep below in the earth surface. It all has to do with large plates below the earth’s surface colliding and the one forcing the other up over millions of years.
The Muscat government has introduced Geotourism by indentifying 30 geological attractions that can be visited in the area. An app can be down loaded to help tourist explore the region and learn more about the history of our planet.