Stuck on a layover at Muscat’s Seeb International Airport (MCT)? As the main airport in Muscat, it is the hub for Oman Air. The airport is located roughly 20 miles from Old Muscat which makes the city an accessible destination to those stuck on long layovers. If you’re trying to figure out if you can leave the airport during your layover, click here for useful tips.
If you have a long layover and are thinking of leaving the airport, first you might have to get your Visa arranged. According to the airport, arriving passengers who are eligible for Visa on Arrival are able to make visa payments at the Travelex Foreign Exchange bureau located in the immigration arrivals hall, payments can be accepted in most currencies or by credit card, an automatic receipt will be issued to the traveller this receipt is then presented at the immigration desk, this reduces the time and queues for processing. For more information on Visa eligibility, click here. For customs information and the amounts of alcohol and tobacco permitted click here.
If you’re looking to catch a connecting flight, the airport suggests the minimum connection time as 60 minutes for International to International flight, 90 minutes for Domestic to International flights, and 90 minutes for Domestic to Domestic flights.
If you’re stuck in the airport during your layover in Oman, there’s plenty to do to stay busy. There’s a number of food and beverage locales in the airport (listed here). There are two duty free shops – one in departures and one in arrivals, as well as retail outlets that contain more traditional Omani goods. There are four foreign currency exchange locations (listed here) and a medical clinic is available at arrivals before immigration and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
There is a Mosque available outside the arrivals terminal for Muslims and a female prayer room is also available at the rear of the mosque. A separate prayer room for male and female passengers is available inside the terminal building at the departures area near the duty free area in the first floor.
There are a number of premium lounges for passengers stuck in the airport during a layover. The Oman Air premium class lounge is located on the Ground Floor after the immigration and security check points. The facility offers admission at an entrance fee of R.O. 7 cash and credit cards are accepted. For more information call Oman Air Lounge on Tel: +968 24519911. The Plaza Premium Lounge is available in the Departures Hall and will admit “pay-in” customers with a charge of R.O. 10 for adults, R.O. 5 for children aged 6 – 11 and free for under 5s. For more information call +968 24518198. In addition, the Ahlan Lounge is located in Arrivals and can assist with luggage and hotel transfers. For more information, call +968 24519026
If you’re looking to leave the airport during a long layover, and have already attained your Visa (if needed), you can hop in a private taxi outside the arrivals hall. The airport recommends that passengers pay at the Taxi Counter located outside arrivals. Taxi rates to local areas and hotels can be found here, and for more information call +968-24518780 / 1 or email [email protected] You can also rent a car at the airport, or get a hotel transfer.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A Muscat, Oman Layover:
If you only have limited time in Muscat, a tour might be a great way to see a bunch of sights. There’s many to choose from including day tours, 4×4 safari tours, whale watching, bus and bike tours, night cruises, dinner theater, outdoor activities, and more.
Turtles in Ras Al Hadd
A rare turtle nesting site for endangered green turtles, over 100 turtles come to this beach every night during the peak season in July to lay their eggs. The beach is run by the government so there’s a charge to enter (US$2.5-US$5.00 or GBP2-3) and there are Omani guides that will show you the turtles laying their eggs or hatching. Click here for more information.
You can find everything you need in this market from gold and silver jewelry to antique khanjars. The Souk is open early in the morning to late evening. Most shoppers are in the evening, this is one of the nicest Souks in the Middle East. Be ready to haggle!
Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Muscat
Looking for a nice hotel to rest, or a lavish swimming pool? The Al Bustan Palace Hotel has 200 acres of a private beach and all the amenities you can desire, this hotel is the crème of the crop.
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Built by the Sultan Qaboos in 2001, this lavish mosque can hold up to 20,000 worshippers.
It is open to the non-Muslim public between 8-11am most mornings. Women are required to cover up from the top of their head to below the ankles. The decorative main prayer hall holds 6,000 people and you can view the elaborate dome and five minarets representing the five pillars of Islam.
Looking for something else to do? There’s lots of other options from camel racing to fishing. For more information, click here.