Oman's capital Muscat

 

A world away from the brash mega-developments that have afflicted some other parts of the Arabian Peninsula, Muscat has the easygoing confidence of a place that has figured out how to enjoy life, and, in the manner of the most appealing Arabian cities, the city comes across as a place of sensory indulgence. First the sights, with the clean lines of Islamic architecture stretching along the corniche contrasting with the merry hubbub of the city’s souk and laneways, then other senses are rapidly alerted. Cinnamon and cardamom hang heavy in the air, the sizzle of schwarma and rumbling of sheesha pipes provide a percussion to stall-sellers’ cries; while afternoons are happily punctuated with shots of thick coffee, handfuls of ripening dates and fresh fruit juices from the country’s many citrus groves. It’s an undeniably likeable place that can make daily life feel like a luxury. 

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