Muscat is the capital city of Oman and provides tourists a unique blend of traditional and modern. Compared to other major cities in the Gluf, Muscat remains very low-key. You won't find any skyscrapers and even the cities office blocks retain the traditional Arab style of architecture. Muscat is undoubtedly at the heart of Oman and now over a quarter of the countries inhabitants live there and it's four times the size of the next largest city, Salalah.
Mutrah Souk is the most popular tourist destination in Muscat and possibly the whole of Oman. Although it's housed under modern timber roofing, it's one of the most authentic souks in Arabia and it offers a glimpse into Oman's past with tight alleyways and the aroma of frankincense and sandalwood. You can easily get lost if you venture from the main thoroughfare, but that's half the fun! You'll find some great shops selling a mixture of Indian and Omani items and as bargaining is expected, be prepared to haggle!
Found in the suburb of Ghubrah, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the largest and most spectacular mosques in the UAE. There is room inside for about 20,000 worshippers and this is the only mosque in Oman that is open to non-muslims. It is dressed in large quantities of white and red-brown marble on the inside, as well as the world's second largest carpet, you can also find a huge Swarovski crystal chadelier in the centre of the hall which is a mega-14 metres tall!
If you're interested in understanding a bit more about Omani heritage and culture, then a visit to Bait al Zubair is a must. There is a good range of artifacts including weapons, jewellery, coins, and children will enjoy the model village complete with falaj.