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Parks & Beaches in Oman
 
 
 

Muscat

Parks

In a desert country like Oman, the lack of lush greenery is something that you might miss from back home. Fortunately, Oman has a good selection of parks and gardens that are welcome patches of green. Parks are well looked after by the municipality, and usually include lawns, sandy play areas and playground equipment for children, and maybe a water feature or two.

Qurum Park is Muscat’s main park, and features large lawns, a boating lake, water fountains and shady pergolas. It is the home of the sultan’s rose garden, a tranquil, fragrant area that is full of rose varieties from around the world. The large fountain shoots water up to 30 metres into the air, and it is even more impressive at night when it is lit up. The park incorporates a nature reserve, which is made up of tidal wetlands and mangroves. It’s a great place for spotting migratory birds, and you can expect to see sooty gulls, white-cheeked terns, crested terns and, at low tide, various herons and waders. There is also a mangrove nursery, which yields thousands of valuable mangrove tree seedlings every year. The park is also home to the City Amphitheatre, which seats up to 4,500 people and is a popular venue for events.

Riyam Park is located on Muttrah Corniche and offers pretty views of the harbour. You can’t miss it if you drive along the corniche – it’s the one with a gigantic white model of an incense burner perched on top of a hill. If the gate at the bottom of the incense burner is locked when you visit, you can still scramble up the side and over the wall to get access. Riyam Park is great for kids, with lots of playground equipment and a small funfair.

The Al Wadi Al Kabeer Park is situated near the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat with an area of 40,000 square metres. It offers lots of facilities and services and also has a special division for electric games to attract children and families.

Seeb Beach Park opened in 1997 on the lovely stretch of sandy beach in Seeb. In terms of size and facilities, this park is only outshadowed by the magnificent Qurum Park. In Seeb Beach Park, children can paddle in the sea and play on the specially created children’s playgrounds. There is also an artificial lake and various watersports are available. The park is an official venue for events held during the Muscat Festival.

Naseem Park, opened in 1985, is located on the highway leading to the Batinah area, about 30 km from Muscat International Airport. There is a train ride that goes round the park, a mini falaj system, a jasmine maze and well-tended Arabic and Japanese gardens, built to commemorate the strong ties between Japan and Oman. A cafeteria selling drinks, ice-creams and snacks is situated in the centre of the park.

Adjoining Burj Al Sahwa, Sahwa Park is frequently visited by the people from both Muscat and Al Batinah region due to its central location. The park is a perfect spot for outing, especially during the winter afternoon. The lush green stretch of land, the fountains, and play areas for kids make this park a perfect hangout for families.

Beaches

With over 1,700km of coastline it is hardly surprising that Oman offers some wonderful stretches of sandy beach. Many of them are unspoilt areas where you will find seclusion and isolation.

The long stretch of Azaiba beach is backed by dense bushes that act as a good windbreak. It’s a popular camping spot. Access is mainly by 4WD, although if you don’t mind a short walk you can get there in a normal car. It is not the best beach for snorkelling, as there is no coral, but it is a good windsurfing site. Because it is a quiet beach, it is suitable for taking your dogs for a run. Because of construction on the Wave development, access to the beach changes frequently.

Small, quiet and easily accessible, Marjan beach is ideal for snorkellers as it has superb coral reefs. On good days you can see parrot fish, rays and turtles. The beach is equipped with man-made sunshades and barbecue pits. To get there, go past the Ras Al Hamra Recreation Club, keeping it on your right, and continue over the slight rise for another 150 metres. Parking for the beach is on the opposite side of the road.

Before sunset, the beach and shoreline stretching from the Hyatt Regency Muscat to the InterContinental Hotel becomes a lively promenade. People come here to walk, jog, jetski, play football and barbecue, and it is a pleasant spot to relax and watch the world go by as the sun goes down. During low tide it is possible to cross the small inlet and walk all the way to the cliffs near the Crowne Plaza.


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