G etting around Oman by car is the best way to go, in my opinion — especially if you are used to driving on the highway systems such as those found throughout the United States, for example. There are many similarities — such as the destinations used for which direction you should travel. Sur or Salalah, for example, means that you will eventually be heading south — although it would be nice if the direction of the road or highway were included in the information signs. Regardless, it really is not easy to get lost.
I must admit that in Muscat was the first time I have ever seen a limited access highway called a street. Named after the current ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos Street reminded me in many ways of the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn — especially with the traffic.
Muscat is similar to Honolulu in that the city is spread along the coastline, rather than centralized at a core and spread out from there.
There are plenty of taxi cabs whose drivers will approach you — especially in the tourist areas — but I have no idea of what are the fares. You can also take white buses; but then that would mean familiarizing yourself with the route system. For me, renting a car was the best option which in and of itself; and at $141.24 for four days — this included collision damage waiver, theft waiver, unlimited kilometers, a premium station surcharge, and all taxes and fees — was not expensive. Using this special Internet web site of Europcar which gave me a lower rate than the main Internet web site of Europcar, I also earned 240 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles in the deal. Not bad for $35.31 per day.
To sweeten the deal, fuel was 0.114 biasas per liter — which at the time for me was fewer than 30 cents per liter, or less than $1.19 per gallon.
Traffic flows on the right side of the road; and virtually all of the road signs display both the Arabic and English languages. I did not have to pay one single Baisa for parking during the entire time I was there.
A car is also a great way to explore the country of Oman. The main roads are well paved and well lit — even at night in what appears to be in the middle of nowhere…
…and they wind their way through some rather scenic areas of Oman.
Carrie and Drew Macomber of Travel Is Free reported in this article that they did not rent a car when they traveled to Oman; and I thought that that was a mistake. Even with a car, I felt as though that there was more which I could have seen.