Thanksgiving in Muscat, Oman

November 23 – 26, 2022

This Thanksgiving we took a short family trip to Muscat, Oman. It’s a 5-ish hour drive from Abu Dhabi. We had heard great things about it, and it has been on our to-do list since we arrived. The long weekend of Thanksgiving seemed like a perfect time to go. The drive cut across the heart of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is mostly empty desert. Nothing to see for miles in any direction but sand. But the speed limit through this area is a mind-boggling 100 mph! (No, I didn’t drive that fast with children in the car.)

The border crossing was far more complicated than I thought it would be, and we had to stop because we needed visas on arrival. The building was enormous, and in the large empty center was a single man at a single desk, supplying visas. After about 40 minutes though, we were on our way.

Muscat itself is very beautiful compared to what we’ve been accustomed to here in Abu Dhabi. There is a lot more green space, and being at a higher elevation surrounded by mountains, it’s much cooler. Our hotel was situated right on the water, and playing on the beach was how we closed our first day. Over the next few days we visited the opera house, a wadi in the mountainous desert, and went shopping at a huge souq. The polished marble at the opera house made it look wet, it’s the only place I’ve ever seen anything like it. It was an absolutely stunning building, but was unfortunately closed to tourists. The next day we drove an hour in to the middle of nowhere in the mountains to visit a wadi, which is a body of water that appears when the water table rises. The water was crystal clear, and pretty cold. But that didn’t stop us from swimming! On the final day, we visited the Mutrah Souq, because I wanted a mandoo, which is a handmade wooden chest, typically decorated with studded copper. And we found a beautiful one.