Over the weekend, I went on a quick getaway to the Sultanate of Oman, specifically, Muscat, Oman. The country of Oman is a small Arab country NW of the United Arab Emirates (my home). It, Oman, has a sizable expat community in which my travel sister, Nicole (I Luv 2 Globe Trot) lives. Nicole is an expert traveler, so I packed my bags so she could show me around Muscat and surrounding cities.
It was quite a time.
As usual, I went to my trusty Expedia for the lowest prices. However, many of my friends use other booking sites with success, so I toyed with them as well, bad move, extremely bad move because Priceline lost my reservation.
Expedia did find the lowest airfare with Etihad as I snagged a round trip flight for $144. I couldn’t have been happier; well I could because it could have been $99 which is ideal. I left from Abu Dhabi International Airport and flew into the very dated Muscat International Airport (2013).
In traditional Etihad fashion, the flight ran behind schedule which seems to be common practice. When I’ve flown with them, which has been quite often, they’ve always leave late and I still don’t have my frequent flyer points. Eh Etihad, may I have my points please? Ooo I digress.
After a short 45 minute flight, I arrived at Muscat International Airport. Many of the smaller airports in the Middle East are quite interesting to say the least. Outside of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, many are small and dated.
Since I only had a small carry-on bag, I didn’t have to deal with baggage claim so I proceeded outside to the mass chaos of taxi solicitation. Thank goodness my trip to Cairo prepared me for the aggressive solicitation. I finally selected the least “grabby” person, and rode into the sand.
My cab ride to the 2 star hotel was quite pleasant. The driver drove in a normal mode and even slowed so that I could snap a few flicks.
Check in at the dump of a hotel, Samara Hotel, was a breeze, but check out was a nightmare. Because some people believe stereotypes about Africans they treat all dark skinned people as such. However, I didn’t respond to well to that and he probably won’t do that again. Let’s hope. My lesson learned in it all is that I don’t do economy hotels. The room was far too uncomfortable for my tastes and it didn’t have any amenities but I did save money in return. Ehh.
The rest of the trip included attendance to the dreadful Muscat Festival and the beautiful Qurum Beach.
The Muscat Festival attracted the lowest bottom feeders that I ever experienced. We were harassed by the black Omani women for being of a darker hue and proudly displaying our kinks.
When 99% of them look like this (pic below) because they have been brainwashed that lighter is better. Their issues are deeply rooted and I couldn’t begin to address with a scowl or mug. Needless to say that I was exhausted after leaving the festival because the harassment was non-stop. The Omani Tourism Board needs to address this type of unwelcoming behavior.
Nicole is such a trooper though. She saw that I was completely annoyed so she made sure that I enjoyed my stay in Muscat. She treated me to a nice dinner at Trader Vic’s in the beautiful Qurum Beach area and the next day we hung around the beach area. If I ever visit Muscat again, Qurum Beach is the only place that I’ll hang. Overall, it was a good trip and all for less than $300.