Did you know that you can be fined for driving a dirty rental car in Muscat? Yes, that is how different driving in Oman can be from driving in your home country. To avoid getting into trouble, pay attention to the following information.
Car rental prices
Rented vehicles can cost you between OMR 11 and OMR 50. Naturally, expect to get what you pay for. If you are on a tight budget, you can go for a budget car that comes with a manual transmission and no air conditioning. However, this can be a big problem because Muscat is quite hot, especially in the summers. For a comfortable ride around the city, get yourself a decent vehicle, preferably a 4WD. This will probably cost you OMR 30 or more.
If your destination demands it, opt for a 4×4. Otherwise, it is better to buy a salon, which is much cheaper.
Expect to find a speed camera every 2 kilometers in Muscat. Do not make the mistake of thinking that these radars are not active just because they do not seem to work; they do. Locals say that the tolerance of these speed cameras is up to 19 kilometers per hour.
Metro and walkways
In the old days, reckless speeding was a big problem in Muscat. This led the government to build pedestrian and underground bridges. At present, there are approximately 10 meters in Muscat, and you can find them in the following areas:
Al Sahwah Tower
Wadi Al Kabir
Muscat also has many pedestrian bridges, and you should look for them in the following places:
Carrefour City Center (Seeb)
Muscat International Airport
Parking is usually free on Fridays. However, you should always make sure you have 50 or so bars on hand for the meters. Half an hour of parking costs 50 baizas. Certain areas of Muscat, notably Qurum and Muttrah, require you to pay for parking space.