Muscat nightlife: bars, pubs, lounges and nightclubs

Keep the party going into the early hours at these spots

Muscat nightlife: bars, pubs, lounges and nightclubs

Lively late-night bars, friendly pubs and chic lounges await party people in Muscat’s watering holes.

There's no need to stop the party early as many of these spots are open well into the early hours.

Ranging from ultra-chic to friendly and casual, there's something here for every night out.

These are the top places to experience nightlife across the city...

Al Boom & Dolphin Bar
There is not a deal in the way of nightlife on the Muscat Corniche, which goes some way to explaining why this spot can sometimes get busy. While it won't score too highly on any swank-factor or bag awards for style and decor it does have noteworthy views out on to the Omani coast. The location doubles up as a seafood restaurant, so on the outdoor terrace overlooking the fish market, get a table and enjoy the atmosphere and view before enjoying hospitality until late.
Call for timings. Al Boom, Marina Hotel, Al Bahri Road. 

Al Ghazal Bar
Overlook the Arabic name, because this is very much an English-style pub and one that has been popular with homesick expats for many a year. Expect live football on the TV, live music most nights of the week and pool tables and darts boards with usually somebody looking for a game. The wood panelled bar and drinks pulled by the pint are a familiar sight to many and a friendly atmosphere, regular promotions, including the occasional quiz, make it a favourite regular.
Open daily 6pm-3am. Al Ghazal, InterContinental Muscat, Al Kharjiya Street, Al Shati, www.ihg.com (+968 2468 0000).

Duke’s Bar
Another English-style pub, which attracts large and regular expat crowds because of its consistency and simple approach. Live sports on big screens is more than half the battle, but Dukes offers much more besides. The weekly quiz is well-attended, competitive and fun, while pub grub is hearty. A stained glass ceiling is striking, but step outside and the Gulf views are arguably better. The loyal crowd tuck into pub staples of burgers, pies and fish and chips. One of the city’s enduringly favourite watering holes.
Open daily. Noon-1am. Duke’s Bar, Crowne Plaza Muscat, Qurum Heights, www.ihg.com (+968 2466 0660).

Habana Sports Bar
If Ernest Hemmingway and Elvis Presley turned up in Muscat looking for somewhere to play pool, watch karaoke and maybe catch some live football on the big screen we’d send them here. It’s downstairs at the Hyatt’s Safari complex and can get very lively, with live music, quizzes, DJ nights and singing competitions. There is a loosely colonial Cuban theme to the décor and frequent happy hours. Has been known to be popular among Liverpool football fans, but all re welcome.
Open Sat-Thu, noon-3am, Fri, noon-2am. Habana Sports Bar, Grand Hyatt, Shatti Al Qurum, www.hyattrestaurants.com (+968 2464 1234).

John Barry Bar
On occasions when you want something more refined than a standard pub atmosphere, this upscale lounge hits the right note. Specialising in mixed drinks and with well-spaced low seating and tables it is a cosy spot for a relaxed post-work drink and catch up with friends. Entertainment is better suited to intimate conversation and a menu of finger foods and small bites, rather than hunking great big steaks and pies. Live piano music is played before a DJ takes over late at night.
Open daily 4pm-2am. John Barry Bar, Grand Hyatt, Shatti Al Qurum, www.hyattrestaurants.com (+968 2464 1234).

Milly O’Brien’s Irish Pub
Irish pubs are not so different anywhere in the world. Individual details may differ, but the basic offering of friendly staff, good music, cheer and, perhaps, a little sport as well remain the same and it is no different at this joint. Turn up when international rugby is being played on the big screens and don't be surprised to find a sing-song atmosphere. Although, to be fair, the same can be said for regular open mic and karaoke nights.
Open Sat-Thu, noon-3pm, 6pm-2am; Fri, 2pm-2am. Milly O’Brien’s, Beach Bay Hotel, As Saruj Street, www.facebook.com/millyobriensirishpub (+968 2469 2121).

O’Malley’s Irish Pub
What it might lose in Irish authenticity it more than makes up for with hard party principles. Whether it is music-turned up to maximum DJ nights across the weekends, daily happy hours or mid-week ladies' nights (with free drinks for women), sporting events or even scheduled stand-up comedy sessions this is a place for action-packed nights. It is situated in the hotel basement and can fill up way into the small hours with a stylish, determined crowd out to have a good time.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-3am; Fri 2pm-2am. Fri. O’Malley’s Pub, Radisson Blu, Al Khuwair, www.radissonblu.com (+968 2448 7777).

On the Rocks
Technically a restaurant, in the sense that it serves food, this is one of the few true stylish nightclub experiences in Oman. The chic lounge attraction draws significant crowds and deserves its reputation as one of the best spots for dance music and late night atmosphere in the region. Dress up to fit in with a hip crowd enjoying the good sound system, vibrant decor and trancey light shows. See and be seen in the cool interiors.
Open Sat-Wed, 6pm-mindnight; Thu, 6pm-3am; Fri, 6pm-2am. On The Rocks, next to Golden Tulip, Al Maardih Street, www.ontherocksmuscat.com (+968 9798 3333).

Rock Bottom Café
Great things can happen when you hit Rock Bottom. Party-loving crowds have known this for years and the American-themed nightspot is always one of the busiest. There is live music and a DJ seemingly every night of the week as well as regular pool competitions, where standards are high. It can be a little rough around the edges and might not score high on the chic factor, but the biker stylings attract a loyal following. Has to be seen to be believed.
Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-3am. Rock Bottom Café, Ramee Guestline Hotel, Qurum, Muscat, www.facebook.com/rbcmuscat/ (+968 2456 4443).

Sama Terrazza Rooftop Lounge
Considering this is a mid-range hotel the rooftop bar is refreshingly chic and offers plenty of pizazz by the pool. The panoramic views show off some inner-city sparkle and there is a DJ-driven soundtrack to back it up. A youthful crowd come for the daily happy hours, lively atmosphere and fun promotions. Expect dancing, loud music and mixed drinks as Muscat residents unwind to the latest Eurohouse tunes by the swimming pool. It can also be a good spot for sundowners.
Open daily 6pm-1am. Sama Terrazza, Park Inn, Al Khuwair, Sultan Qaboos Street, www.facebook.com/SamaTerrazzarooftoplounge/ (+968 2450 7888).

The Vault
An ultra-chic and highly stylised lounge in the heart of the upmarket Radisson hotel. It is the sort of place you might feel more at home idly stirring a mixed drink and pouting rather than chucking back peanuts and watching live sport. And it is all the better for it. Smooth, polished and immaculately turned out could describe either the decor (like something from an aspirational fashion magazine) or the crowd. It is a cool venue and thankfully open until late.
Open Sat-Thu, noon-3pm, 6pm-2am; Fri, 2pm-2am. The Vault, Hormuz Grand, Al Matar Street, Seeb, www.radissoncollection.com (+968 2435 0630).

Trader Vic’s
If you own a loud floral short and like to wear sunglasses atop your head, you've found a spiritual home. The world-famous tiki-themed Polynesian lounge chain is a place of unashamed cheesy fun. Mixed drinks may well come in all colours, shapes and sizes or even come in a coconut and the beach hut vibe is one that lends itself to fun and holiday-like nights. Don’t take things too seriously and enjoy live music and grass skirts to make the most of an iconic spot.
Open Sun-Fri 5.30pm-1.30am; Sat noon-3pm, 5.30pm-1.30am. Trader Vic's, InterContinental Muscat, www.tradervicsmuscat.com (+968 2468 0080).

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