When you board a plane for the Middle East, you’re saying goodbye to green spaces and hello to lots and lots of sand (and palm trees).
But that doesn’t mean Muscat, or Oman in general, doesn’t have plenty of parks for you to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to go on a jog, somewhere to take the kids, or for somewhere to enjoy the local flora, we’ve got you covered.
Read on for our pick of the best parks in Muscat.
Ghubra Lake Park
This small park is most commonly frequented by local families who head here for a picnic or those looking for a green space to jog in. It can get very busy but it’s great for kids as there are playground facilities, and there’s a coffee shop if you fancy something to eat or drink.
Ghubra Lake Park, Ghubra.
This park, in between Muttrah and Old Muscat, is a great spot for a picnic, or even a BBQ if you head over to the beach. The views of the sea and the mountains are stunning and if you’re feeling adventurous there are some rocks near the beach you can climb on for a better view (or a better picture for social media, let’s be honest here).
Kalbuh Park, near Riyam.
Every January, Naseem Park plays host to the Muscat Festival, which showcases Omani culture through traditional clothes, food and jewellery stalls, and live musical performances. The park also has a number of rides for children to enjoy. Even if you don’t head here during January, you can still enjoy a picnic or look at all the beautiful flowers on show here.
Naseem Park, near Manumah.
Even if you’ve never been to Riyam Park yourself, there’s a very good chance you’ve seen a picture of it (or at least a picture of the giant ornamental incense burner inside it). Follow the road around from Muttrah Corniche and you’ll find this park in no time. There’s lots of green spaces for you and the kids to sit or run around in, and if you climb up to the ornamental incense burner, which was built for Oman’s 20th National Day, you’ll enjoy great views over the local area.
Riyam Park, Riyam.
Sahwa Public Garden
If you’ve got even a passing interest in plants and flowers, Sahwa Public Garden is the place to go. There’s plenty of local flora on display, and an entire section for palm trees too. The kids will love the dancing fountains and there’s Islamic-style architecture on display all over the park. In total, the gardens cover an area of 300,000 sq m, so this is a perfect spot for a long walk on a cool day.
Sun-Thu 9am-11pm. Fri-Sat 9am-midnight. Sahwa Public Garden, Mabela.
Qurum Natural Park
No visit to Muscat would be complete without spending some time in Qurum Natural Park. It’s the largest park in the capital and there’s activities for all the family. There’s a lake in the park that you can go boating on, there are cycles available for rent, plus jogging tracks for you to enjoy, and there’s plenty of children’s playgrounds. There is also a rose garden and other flora for you to check out.
Daily 8am-11pm. Qurum Natural Park, Qurum.