Muscat is the capital city of Oman and while the original town is located in the old town area near the corniche, Muscat is used generally to describe the area from Seeb to Al Bustan. The strip of city lies nestled between the coastline and the mountains.
The old town area includes the town of Muttrah which is famous for its bustling souq and the fish and fruit and vegetable markets. This tourist hot-spot is picturesque with charming architecture, the corniche and friendly local people.
The Central Business District in Ruwi (CBD) is exactly that and dotted with some great restaurants. Ruwi high street is alive with noise and lights and a great place to haggle for bargains on fabrics, clothing and accessories.
Qurum is the main shopping area with large shopping malls, independent shops and restaurants. Shatti Al Qurum contains a number of 5 star hotels and is fast creating a café culture along its beach front. Both areas of Qurum are desirable to reside in for the style of housing, central location and access to amenities.
Al Khuwair is a mix of residential and retail and is the area where the ministries reside. The residential side has recently expanded towards the mountains and the network of roads greatly improved.
Madinat Qaboos is popular because of its promoxity to some of the schools and nurseries and also for its villas with gardens. Modern townhouses are springing up all over.
Ghubra and Azaiba are growing with new construction and probably offer the best value in terms of housing.
Seeb and Al Hail are nearest to the airport and are located near to two major shopping malls. The Wave is situated here which is the first Integrated Tourist Complex (ITC) where ex-pats can buy property to live in or rent out.