Muscat may be a business-oriented city, but it’s definitely not all work and no play. It is also a city with plenty of romance—especially if you know where to go. From an indulgent visit to the country’s premiere perfumery to a trip through its glittering museum, Muscat is great place to enjoy with your sweetheart.
Amouage is an internationally recognized perfumery. It even has its own visitor’s center in Muscat that was built in 2012 to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. The perfumery is ultra-modern with a sleek design, but still retains the glamour of traditional Muscat architecture. Here, you can indulge your sweetheart in some of Amouage’s best-known scents, including ones from their famed Midnight Flower and Secret Garden collections. You can also find luxury items like scarves and leather goods in the gift shop.
Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art
Nestled at the foot of the old Muttrah Fort, and opened in 2011 under the patronage of the Omani king and queen, the Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art is actually several museums in one. It includes the modern art aspect, a chic, contemporary gallery containing works from Oman and around the world as well as the Old House, which celebrates the traditional architecture, décor and culture of Muscat and the Clothes Museum, a collection of local and regional dresses from the past and present.
The museum is open from Saturday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
No date night would be complete without a romantic dinner—and the place to go in Muscat for this is the Kargeen Restaurant. The Kargeen offers a fine atmosphere both inside and out, and you can have your choice of a romantically lit deck lined with palm trees and curtain-enclosed seating inside. The menu features Arabic and Omani dishes like zatar bread, stuffed wraps called shawara, and al bayhia (a dish made from meatballs and bread). For those who might be less adventurous, a large selection of European food is offered, including pastas and crepes.
The Kargeen Restaurant is open Sunday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Royal Opera House
There is a reason why great romantic movies like Pretty Woman and Moonstruck feature a date at the opera. For a evening of Verdi or Puccini, head to the Opera House, a glowing, golden building that combines traditional Omani architecture with the elegance of a European opera house. This season features works like Aida and Pagliacci, but the venue also shows more modern American pieces as well. Consider a private opera box for an extra special evening.
The Opera House’s season runs from September through May, and the box office is open Saturday to Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm.
Whether you are interested in strolling through a glittering gallery of art or snuggling up in an opera box for a night of exceptional music, Muscat will be more than able to fulfill your romantic expectations.