Airports in Muscat - An Insight into Muscat International Airport

Muscat, the capital of Oman is a beautiful city with an endless desert to the west.  Oman is known for its hospitality so you are sure to have a wonderful time in the country. 

When you travel to this beautiful country, do start with Muscat. And the first thing you will be accustomed to is the airports in Muscat. The city has only one airport which is the Muscat International Airport. It is the prime international airport in Oman as most of the travellers fly into Muscat before heading to any other city in Oman. Muscat itself draws in a great number of tourists in the city due to its magnificence. Hence it is the most thriving transport hub. It ensures a very comfortable journey for the tourists entering Oman.

Muscat International Airport

This airport in Muscat began to function as Seeb International Airport in the year 1973. But since 2007 it was renamed and reconstructed as Muscat International Airport. The airport serves as the main port for the flag carrier of Oman Air and Oman's first budget airline Salam Air features flights to several domestic destinations. It serves some intercontinental services to Asia, Africa, and Europe as well. It has two terminals. With the construction of the new terminal, it has become more efficient.

Terminal 1:
The new terminal holds a capacity of up to 40 million passengers annually. It has 118 check-in counters, 82 immigration counters, 10 baggage claim belts, and 45 gates as well. The new terminal is located between the old and new runway. It has become more systematic and can effectively handle larger aircraft now.

Terminal 2:
It handles low-cost carriers as it is a small airport. It is a single building with two storeys. It has 58 check-in counters, 23 departure gates, and 4 baggage reclaim belts. It may be small but it has all the facilities.

Distance and Transport

Distance from the city of Muscat: It is roughly 40 kilometres west of central Muscat. (Twenty-five to thirty-minute drive from the airport)
1. Bus: Taking a bus is an economical option. There is a bus stop just at a walking distance to the airport terminal. It takes about twenty to twenty-five minutes to get into the city. However, most hotels extend complimentary bus services from this airport in Muscat so you would have to coordinate with the hotels. 
2. Taxi: There is an official Mwasalat taxi office in the public Arrivals concourse at the airport terminal through which you could book a taxi for yourself. There are no meter taxis available so you would have to agree on the demanded fares. It is a little more expensive than other local transport options in the city. It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to get into the city.
3. Car Rentals: If you hold an international license, you can get into the city by renting a car. There are car rental kiosks through which you can rent cars. There are local operators renting cars as well. The rates differ from company to company. They are open 24/7 at the arrival zones.
4. Car parking: Muscat airport has provisions for parking for both short and long term. One can take assistance from the car parking booths which are open 24/7. Parking spaces are available at a short distance from the main terminal.

Services and facilities

1. Currency exchange: There is a bureau de change office -Al Jadeed Foreign Exchange which is located close to the information desk at the departure hall as well as at the International Arrival mezzanine level placed near the Immigration Counter and also in the Departures, Opposite Duty-Free.

2. ATMs: There are several ATM machines spread across functioning with various currencies for your convenience. 

3. WIFI and Pay telephones:  For everyone needs a data connection for internet access in today’s time, there is free WIFI at the airports for all. There are pay telephones of Ooredoo, Mantel (stationed at the arrivals meet and greet area close to information desk); and Renna Mobile: (in case of emergency calls which are spread all through the airport)

4. Duty-free shopping: At the international terminal, there are many duty-free shops where one can do their last-minute shopping. There are a plethora of brands of clothes, jewellery, and souvenirs to buy from at the airport.

5. Gold Shops: This might be different, but this airport in Muscat has gold shops too! As Gold is an important resource of the Middle East, one may want to invest in some. Argan gold and Argan Exclusive offer a range of high-quality Gold & Diamond Jewellery. They offer designs from across the world at Muscat Duty-Free in the Departure Hall. 

6. Restaurants and Bistros: There are a variety of restaurants including bakeries, cafes, fast food outlets and casual dining’s to choose from like Cakes And Bakes, Café Nero, Noor, Luna, Sea Side Park, Spice Kitchen, Kahwaji, Mc Donald’s and many more are the different options of restaurants. 

7. Lost and Found: There is a special lost and found counter at the airport in case of luggage misplacement or absence of any belongings. They are stationed at the arrival areas in both the terminals.

8. Prime class Lounge: There is a prime class lounge on the fifth floor of the airport. They have various facilities for all the passengers. There are gaming zones, prayer areas, meeting zones, Kid’s Play Rooms, Shower Facilities, Restrooms, Spa, Relaxing Zone, Baggage Storage, and Smoking Areas. They can be helpful to those in transits as well as for those who have a long haul flight to relax and spend some time without moving into the city. It is extremely helpful and of course, luxurious in its own way.

There are no hotels or business lounges at this airport in Muscat but the prime class lounge makes up for the absence of the two. One can work as well as take some time off in the lounge area and indulge in a spa and enjoy their time.

This magnificent airport in Muscat is a class apart and no doubt one of the best airports in Oman. The airport makes sure of a very comfortable journey to and from Muscat irrespective of whether you are travelling domestic or international. It’s one of a kind airport. Stay rest assured of your travel.

This post was published by Sony Punjabi