Just outside Al Bustan Palace Hotel, opposite the imposing parliament buildings, a small roundabout is home to Sohar, a boat named after the hometown of the famous Omani seafarer Ahmed Bin Majid. The boat (a replica of one sailed by Abdullah Bin Gasm in the mid-8th century to Guangzhou, China) was built in the dhow yards of Sur from the bark of more than 75,000 palm trees and four tonnes of rope. Not a single nail was used in the construction.

British adventurer Tim Severin is a renowned historian and travel writer who spent a lifetime retracing legendary voyages to determine if they were practically feasible. He engaged a crew of Omani sailors to sail Sohar to Guangzhou in 1980. The journey of 6000 nautical miles took eight months to complete and helped prove that the mythical tales of Sinbad may well have been based on fact.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Muscat attractions

1. Parliament Building

0.21 MILES

This elegant building, completed in 2013, is home to the two houses of the Majlis Ash Shura, Oman's parliament. It is not open to the public, but it does…

2. Bandar Jissah Viewpoint


This viewpoint (yet to be properly developed) on the road between Al Bustan and Bandar Jissah offers a fine panoramic vista of the chocolate-coloured…

3. Marina Bandar Al Rowdha

1.01 MILES

Apart from offering a full range of boating amenities, Marina Bandar Al Rowdha is a popular launching point for a range of water sports, including fishing…

4. National Museum

3.18 MILES

Housed in an imposing new building in the heart of Old Muscat, the National Museum makes a fitting consort for the Sultan's Palace opposite. The emphasis…

5. Sea Arch

3.35 MILES

Created by rough seas working against the sandstone, this sea arch at the end of the Bandar Jissah headland is a famous landmark of this coast. Fishermen…

6. Omani-French Museum

3.43 MILES

With galleries detailing relations between the two countries, this museum provides an interesting snapshot of mostly 19th-century colonial life in Muscat…

7. Bait Al Zubair

3.45 MILES

In a beautifully restored house, this much-loved privately owned museum exhibits Omani heritage in thematic displays of traditional handicrafts, furniture…

8. Sultan’s Palace

3.45 MILES

If you stand by the harbour wall on Mirani St, the building to the right with the delightful mushroom pillars in blue and gold is the Sultan’s Palace. On…