Do you know that you can get fined for driving a dirty car rental in Muscat? Yes, this is how different driving in Oman can be from driving in your home country. To avoid getting into trouble, pay attention to the following information.
Car Hire Prices
Rented vehicles can set you back anywhere from 11 OMR to 50 OMR. Naturally, expect to get what you pay for. If you're on a tight budget, you may choose to get an economy car which comes with manual transmission and without air conditioning. This can be a big problem, however, because Muscat is quite hot especially in the summers. For a comfortable ride around the city, get a decent vehicle, preferably a 4WD. This will most likely set you back 30 OMR or more.
If your destination demands it, go for a 4×4. Otherwise, it's best to get a saloon, which is much cheaper.
Expect to find a speed camera every 2 kilometers in Muscat. Do not make the mistake of thinking these speed cameras are not active just because they look like they do not work; they do. Locals say the tolerance of these speed cameras is up to 19 kilometers per hour.
Subways and Footbridges
In the old days, reckless speeding is a big problem in Muscat. This prompted the government to construct foot-over bridges and subways. At present, there are roughly 10 subways in Muscat, and you can find them in the following areas:
Al Sahwah Tower
Wadi Al Kabir
Muscat has a lot of foot-over bridges, too, and you should look out for them in the following places:
Carrefour City Center (Seeb)
Muscat International Airport
Parking is typically free on Fridays. However, you should always make sure to keep 50 baizas or so on hand, for the meters. Half an hour of parking costs 50 baizas. Certain areas in Muscat, notably Qurum and Muttrah, require you to pay for parking space.