Arabic Language Blog

Oman عُمان: through my eyes (2) Posted by on May 15, 2020 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary

Welcome back to this post about Oman. In this second part of the post, I continue to tell you about my experience in Oman عُمَان and its capital – Muscat  مَسْقَطْ to be specific. It’s Oman and not Amman عَمَّان by the way 😀 The latter is the capital of the Arabic country Jordan, but I wanted to draw your attention to it as there’s usually a lot of confusion خَلْطْ between the two!

Omani men sitting

Image by Anna K on

So, last time, I started talking about Oman and focused on three aspects: its people, the weather and landscape. This time, I’m going to focus on two aspects in detail and these are: the torus الجولات  I have went on and landmarks المعالم الرئيسية or iconic places I visited during these tours.

Tours & Landmarks جولات ومعالم رئيسية  

Most of the tours I went on were actually made on the same day, thanks to the Hop-on hop-off Muscat Big Bus. It’s exactly like the one in London except that the writing on it is in Arabic 😉 It was relatively cheap, and it takes you to pretty much all the iconic places in Oman. On that day, I visited many places but there are the two that made an everlasting impression on me:


  • Souq Matrah سوق مطرح

It’s an old market that sells traditional food (I tried original Karak tea شاي كرك there or the first time!!), handmade crafts  الحِرف اليدوية and some precious herbs like saffron الزعفران.

The market is built just on the opposite side of Matrah harbour ميناء مطرح where you can see some fishing boats مراكب صيد  and fishermen الصيادين nearby.

Matrah Souq - Muscat

Souq Matrah – Image by Hanan (Blogger)


  • Al-Alam Palace قصر العلم

As the name suggests, this is the palace/residence place of the former Sultan of Oman> Sultan Qaboos. In the area nearby, there are many official governmental buildings that include ministries وزارات, etc.

I also visited a popular museum there called Bait Al-Zubair بيت الزبير (house of Zubair) which included amazing illustration, old photos and information about life in Oman and traditions.

*Below is a photo of the leaflet I got from the museum from my visit in 2013!

Bait Al Zubair Leaflet

Image by Hanan (Blogger)


  • Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque جامع السلطان قابوس الكبير

This landmark wasn’t included in the bus tour, so I went to visit it separately. This huge mosque is the most important mosque in Oman. It was named after the former Sultan of Oman Qaboos who issued a royal order to build the mosque. Interestingly, the mosque is open daily for visitors مفتوح يوميًا للزوّار . The interior design  التصميم الداخلي of the mosque is very unique مميز  and fancy فاخر.

Sultaan Qabus Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – Image by Niklas Weiss on


  • The ton of Nizwa ولاية نزوى

Finally, there is the old and famous town/state of Nizwa. You can easily visit it as we booked a casual tour which meant a taxi, a tour guide دليل سياحي  and four people in total. Nizwa is only 90-minute drive away from the capital.

Nizwa is known for its historical monuments الآثار التاريخية  – it’s full of them! It’s particularly known for its castles and forts. The main castle is Nizwa castle which goes back to the 17th century, thus, considered one of the oldest الأقدم  in the country. In addition to the many forts in Nizwa, the most popular one الأكثر شهرة  in the town and in Oman as a whole is Nizwa fort that played a great role, alongside with the castle, to provide safety and protection for the country.

Nizwa Fort - Oman

Image by sharonang on

Until next week, keep it up and continue learning Arabic 🙂

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About the Author: Hanan Ben Nafa

Hi, this is Hanan :) I'm an Arabic linguist. I completed my PhD in Linguistics - 2018. My PhD thesis was entitled Code-switching as an evaluative strategy: identity construction among Arabic-English bilinguals. I'm also a qualified public service translator & interpreter.