My ID: 8:05am, Saturday, 09 May 2009: Muscat Seeb International Airport
Oman Air flight WY602 from Dubai
Coming from the hustling, bustling, steel-and-glass metropolis of Dubai, my Initial Descent into Oman had me expecting more of the same. Sure, I had heard that Oman seemed to preserve more of its traditional heritage than its more famous neighbor to the north, but given that Muscat’s arrival onto the international scene along with the rest of the major cities in the Gulf region, I was skeptical.
From the design of the airport itself to the slower pace of the immigration and Arrivals halls, I immediately understood that this wasn’t the same as Bahrain, Dubai, or even Doha. This place indeed marched to its own rhythm, and I was going to enjoy it.
Even the ride into town was different. There didn’t seem to be the maddening traffic prevalent in the other cities here. There were surely signs of Western influence—your occasional American restaurant chain or hotel—but it seemed more understated and subtle. Upon landing in my fifth city in the Middle East, I finally felt as though I was really in this part of the world.