Some 3km inland from Muttrah lies RUWI, the de facto commercial heart of the city. It’s relatively small beer compared to other urban areas around the Gulf, though if you’ve spent long in the quieter backwaters of Oman the district’s blaze of neon, high(ish)-rise buildings and commercial hustle and bustle can come as something of a surprise, especially after dark, when the whole place has a real urban buzz – one of the few places in Muscat where you get a genuine sense of being in the capital city of a sizeable country.

The southeastern side of the district is popularly known as Muscat’s Little India, on account of the many Indian and Pakistani expats who live and work here, and parts of the area have a distinctly subcontinental flavour, with the city’s best selection of cheap curry houses and dozens of colourful little shops, especially along the vibrant Souq Ruwi Street. The western side of the district, often described as the CBD (Central Business District), is altogether more sedate, home to the rather grand headquarters of most of the country’s leading banks, along with assorted travel agents, airline offices and a smattering of good restaurants.



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