Where to stay in Muscat on a budget

Where to stay in Muscat on a budget

Oman is still an affordable destination, but definitely not a budget destination. Are there even nice hotels to stay in Muscat on a budget? When I recently visited the capital of Oman on a diving trip, I was quite conscious on where to find good accommodation that would not break the bank yet be pleasant.

Muscat Geography

Muscat is a large metropolitan area stretching from Seeb to the West to the resorts of Al Bustan and Bandar Jissah on the east, following the coast line, and interspersed with impressive bare hills. If you want to stay in Muscat on a budget, consider areas other than immediate beach front or Muttrah where the souk is.

The areas can be quite stretched out and Muscat altogether is a pleasant, low density city with relatively widely-spaced buildings and, for a desert state, some impressive green spaces. And also, the beach is never that far away.

One disadvantage of Muscat is that there isn’t much in the way of public transport – if definitely exists, but stops are usually just along main roads, convenient for work commuters, not tourists, and there is little information available. This means you would really have to hire a car – it is easy, not expensive, and you can park almost anywhere.

Taxis are pricier, so for maximum convenience, I advise hiring a car if you want to do some sightseeing on your own.

The Muscat International Airport is in Seeb to the west, so if airport proximity is a concern, choose Seeb for accommodation.

Corniche of Muttrah – one of the more expensive areas to stay

What to expect from a stay in Muscat on a budget

Most accommodation in Muscat is built in pleasant, inoffensive modern local style and usually features large bright rooms with air condition as a standard, large tiled bathrooms and high standards of hygiene.

Off-street parking is almost always included in the price. Most hotels, even very small ones, have a pleasant cafe or terrace and some restaurants and cafes nearby.

If money is no object, as usual, you have the usual luxury chains to choose from – almost all have a hotel or resort in Muscat. But that’s not the topic of this post here!

Areas of Muscat with good budget accommodation

I am starting from the West and the airport area. I stayed in three hotels during my stay, all of which I booked through Booking.com. The others I have researched for location, price and recommendations from other travellers. I have stuck to hotels and guesthouses rather than apartment, and, as I said, I am concentrating on budget-friendly accommodation here. If money is no object, you will find plenty of guides to superb luxury accommodation.


A hotel room in Seeb will cost significantly less than one in a more beach-oriented resort, plus you are very close to the airport and some large shopping malls. Another tourist attraction id the Visitor Center of Amouage, the Omani luxury perfume brand. If you want to go SCUBA diving, Seeb also makes a great base

I stayed about 10 minutes drive from my diving school at the Al Sahwa Hotel in a residential area called Al Mawaleh. It was super quiet, the Amouage Factory and a couple of malls were just around the corner.

stay in Muscat on a budget
My room at the Al Sahwa Hotel

The hotel looks brand-new, and is simple but extremely comfortable. I had a huge very bright room with floor tiling and a huge bathroom, which was quiet and pleasantly decorated. There is a small cafe downstairs and at least three restaurants in walking distance, although, if you are looking for Western Food, your best bet might be in the City centre Muscat Mall, a two-minute drive away. I paid about 35 Euro per night for my huge double room.

Amouage Museum – a touristic highlight in Seeb

Another recommendation if you want to be close to the beach, is the Al Hail Waves Hotel. Just one block from the beach, this is a modern hotel with pool and beach access. It costs from about 35 Euro per night also.

Al Ghubrah

Although not a super popular tourist area, I am a big fan of Al Ghubrah. In the geography of Muscat, it is pretty much in the middle, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is almost walkable (mind the large motorway what bisects Al Ghubrah) and there are some great low-key malls and restaurants in the area. Last not least, there is a pleasant well-tended beach park nestled between two luxurious properties.

I spent one night at the Muscat Inn before my flight home, and honestly, was wondering whether I should have stayed there longer. For about 20 Euro, I got a superb room with a balcony on a high floor with a very comfortable bed. Yes, it was not the height of interior design but clean, bright and simple. Noise was not an issue due to very good windows. Highly recommend it if you’re not bothered about design.

stay in Muscat on a budget
Huge room at the Muscat Inn, about 25 Euro

The Palace Hotel next door looks somewhat grander, with more elaborate rooms and a rooftop pool, and costs about 45 Euro per night.

Moving into the 50-70 Euro territory, you can move into four-star territory at the Ramada Encore Hotel. The new Ramada Encore is a large hotel with a large rooftop pool and a huge fitness room and very spacious well-designed rooms.

Al Khuwayr

Admittedly, I don’t know too much about this area other than that it is also somewhat “in the middle” equidistant to Muttrah and the airport. It is some distance from a beach suitable for swimming and more known as a area where ministries and embassies. It is slated for a huge downtown waterfront development and although it’s a convenient location, it offers relatively little of touristic interest.

Good hotels here include the large Intercity Hotel Muscat, another really large modern hotel with a large pool with rates around 60 Euro, and the Wyndham Garden for similar prices. Hotels here are rather large, corporate, and business-oriented, although in that price class, they all have pools.


My first Muscat accommodation was in Ruwi. I chose it for its proximity to Muttrah and abundance of good Indian restaurants as well for being known as quite bustling. Although it looks quite a long distance from Al Mouj, where my diving school was, it was a smooth 25-minute drive there and back.

However, there aren’t a ton of hotels, and all are predominantly in the mid-range price bracket

I stayed at Haffa House Hotel, one of Muscat’s first hotels, a very large palace-style property on the side of a motorway. This one would work if you don’t have a car, as several restaurants and central Ruwi Business district are in walking distance, and there are half-decent transport links from Ruwi Bus Terminal.

The hotel was fun in a vintage way – very 1980’s, rooms could do with a refresh. However – the property is very spacious, and the Indian breakfast was really good. There were even a small pool and a pretty large fitness studio on site. I paid 35 Euro per night including breakfast.

stay in Muscat on a budget, Haffa House Hotel
My room at Haffa House Hotel

In a similar vein to Haffa House, the Al Shorouk Hotel Apartments are in in Ruwi North, so it’s a bit of a walk to Ruwi Centre. While it looks nice, it does not have a pool which I would expect in this price range.

In case you can spend more, the Sheraton Oman looks great. It’s an older property with lots of glitz and marble and refreshed rooms with a neutral decor. It is really easy walk to some great restaurants, large outdoor pool, lovely gardens, but you are pushing the 100-Euro limit here.

Ruwi is great for vegetarian Indian and fusion food – like this “Mushroom Manchurian”


Qurum is very popular with holidaymakers due to the proximity to a really nice beach, and hotels are priced accordingly. So, I couldn’t really find a hotel there under 100 Euro, except the serviced apartments at Arabian Nights Nook. There is no pool, but the beach is less than 10 minutes walk away. Expect to pay around 50 Euro per night, which is quite cheap for this area.

Muttrah and Old Muscat

These two areas full of touristic interest are linked by the coastal road and are quite scenic, which is definitely reflected in the hotel prices. While I loved walking along the Corniche and wander through Muttrah’s famous souk, I am slightly disappointed by the quality of hotels and restaurants in the area.

A very special standout property is the Fort Guesthouse, decorated in traditional Omani style. It’s very charming but at around 60 Euro, definitely not cheap but probably your best option in the area.

Historic houses in Al-Lawatia district, Muttrah

East of Muttrah

And, as we move east, the resort towns of Al Bustan and Bandar Jissah have some lovely properties, but absolutely nothing for under 150 Euro, not even in low season. So, not suitable for sleeping on a budget.

So, where to stay in Muscat on a budget?

Honestly, if you have your own transport and want to stay comfortably on a low budget but in a nice hotel, my recommendation would either be one of the older hotels in Ruwi, which offer competitive rates, or Al Ghubrah with lots of decent hotels to choose from. Convenient for sightseeing, shopping and restaurants.

If you just want a good night’s sleep and are travelling through, Seeb is great.

The Small Print

I stayed in Muscat for diving in January 2024, which is considered high season due to the balmy pleasant temperatures. I stayed in three of the hotels I recommend here, which I booked through Booking.com and paid full rates.

This post contains affiliate links to Booking.com. This means if you use one of these links to book accommodation, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Have you stayed in Muscat, and do you have hotel recommendation for a low to mid range budget? If so, please let me know, and I’d be pleased to include them here.

7 thoughts on “Where to stay in Muscat on a budget”

  • The Middle East has never really been a big attraction to me but the more I read about it I am considering changing my mind. Having decent hotels and food which I read in your post – is helping to change my mind.

    • Hi Sharyn, as a “starter” destination For Arabia and the Middle East, Oman is great. MAny people speak English, great hotels for all budgets. Food is also nice although, as a vegetarian, I struggled a bit. It’s definitely very clean and hygienic.

  • I’d love to visit Muscat! It looks like such a berautiful place to explore! These hotels look like lovely places to stay for a great price. Al Sahwa Hotel looks especially stunning! I’ll keep your recommendations in mind for when I finally plan my visit – thanks for the great guide!

    • Hi Hannah, thank you for your comment! I loved Al Sahwa, one of the best value hotels I stayed in, though you would need a car. It is definitely a local residential area – visited a great beauty salon, ate at a local restaurant, Amouage factory is round the corner. Loved it but it’s not giving tourist vibes at all.

  • Great suggestions here! What I am also curious about is the benefit of booking an expensive hotel. Fro what I understand, Muscat is more likely to be explored during mornings and evenings in the pleasant weather, so would staying with a good brand really matter?

    • Hi Anukrati, Thank you for your comment! I am not sure what is the benefit of booking an expensive hotel, to be honest. I’d say, book a decent hotel… yes, Muscat gets hot in the middle of the day. However… there are so many malls and cafes and they are all air conditioned. My experience with expensive hotels is fairly limited – if there is a great pool or the hotel has some great architecture, I would be willing to pay more… I am not a good one to ask about very expensive hotels as I rarely stay in one.

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