Welcome to 2010 everyone, hopefully you all had a nice weekend. Now it's back to work, and I don't think we have any more national holidays coming for quite a few months - the grind has begun, again.
Muscat is of course the largest city in the country, and is rapidly expanding. One of the things you usually find in larger cities are 24h shops/services.
So far, here in Muscat, there are a few 24h shops.
1. Petrol stations
There are some Oman Oil and Shell petrol stations that remain open 24/7. The shops attached to these petrol stations tend to be your best bet for finding foodstuffs or basic toiletries in the middle of the night. Most for the 24 hour stations are located next to the main Sultan Qaboos highway.
There are of course always the hospitals that you should go to if it's a real emergency. However, if you need to just get some medicine quickly and you know what it is you need, you can go to one of the few 24h pharmacies in town. A good tip to remember here is that the Oman Observer newspaper carries the names and phone numbers of the 24h pharmacies so if you're out and about and need to visit one, you can get a paper from one of the 24h fuel stations and then get directions to a pharmacy. Here are 5 pharmacies that are open 24hours a day:
Al Hashar, Ruwi
Furthermore, this website shows all branches of Muscat Pharmacy that are in the country, and the 24hour locations are marked accordingly. There are 7 branches of Muscat Pharmacy in the Muscat General Area that are open 24/7.
During Ramadan, The Sultan Center remains open very late, if not 24hours. However, outside of Ramadan, I think no supermarket is open 24h.
The Al Fawaris bakery in Muttrah (2483 5345) is also reportedly open 24h, but I'm not 100% sure of that.
Update: Thanks to Oman's Collective Intelligence for sharing that there is a 24h market called O'Mart in between al Khuwair 33 and Muscat Private Hospital.
4. Fast Food.
On the weekends (Wednesday and Thursday nights) The Macdonalds in Al Khuwair and Sarooj are open 24hours. Apart from the bakery noted above (which might not actually be open 24hours) I am not aware of any other food outlets that are 24 hours.
Update: Thanks to Adil for sharing that the McDonalds in Athaibah is open 24hrs all week. Also that the Bausher Hotel has a 24 Hour coffee shop that serves intercontinental cuisine. And also that the fast food outlets at the airport, Dairy Queen, Papa Johns and Costa Coffee are also open 24h.
Taxis run round the clock, of course, but finding a reliable one is pretty hard. There are a few fledgling taxi companies now starting to take form here in Muscat. At the Park Inn hotel in Al Khuwair there is now a taxi firm that will even drop your car home for you for a fee - good for those times when you had more to drink than planned and cant drive home. I forget the name of the company but if anyone knows please comment and let us all know.
And, apart from car rental desks at the airport, that is all I can think of that is 24hours here in Muscat, except of course the hospitals, room service in hotels, and the ROP.
If you know of a 24 hour service here in Muscat, please let us all know by commenting!
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