Ruwi – The hub of activity in Muscat

Ruwi High Street has a string of gold and diamond jewellery stores

Downtown Ruwi, once the cynosure of all commercial activity in Muscat, had been one of the most popular Muscat hubs frequented by Omanis and expatriates. All the main banks were headquartered here while top corporates and trade establishments, too, existed here. That status has, however, changed now as there has been a movement of commercial activity towards other areas in the capital, especially Ghubra, Azaiba and Seeb.
Ruwi, however, has a unique charm that is cherished by citizens and longtime residents who once rallied here for everything they needed. Till date, Ruwi is well known for the string of restaurants serving diverse cuisines, cafes, coffee lounges and the numerous coffee shops that dot every street.
The Sultan Qaboos Mosque is located adjacent to the popular Mwasalat bus terminus in Ruwi while all major hospitals and polyclinics have a key outlet here. Oman Post and Omantel have their main offices located in the MBD area which, indeed was once the ‘main business district’.

What to buy

Ruwi High Street is still a popular shopping street, though parking has always been a major constraint here. Nevertheless, people shop here for garments, footwear, watches, electronic appliances, perfumes as well as furniture. Ruwi High Street is also popular for its string of shops selling gold jewellery, representing some of the most esteemed international chains. There are also numerous money exchanges, watch repairers that fix watches or replace batteries, as well as electronics stores which sell mobile phones and accessories.

Where to park

When you visit Ruwi, the most crowded of Muscat hubs, don’t always expect to get parking space close to your destination. It is a good idea to park your car comfortably at a parking lot and go about visiting the various streets for your errands. The best place to park would be in the parking lot opposite the Mwasalat bus terminus where there is always room for everyone. Other parking spots would include the parking lot of the mosque or the paid parking lots in MBD and CBD which are empty after office hours in the evening.

Dining options

There are many restaurants, cafes and pizza outlets in Ruwi. One can visit Pizza Hut, Muscat Pizza, Domino’s, Papa John’s, Costa Coffee or enjoy Indian cuisine at popular outlets like Woodlands, Khana Khazana, Omar Khayyam, Copper Chimney, Grill House, Saravanabhavan, Kamat’s, and many other restaurants and eateries serving diverse Asian cuisines to suit all pockets.

Hypermarkets

There are many restaurants, cafes and pizza outlets in Ruwi. One can visit Pizza Hut, Muscat Pizza, Domino’s, Papa John’s, Costa Coffee or enjoy Indian cuisine at popular outlets like Woodlands, Khana Khazana, Omar Khayyam, Copper Chimney, Grill House, Saravanabhavan, Kamat’s, and many other restaurants and eateries serving diverse Asian cuisines to suit all pockets.

Sights to behold

It is common to see a lot of people moving around the streets in Ruwi (mostly Asians and Omanis) providing a vibrant atmosphere of old world charm, as the streets are lined with small shops that cater to the needs of Asians, Europeans, as well as those from the Middle East and Africa. You can buy anything in Ruwi from a typical Hindu wall calendar to a diamond necklace, from a handheld blender to a jumbo, cupboard-style refrigerator.

The most popular of all Muscat hubs, Ruwi still enjoys a place of pride in the capital and is much cherished by Asians as well as those from the far east. Those from the West, however, only pass by on their way to Al Bustan Palace hotel, Barr al Jissah Resort and Spa, Qantab or Yiti.

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