It’s not necessarily the most exciting part of Muscat but Al Hail has a lot to recommend it
It’s not the prettiest of neighbourhoods. A common complaint is the lack of proper pavements and the absence of parks. There are also a lot of roadworks snarling up traffic. Then again, it’s a quiet and friendly neighbourhood for families both local and expat, with a wide range of spacious villas and the sea nearby.
From the most budget and rundown residential blocks all the way up to exclusive palaces, Al Hail caters for all ends of society. It offers a lot in the way of affordable villas and apartments for those who prefer space and don’t mind the daily commute to town. And for Al Hail’s most exclusive inhabitants, of whom there are a few, the area is also home to a number of high-walled palaces. It’s nothing if not eclectic.
Al Hail is a residential neighbourhood with a large community of Omanis, as well as a mix of expats. Locals say it is friendly and easygoing. With a range of villas large and small, and easy access to shops and services, it’s a great place for families and commuters.
[quote]Why I live in Al Hail: It’s a lot more green and spacious than some parts of Muscat. You’re close to all your household needs like fruit and vegetable markets, laundries, barbers and car cleaning.
Salman Abbas, IT worker[/quote]
There is not a huge amount to do here although it has a few quality restaurants and cafes. The Asmaki fish restaurant offers superior seafood. For fresh catch, head to the Evening Fish Market just off the Sultan Qaboos highway. There are a number of superior Turkish and Arabic restaurants as well as lots of cheap shawarma shops. For the more action oriented there is a paintballing centre where you can let off steam by splatting your mates at the weekend. And you are just a short hop to Muscat City Mall or The Wave for a coffee or dinner by the marina.
There are a lots of tailors, barbers, launderettes and some interesting independent retailers that cover most of your basic needs. Highlights include The Cake Gallery where you can order a delicious sponge for any occasion. There are a few smaller supermarkets on the service road running alongside the highway, while Markas Al Bahja and Muscat City Centre are nearby for all your higher end shopping needs.
The area has some important education institutes including the prestigious Caledonian College and the Sultan School, while the Polyglot Institute is popular for English and Arabic students. On the Al Khoud border the Seeb Stadium hosts local football matches and is the home club for Seeb. Al Hail also has a farm or two, showing how recently it was just countryside.