With summer well and truly on the way, choosing what activities we do and when we do them is the name of the game. Nikita Lobo checks out some of Oman’s best options for beating the heat
While it might seem strange to pursue a traditionally winter sport in the height of summer, beating the heat by gliding on ice makes perfect sense. You don’t need to be Torvill & Dean and it’s one of the most exhilarating pastimes you can choose without wearing yourself out. There’s one ice skating rink in Oman, which can be found at Fun Zone in Qurum. It is always teeming with aspiring ice skaters and also serves as a practice rink for professionals. Opening hours are from 9am until midnight and casual skating sessions are available for 90 minutes, costing RO4. For those aged five and over.
Spend the weekend with a picnic and in the company of family and friends on this beautiful beach, which can be found in the heart of Muscat’s most-visited tourist area, generally referred to as ‘Shatti’ beach. It offers picnic spots with palm shades throughout, food and drink amenities nearby and a peaceful atmosphere.
Find your inner Fast Eddie with the game that is all about strategy, angles and potting balls. If you feel like clearing a few tables, there are venues in Oman to help you do just that. They include Gaming Planet in Shatti al Qurum (RO2/hour); Game Zone (part of Fun Zone), Qurum and the Oman Bowling Centre in Al Khuwair (RO3/hour).
Even if you miss the bowling lane completely and end up running a ball down the gutter, this is a fun sport for all the family. Tenpin bowling is also a good calorie-burner for parents. There are quite a few bowling alleys in Muscat: Oman Bowling Center in Al Khuwair, Al Masa Bowling in Al Masa Mall, and the Star Bowling Centre at Fun Zone in Qurum. Admission prices vary.
A summer breeze makes you feel fine – especially if you are on the water. Why not enjoy a summertime cruise with friends and family as the sun sets? This cruise departs from Marina Bander Al Rowdha and takes you around Muscat’s rocky coast. Prices around RO20-RO25, experience the soothing sensation of the reflected city lights shimmering on the water and the delightful night sky.
Any parent knows that keeping the kids constantly amused in the summer is no mean feat. However, Funtazmo is the largest indoor family amusement centre in the Sultanate and it can be found at the Oman Avenues Mall. It offers kids a whole host of fun games and activities that will keep them entertained for hours. There’s a soft playground for toddlers, a jungle gym area and a big trampoline, for starters. Trained staff are on hand to ensure health and safety standards are observed. There are also restaurants and cafes to enjoy. Entry fee is RO3 per child for two hours.
Has your whole troop come over all competitive all of a sudden? Paintball may provide the perfect solution for the kids to channel their inner warrior. Not suitable for children below the age of six. MGLG Paintball Oman, in Al Hail South, provides an action-packed experience, which involves forming teams and attacking opponents by shooting them with dye-filled, breakable, oil and gelatine paintballs. Safety goggles should be provided. Prices depend on the size of your group and we suggest an evening session during the hotter months.
For smaller children who can’t really go in for paintball, this is a game of tag played with lasers in which infrared-sensitive targets are worn by each player. Laser tag is available in Oman at Lazer Runner in Panorama Mall, Ghubra; MGLG Paintball Oman in Al Hail South and LaserBlast at Fun Zone in Qurum. At LaserBlast, the fee is RO3 per person and is limited to 14 players. At MGLG, the price of an individual depends on the number of players in a group.
Of course, any park is appealing for kids to let off steam in, but this one offers a plethora of pleasure-filled activities for children of all ages. There are amusement rides on one side of the park while the other serves as a perfect picnic spot for families, along with slides and smaller play areas for tiny tots. Family outings, evening strolls and everyday exercise can all be enjoyed here. The entry fee is 300 baiza per person, and children under five go free. Amusement ride charges range from 300 baiza to RO1.5 per person. It’s open daily up to midnight.
Can’t find a cool enough ground to play football on? At the Ras Al Hamra Recreation Centre (RAHRC) at PDO, hotter weather won’t affect the sports played here in any way as customers will find an indoor sports hall that incorporates a basketball court, a table tennis area, a badminton court and cricket pitch. The centre also offers contemporary/ jazz classes for children (4-15 years) with an entry fee of RO15 per child. Members only.