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Muscat enchants visitors in a way that no other city in the Gulf can even begin to match. The old port area, is the site of the sultan’s main palace and a fascinating place to wander around. There are three forts in Muscat, all of which took on their more or less present form in the 1580s during the Portuguese occupation of Muscat. Mutrah Fort sits on a hill while Jalali and Mirani forts guard the entrance to Muscat. All of the forts are still used by the police and/or military and are closed to the public, but it is permitted to photograph them. Muscat has by far the best aquarium in the Gulf; all of the specimens on display are native to Omani waters and most are accompanied by thorough descriptions in English.

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