Mwasalat Buses-Using Public transport in Muscat

This post shares our experience using Mwasalat public transportation buses in Muscat, Oman. If you are visiting Muscat and do not want to spend a lot on taxi, Mwasalat has got you covered- almost. Mwasalat service was started about 2 years ago I am told- before this, taxi was the main mode of transport, costing several rials per ride. Muscat doesn't have any metro/local trains, nor tuk tuk/ebike rentals or other modes of affordable commute within city. Thanks to Mwasalat, we could save lots of money which otherwise had to be spent on Taxi.

Key Information about Mwasalat public transport buses in Muscat.

  • Pronounced as Masalat (wa is silent)
  • Official website: https://mwasalat.om/en-us/
  • Ticket fare: depends on Zone, 200 Baisa (INR 40/0.5 USD) for 1 zone, 300 Baisa for 2 zones, 500 baisa (half rial) for 3 zones,  1 OMR (2.6 USD) for airport, more for intercity services
  • Mode of payment: Cash only (no smart card, no daily pass etc), card payment may be possible in Mwasalat offices
  • Frequency: Good, every 20-30 minutes during weekday/day time. Less during weekend/night time
  • Coverage- Moderate- most tourist places in Muscat and popular cities in Oman. Interior/remote places may not have bus service.
  • Information display (like next stop) is available in big buses, not in mini buses. Crowd is nominal
  • All Mwasalat Buses are air conditioned and well maintained. Eating & drinking not allowed
Most popular Mwasalat bus routes in Muscat, Oman: 

  • Orange, 4: To Mutrah Souq, Al Alam Palace
  • Green 1: Al Mabelah- via Grand Mosque, Opera House, Al Azaiba, most places on Sultan Qaboos street
  • Red 1B: Ruwi to Muscat International airport
  • Yellow 14: Qurum National Park
There are a several other routes, mostly serving residential areas, you can use google maps to identify route suitable for your destination


From Muscat International Airport:
Route 1B to Ruwi: Route 1B connects Muscat International airport to Ruwi locality in Muscat. This airport bus operates once every 30 minutes and has a fixed fare of 1 OMR (Omani Rials, 2.6 USD/190 INR) per person per ride, irrespective of where you get off.

Airport bus has luggage racks to keep your bags, has free WiFi but you will need a local number to receive OTP. Without a local number onboard WiFi is useless.

Ride to Ruwi from Airport can take 30-45 minutes depending on traffic and stops.

To Nizwa, Dubai etc
Several Mwasalat long distance buses plying to other cities in Oman and to Dubai have a stop over at Muscat International airport. Check the schedule on official website- if timing suits you can directly head to say Nizwa or other cities from airport.

From Ruwi:
I stayed close to Ruwi and used buses from Ruwi bus stop to visit various destinations. Route 1, 1B, 4 were very useful to visit places of tourist interest.

Intercity buses:
We took Mwasalat intercity bus from Azaiba to Nizwa- cost was about 1.5 Rial (INR 300/USD 4) for 156 kms. Buses to various parts of Oman are available, check if timing works for you. Planning a separate post on planning Nizwa tour using public transport.

Possible Improvements:

  1. Smart Card/Day Pass system which deducts money based on distance traveled or caps max fare per day.
  2. If WiFi login can be simplified without needing OTP, tourists can use it more. Those who don't have local mobile can be made to give a passport copy at Mwasalat centre for security
  3. Live time table at major bus stations about next bus arrival time will be useful.
  4. Mini buses do not have proper displays to know where they are going-some enhancement will be nice.

Things to know:
  • I wanted to visit Wadi Shah but there was no convenient bus service to there from Muscat. I was told there is one bus at 3PM-it was not suitable to return same day. Tour companies charge INR 6000-7000 for a day tour to Wadi Shab
  • There is no day pass concept. You've to pay for each ride in cash.
  • Punctuality is reasonable, though better to keep 30-60 min buffer during weekend/night times.
  • Beware of taxi drivers trying to snatch away bus passengers claiming bus will be late or no bus today- Buses of course take a bit more time but can save 50-90% over taxi fare.
Best wishes to Mwasalat service and hope they extend the network, introduce a smart card/day pass and provide easy connectivity to more tourist attractions.

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