Dubai vs Muscat | Where is Better for a Vacation?

If it’s guaranteed sunshine, luxurious hotels and golden beaches you’re in search for, then Dubai & Muscat tick the box. Both of these middle east vacation destinations offer a year round holiday hotspot. But where is better for a vacation? Here we are with Dubai vs Muscat!

Where Has Better Weather?

Both Dubai and Oman are situated on the Arabian coast, just 450km away from one another. By car it will take you just under 5 hours to reach one destination from another, or by plane, just one hour.

Distance from Dubai to Muscat - Dubai vs Muscat for a Vacation | The Vacation Builder

This means that the weather in Dubai and Muscat is really much the same. The winter months of December and January generally see daily highs still in the 20’s, whilst June to August mainly see’s 40C.

Dubai vs Muscat Average High Temperatures

Dubai vs Muscat Average High Temperatures - Dubai vs Muscat for a Vacation | The Vacation Builder

Overall you cannot really judge either Dubai or Muscat as having the best weather for a vacation as they are so similar. So we are calling this one a tie.

Dubai vs Muscat for Hotels

Many people from around the world will have heard all about the luxury hotels on offer in Dubai. Less so for those in Muscat though.

In fact, Muscat rivals Dubai quite closely for luxury hotels. According to Trio Advisor, Muscat offers over 60 hotels which a rating of more than 4 out of 5. So on your vacation in Oman, there is plenty of high end quality stays on offer.

Dubai vs Muscat for Hotels - The Chedi Hotel | The Vacation Builder
The Chedi Hotel, Muscat

Hotels such as Sheraton Oman Hotel, Kempinski Hotel Muscat and The Chedi Muscat are up there with the very best hotels in the middle east.

What’s more, Muscat offers cheaper accommodation than that in Dubai on average with the average hotel price for the whole of 2020 being 435AED /£85 / $118 / 45 Omani Rial. Dubai’s average hotel price for the year 2020 was 1070AED / £150 / $210 / 80 Omani Rial. However, we get more into the cost of both Dubai and Muscat later in the article.

Now on to Dubai. As everyone knows, Dubai hosts some of the best hotels in the world, and plenty of them too! According to Trip Advisors ratings for 2021, Dubai has more hotels rated 5 out of 5 than Muscat does with 4.5 out of 5, which is just incredible.

Dubai vs Muscat for Hotels - Jumeirah Beach Hotel | The Vacation Builder
The Iconic Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Iconic hotels such as Atlantis The Palm, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab just to name a few, are all situated in Dubai.

Based on ratings alone, Dubai offers better hotels than Muscat. Muscat fights back well though, with better value hotels than Dubai. The only thing separating the two would be the fact that each hotel in Dubai presents a better setting. Muscat offers you a cultural city hotel or a beach hotel. Whereas Dubai has Dubai Marina, JBR, The Palm, Downtown and many more areas all of which offer a different experience.

For us, there was only going to be one winner, Dubai, but Muscat still offers some great hotels at a fantastic price!

Also Read: The Best Hotels on The Palm Dubai

Where Has Better Beaches?

Dubai vs Muscat - Where Has Better Beaches | The Vacation Builder
La Mer Beach, Dubai

Beaches depend mostly on personal preference, but both Dubai and Muscat offer some of the best in the world.

The beaches in Dubai can be overcrowded at times, but are mostly immaculate, with plenty of things to do just a stones throw away. Cafes, Restaurants and Shops line the likes of Jumeirah Beach Residence and La Mer Beach.

Dubai vs Muscat - Where Has Better Beaches | The Vacation Builder
A Typical Quiet Beach with Mountainous Backdrop in Muscat

When it comes to the beaches in Muscat, you have gorgeous golden sands with a mountainous backdrop much of the time. As Muscat is a less popular holiday destination, crows are often less too. However, when it comes to things to do at the beach, Dubai definitely wins.

If you prefer quiet beach time with not much else other than golden sands and clear warm waters, then Muscat will be your best bet. Many of the beaches are so accessible you can even drive right onto them for a BBQ! For a wider variety, plus more activities, Dubai’s beaches offer more.

Even though the beaches in Dubai offer more, you cannot beat the scenery of the beaches in Muscat. For this reason, we call Dubai Beaches vs Muscat Beaches a tie.

Where Is Better for Things to Do?

Dubai vs Muscat for Things to Do - Skydiving in Dubai | The Vacation Builder
Skydiving Above The Palm in Dubai

Whether it’s climbing the Burj Khalifa, Shopping at Dubai Mall, Zip Lining, Jet Skiing or Sky Diving; Dubai has absolutely everything you could imagine. There’s more that you can do in Dubai than you can’t.

Muscat offers fabulous culture (which we touch on in the next section), as well as some fantastic tours of the mountains and wadi’s. Those looking for a taste of tradition would favour Muscat.

Dubai vs Muscat for Things to Do - Dolphin Watching | The Vacation Builder
Dolphin Watching in Muscat

Muscat does offer some fantastic water sports like Dubai and has a great shopping scene too, especially for traditional hand made items. However when it comes for overall things to do, there aren’t any places in the world which can touch Dubai.

Some Top Things to do in Dubai:

Some Top Things to do in Muscat

  • Relax on the Many Quiet Beaches
  • Dolphin & Whale Watching
  • Scuba Diving
  • Visit the Grand Mosque
  • Cultural Explorations in the City
  • Climb the Mountaints and Visit The Wadis

For more on things to do in Dubai you can see our top 10 here or visit Trip Advisor for The Best Things to do in Muscat.

Dubai vs Muscat for Culture

Dubai or Muscat | Where Has Better Culture | The Vacation Builder
Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai

When it comes to culture, both Dubai and Muscat offer many experiences. However, the historical culture in Dubai can often be diluted. Between the skyscrapers and all the glitz and glamour of city life, Dubai’s culture can easily be missed or forgotten. This isn’t to say that Dubai has no culture, in fact far from it.

Dubai has some fantastic historical sights to visit if you want to experience the historical culture of the UAE. Places such as Al Shindagha, The Souks, Al Fahidi and Sheikh Sayeed Al Maktoum House all offer a taste of Dubai’s culture.

However, when we compare the two, Muscat offers a lot more when is comes to cultural spots. The everyday experience Muscat offers its tourists feels more cultural than that of Dubai, where luxury is at its finest, but you don’t feel the history and culture so much.

Just walking around Oman makes you feel very much a part of the cities culture. The people here are more laid back and welcoming too. Most of the shops and stalls have been standing in the same spot for many years, the restaurants are family owned and passed through generations, and many of the historical buildings still line the streets today.

Some things you can do to experience the historical culture of Oman include Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Al Jalali Fort, Muscat Gate and Jabrin Castle.

The people of Dubai are equally as welcoming, however the emphasis is more on presentation and service. Many people in Dubai speak English and it is fast becoming a multicultural city.

Step into Muscat, and you feel Oman more than you feel the UAE whilst in Dubai. For that reason, Muscat wins this round on culture.

Where is Cheaper for a Vacation?

Dubai vs Muscat Where Is a Cheaper Vacation | The Vacation Builder
Muttrah Corniche, Muscat

The average flight from London to Muscat varies between £320 to £450 across the year. From London to Dubai you will be looking around £257 to £355 according to Kayak’s flight tool.

Flying over from the USA and you’ll be looking at around $1,000 to Muscat from New York, or $1,100 from Los Angeles. To get to Dubai you are looking at $750 and $850 respectively.

Whether you are flying in from The UK or The USA, flights to Dubai are cheaper.

When it comes to hotels, Muscat is far cheaper than Dubai on average. The average hotel cost per night across the board in Muscat stands at 45 Omani Rial, which is £85 / $118, based on historical figures in 2020. Dubai’s average nightly price was 1,070AED, which converts to £150 / $210.

So this leaves one last element, the cost of living. According to Numbeo.com the cost of living in Muscat is on average 38% cheaper than living in Dubai. Consumer prices in Dubai are 22.5% higher than in Muscat and eating out is on average 36% higher too.

Even though flights may be slightly more expensive, Muscat is certainly a cheaper holiday destination than Dubai.

Don’t be fooled by the average expense of visiting Dubai. We wrote an in depth guide of How to Visit Dubai on a Budget.

Conclusion

Overall we have a tie! Dubai wins when it comes to Hotels and Things to Do. But for culture and price, Muscat takes the medal. Both places were also tied on beaches (depending on personal preference) and weather too.

We hope you have enjoyed this article on Dubai vs Muscat. As you can see, both destinations offer a different type of vacation, and both are definitely worth a visit!

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