Muscat exudes a rare warmth that has charmed visitors through ages. That makes the Sultanate’s capital one of the favourites of tourists as well as job seekers. The city’s world class infrastructure, balmy weather and friendly residents make it a highly sought after destination. The authorities have been quick to tackle any issue that affects the comfort of people living here. The new roads that are being opened at a fast clip ease traffic bottlenecks. The government has always taken care to maintain high quality in urban infrastructure. There are several new townships coming up across Muscat Governorate which are being built to exacting standards. People living and working in the capital are blessed by the bounteous nature that characterises all parts of the Sultanate. There are several places beckoning people for weekend or longer sojourns. The variety that the nation offers to a resident of Muscat is undoubtedly remarkable. Unlike some other cities of the region that are on a building spree marring the skylines, Muscat has always been discerning about urban aesthetics. The city’s architects do not believe in skyscrapers without soul and strive to maintain harmony in their constructions. This harmony permeates the whole lives of the residents here. The capital city’s urban planners believe in the need of wide open spaces and the contrast they create with the mountains that rise in the background. The blue of the seas, beaches of silvery sands and hills of myriad hues provide ethereal relief to the residents. Not to talk of the sweeping golden dunes and lush wadis that never fail to amaze visitors. The sheer canyons and precipitous hills are also places that refine the hearts of leisure seekers.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Mercer’s Quality of Living Index Survey for 2017 found Muscat among the top three Arab cities. It is no mean achievement for the city considering the large number of cities of good infrastructure strewn across this oil-rich region. What cannot be forgotten is that Muscat scores well above some cities that have been splurging on infrastructure. The success of the authorities has not come easy. There has been meticulous, long-term planning behind this steady improvement in the nation’s quality of infrastructure. The authorities have wisely gone in for public-private partnership in developing the infrastructure. Apart from the roads network that is growing at a fast rate, the rail network the plans for which are being firmed up will ensure a big leap in the city’s ability to rapidly move people and goods over long distances. Of course quality of life does not depend merely on the infrastructure available or the wealth the residents are able to earn. It is a function of the all-round satisfaction that the residents are able to derive. The city offers the right mix of the modern and the ancient and the progressive and the stable. Projects like the smart city that would induct technology to positively influence people’s conveniences will be a major upgrade. With the interest that the authorities are showing in exploring new avenues of public service, there is no doubt that Muscat will continue to reign supreme on the list of cities offering highest quality of life.