In the past, I’ve written a positive review of the Oman Dive Center and their restaurant there. Well, until they change their parking policy and attitude towards customers, I never intend on ever returning to that money hungry, tourist-milking establishment again. They know nothing about customer service.
Service has been slow on previous visits, but we waited like 20 minutes and no one came to serve us or even give us a menu. Even after I went into the kitchen and asked for 2 menus at table 21, they took another 10 minutes to get it to us. The write-up in “Time Out Muscat” got it right when they wrote, “Time stands still…at least it does for the staff, who can be spotted strolling leisurely around the beachfront chatting to patrons.” Not only was service extremely slow, there was a serious fly problem. Another thing I noticed at the Dive Center on this visit. The beach is horrible during lowtide. So many rocks and then such a thick mud that very few even bothered swimming at that time.
The fish & chips at Odyssey (RO 4.5 if I remember correctly) was actually a very good meal. Another plus is that tax was not added to the bill but inclusive in the price. All of these pluses do not balance out the nonsense we went through on leaving though.
On leaving “Odyssey”, I went to the receptionist to get our parking ticket signed (as I’ve done on numerous occasions). Normally any parking prices are waived if you have a quick (less than 30 minute) lunch. The Omani woman told me that the new policy states that each person must spend at least 15 rials at the restaurant to avoid any parking fee. If you spend less, the parking charge is 4 rials per person. Rubbish! By the way, there is plenty of parking space at the Dive Center and there really is no need for such a policy except for simply milking tourists for every dollar they can. I told her that the man at the gate told me nothing about such a policy and there is not a sign warning anyone entering about such a ridiculous policy. I also told her that I have been there before several times and no such policy existed. She rudely told me that they charge people 4 rials per person for parking and there is nothing else to say about the matter. Excuse me? per person? Shouldn’t that be per car?! So if there are 6 people in the car I should have paid 24 rials for a quick 30-minute fly-infested lunch?! The best way to send them the right message is by not returning. In the future, I will bring all friends/visitors to the much better Blue Marlin Restaurant at Marina Bandar.