Museums in Oman
Museums in Oman
Being the capital of the nation, Muscat is an abode abundant in the resplendent and colourful history of the Sultanate, bringing to light the stories of its ancient beginnings and colonial overthrows in the form of captivating museums that are a must-see for tourists to learn more about the country, its social and political background, and cultural traditions.
Bait Al Zubair
Bait Al Zubair is a private museum that opened its beautifully carved wooden doors to the public in 1998. Dedicated to showcasing important ethnographic artefacts that reflect the highly specialized skills and rich cultural heritage of Oman’s society, Bait Al Zubair also displays outstanding private collections of the Al Zubair family, inclusive of information about the Al Busaidi dynasty, with magnificent examples of khanjars (Omani dagger), traditional swords and firearms, ancient jewellery, and male and female attire.
Timings: Saturday – Thursday, 09.30AM – 01.00PM/04.00PM – 07.00PM
Location: Al Saidiya Street, Old Muscat | Governorate: Muscat
Natural History Museum
Incredible displays of Oman’s rich and diverse flora and fauna await visitors who walk in through the doors of this museum. Rare exhibitions include traces of tree fossils found in Al Huquf dating back more than 260 million years, in addition to the remains of coral fossils dating back over 270 million years. The museum also has the whale hall that displays jaw-dropping skeletons, bones and skulls of whales. During cooler months, visitors can enjoy a stroll in the botanical gardens that are planted with indigenous Omani trees and shrubs.
Timings: Saturday – Wednesday, 09.30AM – 01.30PM/05.00PM – 07.00PM
Location: Al Khuwair, Muscat | Governorate: Muscat
Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum
Built in 1845 as a royal summer house, the white towers of the Bait Al Falaj Fort, located in Ruwi, house treasures that will astound the visitor. Containing excellent displays of Omani weaponry and military hardware, the Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum also has a comprehensive depiction of the country’s warfare history, from the medieval ages to the modern era.
Timings: Saturday – Thursday, 08.00AM – 01.30PM
Location: Bait Al Falaj Fort, Ruwi | Governorate: Muscat
Bait Al Barandah
Also known as the House of Naseeb, a merchant who built the residence in the late 19th century, Al Barandah is the local pronunciation of the English word ‘veranda’. The museum was named after the balcony that extends along the length of the façade on the first floor. Recounting the history of Muscat since its geological formation to the present day, Bait Al Barandah uses interactive technology that displays pictures of tectonic plate movement over the past 750 million years until today. The museum also includes documentation of the nation’s history since its inception to the present day.
Timings: Saturday – Thursday, 09.00AM – 01.00PM/04.00PM – 08.00PM
Location: Muttrah Corniche, Muttrah
Small in its area, yet large in the quality and diversity of its artefacts, the Bait Adam museum is a treasure-trove of Omani antiquity, reflecting on the country’s rich past, and takes visitors into 5000 years of the Sultanate’s history. The museum is considered to be the holder of one of the finest coin collections of Oman and its dominions.
Timings: Monday – Wednesday | Saturday – Sunday, 09.00AM – 1.30PM/04.00PM – 07.00PM
Location: Madinat Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
With 45 exhibits and two demonstrations spread across 10,000 square feet, the Children’s Museum is a favorite amongst children of all ages, and simplifies the wonders and mysteries of science in a playful environment that is engaging as it is fun, even for adults! It is visited by more than 50,000 people every year, and can be recognized easily by its large, white domed exterior.
Timings: Saturday – Wednesday 08.30AM – 01.30PM Thursday, 09.00AM – 01.00PM
Location: Shatti Al Qurum, Muscat
The Museum of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture
This museum was opened in 1979 and was previously was called the Sayyid Nader bin Faisal Museum. It moved to Ruwi in 1988 and was renamed the National Museum and, in 2007, the name was changed again to the Museum of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. The museum exhibits popular Omani cultural artefacts such as swords, traditional ships and silverware. It is located next to the Abdul Ridha Sultan Mosque and the Islamic Library in Ruwi.
Timings: Saturday – Wednesday, 08.00AM – 01.30PM
Location: Ruwi | Governorate: Muscat
The Omani-French Museum
Also known as Bait Al Faransi, the Omani-French Museum was formerly the residence of the French Consul, and was presented as a gift by Sultan Faisal bin Turki to the first French Consul in Muscat in 1896. It was opened as a museum in 1992 by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the late French President Francois Mitterrand. The museum traces Omani-French relations over the years and provides an insight into the life of Early French diplomats in Oman. Model Omani-French ships are on display together with Omani and French Costumes and Jewellery.
Timings: April – October, Saturday – Wednesday, 08.00AM – 01.30PM
October – March, 04.00PM – 07.00PM
Location: Qasr Al Alam Street, Muttrah
Omani Heritage Village
Nestled in the premises of Shangri La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, this heritage village is a popular tourist Attraction. The village is a reincarnation of a bygone era that establishes the same mystical and authentic atmosphere of a souq, giving visitors a firsthand experience of some the Sultanate of Oman’s traditional arts and crafts.
Timings: Call ahead at 24776666
Location: Qantab, Shangri La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa
Tips: Watch the artisans at work over handcrafted silver ware, pottery and weaving. Find the most enticing trinkets and souvenirs that will make ideal gifts to take back home.