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Our Pick of Oman’s Museums

From Muscat to Salalah, Oman’s museums will take you on a journey of discovery, offering new-found appreciation of its hidden treasures and a perspectives on its historic splendour.

At the heart of Oman, Muscat provides a breath-taking mix of the modern and traditional. The National Museum, formally established in 2013, presents all aspects of Omani history in a unique visual spectacle. Its white façade and dedicated exhibition spaces house over 12,500 artefacts that seamlessly transport you through Oman’s historical creativity and innovation.

Moving west through Al Ariana, and set within the 150-year-old Bait Al Falaj Fort, is The Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum. Under a guided military escort, your excursion will cover Oman’s decorated military past, moving you through pre-Islamic Oman to the Renaissance period. It is far more than just a military hardware display and has been captivating guests and dignitaries alike since its inauguration in 1988.

For something a little more scientific, The Natural History Museum provides an illuminating look at the local flora and fauna. This small and quaint building inside the Ministry of National heritage charms guests to learn more about the various forms of life that have walked the Sultanate territory. However, if an interactive experience is more up your street, then look no further than The Children’s Museum. Don’t be fooled by the name however as the exhibits provide an animated look at the role of science in Omani life, challenging visitors of all ages.

Moving away from the capital, a drive along the North-West coast will see you arrive at the Maritime Museum in the charismatic seafaring surroundings of Sur. Models, instruments, maps and manuscripts guide visitors on a voyage through maritime ingenuity and provide an exceptional introduction to the naval history of Oman. It also provides a perfect stop off point for the exploration of the world-renowned Ras al Jinz turtle reserve and museum along the easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula.

Heading no more than an hour in land from Sur, the Old Castle Museum awaits. Found in Al Kamil Wal Wafi, this elegant and intimately preserved fort overlooks the famous Al Kamil market and houses the private collection of Khalfan Al Hashmi. His passion for collecting is revealed in this diverse and original assemblage, containing everything from porcelain masterpieces to ancient texts and weapons. This carefully crafted assortment is all beautifully set against one of Oman’s freshest Falajs which passes through the heart of this ancient castle.

If your travels take you to the south of the country, then Salalah is a must visit. Set within Al Baleed Archaeological Park (a UNESCO world heritage site), The Land of Frankincense Museum provides an experience like no other in Oman. Set amongst ancient city remains, with kilometres of interweaving rocky paths and night time illuminations, this cultural gateway contrasts the modern sheikdom of Muscat and provides visitors with a reminder of the country’s traditional culture and place within the world.

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