The National Museum opened in 1978, and was previously known as the Museum of the House of Sayyid Nadir Bin Faysal Bin Turki. It includes a number of sections. Among them is the main hall, which houses a variety of exhibits, such as bangles, pendants, rings, copper tools, and aspects of traditional Omani life. The museum has a section for the exhibition of some of the belongings of Al Sayyidah Salimah Bint Said Bin Sultan, consisting of silver items, such as pendants and ‘natls’. It also houses a special section for the exhibition of specimens of traditional Omani ships, documents, and postal stamps of some Zanjibar’s Sultans.
Natural History Museum
The Museum has several halls, each dedicated to a different type of environment of the Omani natural landscape. The Green Hall is full of images of the rich and varied Omani geography. It houses stunning pictures of the country taken by satellite, and a map and chart featuring the country’s main historic landmarks. It contains explanations with pictures and files of the main natural characteristics of the country’s six regions.
Armed Forces Museum
The Armed Forces Museum, which opened officially on December 11 1988, is located in the Beit Al Falj Fort. The Fort has been restored and refurbished during Oman’s contemporary Renaissance on the directives of His Majesty the Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the Supreme Commander-in-chief of the Omani Army. The directive proceeded from his interest in reviving Omani heritage, and his deep appreciation of Oman’s military role in various phases of history.
The Omani French Museum
The museum is located in central Muscat and contains a collection of ancient works of art, traditional crafts, and cultural material in connection with the historic ties between the Sultanate of Oman and the French Republic. It is known as ‘Bait Franca’, the House of France. This museum, the idea for which came after His Majesty’s visit to France in 1989, is indicative of the historic relations between Oman and France in various areas, particularly in the maritime relations.
The Children’s Museum opened on the National Day on Rabiaa Al-Thani 25 1411AH, corresponding to November 14 1990 on the Christian calendar. This museum’s opening was another sign of generous interest on the part of His Majesty the Sultan in issues concerning children. The Children’s Museum is a vibrant means of simplifying science and technology. It explains the phases of human development, and contains various exhibits of inventions and modern methods and means, which allow the visitors to grasp science’s essential role in the life of humans.
Bait Al Zubair Museum
The Bait Al Zubair Museum is located in Old Muscat, and is considered as part of the Omani heritage. It was built by Shaykh Zubair Bin Ali in 1914, and was inaugurated by his son Muhammad Bin Al Zubair in 1988. Its purpose was to involve all those interested in Oman’s deep-rooted heritage by granting access to original Omani objects of art, and acquisitions that have been in the family for generations or obtained at later stages.
The museum is located in the government building quarter next to the Office of the Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar. It is found inside the Cultural Centre, and it can also be called a museum of human history. Its contents consist of engravings and inscriptions in southern Arabic, known as the Al Musnad calligraphy, a collection of Chinese, Austrian, and Omani coins dating back to the eleventh century AD, pottery pieces from the Middle Ages, and documents and manuscripts, including a copy of a letter from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to Abd and Jeefar, sons of Al Julandi, and king of Oman.
Sohar Fort Museum
The Sohar Fort Museum opened in 1993, and its subject is the history of the old Sohar city and its ties with several civilisations. It focuses on the role played by the copper trade in Sohar, and the city’s ties with the city of Canton in China. The museum has an exhibition of some archaeological pieces found during excavations in parts of the fort.
Museum of The Madhaa District
This is one of the most important private museums in Oman. Established by citizen Mohamed Bin Salem Al Madhani, who started his collection 1976, the museum reflects his passion for and interest in this country’s deep-rooted history. Despite the simplicity in the exhibitions of this museum, it houses several rare antique pieces dating back to pre-historic times, such as tombstones, stone sculptures, and farming tools used before Christianity.
MUSEUM OF OMANI CURRENCIES
This museum is located within the building of the Omani Central Bank, it portrays the history of the use of money in Oman, be it coin or note currencies. The museum houses many old and new currencies including coins and notes that had been in circulation in the early days of the Islamic state. Oman had no common currency then, but it shows what Omanis were using in their dealings with other countries. The museum holds exhibits on the evolution of note currency and its different issues in Oman since early nineteenth century. As the museum holds many currencies used in the Sultanate that hold historic ties with other countries, these currency exhibits are arranged in their historic order in various eras.