Oman’s rich cultural heritage is under the spotlight at Muscat’s popular Bait Al Zubair Museum, located in the Old Town just east of the modern city. Opened in 1998 to showcase the private collections of Sheikh Al Zubair bin Ali, minister and advisor to three former Sultans, the museum has quickly ascended the ranks of Muscat’s most popular tourist attractions. Originally housed in the Al Zubair family’s former home, the museum has since been expanded into a complex of three buildings, including an art gallery and an Omani-style model village, complete with a falaj (an ancient water system), a souk and houses topped with palm fronds.
The vast permanent collection of Bait Al Zubair features everything from antique maps and historic photographs of the city, to typical Muscati furniture, old Islamic coins and portraits of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said. The principal highlight is a series of exhibitions devoted to traditional Obani crafts, including silver, copper, clay, leather and textile products, alongside a display of khanjar (Omani daggers), household objects and clothing.