Arts Architecture are the Design Architects for this prestigious new museum, planned in conjunction with museum designers Jasper Jacob Associates. Situated on a prestige site in the centre of Old Muscat, this National Museum sets out to showcase the cultural heritage of Oman from prehistoric times to the present day.
The main entrance addresses a new public square and leads on to ‘The Land and The People’ - a central, air-conditioned triple-height space celebrating the different regions of the country, and around which the other galleries are arrayed. The Ground Floor galleries include ‘Maritime Heritage’, ‘Arms and Armour’, ‘Civilization in the Making’, ‘Aflaj’ (Irrigation systems) and ‘Currency’.
An Archaeological Timeline - a helical staircase giving an overview of 10,000 years of Omani prehistory and history - brings people up to the first floor historical galleries - ‘Prehistory and Ancient History’, ‘The Splendours of Islam’ and ‘Oman & the World’ - and culminating in ‘The Renaissance’ - the story of modern Oman. Further galleries include ‘Intangible Heritage’ (music, storytelling, dance and cookery) and ‘Collections’ – an Open Storage gallery with public access to the collections database. Ongoing (completion 2012)
The national tourism ministry revealed that the attraction will comprise 17 display galleries offering an insight into Oman's rich history.