The National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman, established by royal decree in 2013 and opened July 30, 2016, is the Sultanate's flagship cultural institution, showcasing the nation’s heritage from the earliest human settlement in the Oman Peninsula some two million years ago through to the present day. As a national institution with global outreach, the museum is dedicated to ensuring that Oman’s cultural heritage is understood and appreciated not only within the Sultanate, but also internationally. Further, it aims to provide opportunities for cultural expression, innovation, and the transfer of traditional skills and knowledge from one generation to the next.
The museum is located in the heart of Muscat in a purpose-designed building. The total area of the building is 13,700 square metres (147,000 sq ft), including 4,000 square metres (43,000 sq ft) allocated for 14 permanent galleries – The Land and the People Gallery, Maritime History Gallery, Arms and Armour Gallery, Aflaj Gallery, Currency Gallery, Prehistory and Ancient History Galleries, Splendours of Islam Gallery, Oman and the World Gallery, Intangible Heritage Gallery and Renaissance Gallery, among others. A further 400 square metres (4,300 sq ft) are allocated for temporary exhibitions.
The National Museum houses 5,466 objects and offers 43 digital immersive experiences, a fully equipped Learning Centre, conservation facilities, an ultra-high definition cinema, and discovery areas for children. It features an integrated infrastructure for special needs and is the first museum in the Middle East to adopt Arabic Braille script for the visually impaired. The museum contains a voluminous collection of prehistoric metallic artefacts. It also houses the region’s first open-plan museum storage concept, where visitors can learn about the various processes that artefacts go through before they are put on display.