Step back in time and visit vintage Muscat at Ghalya's Museum of Modern Art. The unique gallery focuses on illustrating Omani life between 1950 and 1975, with displays dedicated to an era when Oman was still struggling to find its feet. Entire rooms have been reconstructed to show the typical Omani household as it was in the mid-to-late 1900s, highlighting the customs and traditions that have spanned generations and continue to play a special part in society today.
Explore interior dwellings such as the Wedding, the Kitchen, the Mother and Children's Room, the Winter Room and more, decorated to the finest detail with art, technology and furnishings from years gone by. For tourists, the Ghalya Museum sheds light onto this transformative time in Oman, leading up to the rule of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said. The museum has something for locals too, fostering an important sense of cultural belonging and educating young Omani about their heritage.
Once you've roamed the traditional Omani house at your leisure, perusing the eclectic assortment of odds and ends, visit the adjoining modern minimalist art gallery. The gallery showcases national and international creativity, with exhibitions, workshops and other events hosted throughout the year, complementing the Old House by acknowledging the past before looking to the future. Another interesting facet of Ghalya's Museum is the recently added Clothes Museum where you can see traditional Omani costumes and fashion.
The museum is the dream project of Her Highness Sayyida Ghalya bint Fahr bin Taimour Al Said; her goal to broaden people's understanding of the objects around them and the depth they hold. Ghalya's is paving the way for future museums in Oman, existing as a special, innovative space where every door throughout the three small houses conceal a fascinating story.
The name may be a little deceptive as this "personal museum" features more historical pieces than modern ones, but the ability to delve into a visual timeline of Oman is a unique experience. Entry for adults is $OR1 (around $AUD2.70) and half that cost for children, with tickets usually covering entry for all three attractions: the Old Omani House, Modern Gallery and Clothes Museum. Located on Muttrah's waterfront in the heart of town, Ghalya's Museum of Modern Art is an intriguing and introspective addition to a day out in Muscat.