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“Lot of exhibits and information!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sultan's Armed Forces Museum

Sultan's Armed Forces Museum
Bait Al-Falaj Fort, Muscat, Oman
0096824312646
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Ranked #5 of 22 Attractions in Muscat
Type: Military Museums, Museums
Attraction details
Muscat, Oman
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
89 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“Lot of exhibits and information!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

After visiting the Natural History Museum, we decided to visit the Sultans Armed Forces Museum. This place is a little more than a stones throw away from where I stay in Muscat.

Entry is 1 RO per person. We reached at 11.15AM and since the museum was supposed to close at 12PM for lunch, we were left with only 45 minutes to see the entire place which is too less. You will need about 2 hours or more to carefully see all the exhibits and read what is written about them. There is a lot of information about the history of Oman and its various cities. Behind the museum, displayed are many defense vehicles, that were used over the last few years. Would suggest to visit the place during the cooler months to spend more time viewing the outdoor exhibits.

Visited May 2013
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61 reviews from our community

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English first
Muscat, Masqat, Oman
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Old but personal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

This museum is located in the old fort of Bait Al Falaj, therefore it inherits the problems of circulation in it natural architecture. The museum comprises of 22 smaller rooms which are all of a central colonnade and courtyard, or riwaq in arabic.
The museum was opened in the 80s and it is quite obvious that not much has changed since then but besides being a bit dated and repetitive it is incredibly detailed. There are many many pieces of equipment including a lot of rifles on open display, the museum has a lot of text to wade through and can be quite tiresome as there is so much but there is so many artefacts and models that you'll probably just read text which is relevant.
As you enter the site you have to go through a security check point which is as simple as shouting museum out the window to the guard and theyll lower the barrier, this gave a slight feeling of authoritarianism which seemed ominous. You then go to the reception building and are met by armed guards in uniform, again this can be a bit scary but as soon as you start talking to them they are brilliant, they are very welcoming and at this point is the start of the personal tour, one member of staff with walk you through to the main museum, here he will start to give a tour, after a few rooms he asked if i wanted a personal tour to continue but as i wanted to photograph exhibits i said no.
Outside the main museum is a park with military vehicles which was quite good and i spent about an hour trying to think of the logistics of transporting some of the vehicles.
On exiting the welcome staff asked kindly to write in the visitor book and bid me farewell.

All in all it was a detailed museum even if a bit too much for the casual visitor, good exhibits on show and a very welcoming personal approach. Not bad for 1 RO

Visited May 2013
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Brussels, Belgium
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 107 cities Reviews in 107 cities
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
“A good museum in pretty grounds”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

The museum is located in a renovated fort in lush green gardens - a total contrast to the sandy desert that used to surround the building not so long ago and which one can see on photos in the museum itself. Inside, exhibits are set out over two floors. Most of the more interesting material is on the ground floor, where the story of Oman's history is set out. Much is also made of the Dhofar rebellion in the 1960s and early 1970s and the current Sultan's role in restoring order to the country. This too is worth spending time on as it is not one of those events which get a lot of coverage outside Oman, but played a pivotal role in the shaping of the country today. For the most part, the second floor is dedicated to modern day military history with various mannequins in uniform and displays of guns and other weaponry. We found this less interesting. Outside, there are a number of tanks and fighter jets, plus an armour-plated Cadillac once belonging to the Sultan, which one can sit in. A visit to the museum is done in the company of a soldier. Ours supplemented the information on the signs with a few comments, although, unfortunately, his English was not terribly good. Closing time was 30 minutes earlier than that indicated in our guidebook (the Lonely Planet) and so our tour was a bit rushed. With retrospect, we wished we had focussed on the ground floor exhibitions. Note: there are stairs, but also a lift. I would rate the ground floor 4/5, but the upper floor 2/5 - hence the 'average' grading of 3/5.

Visited April 2013
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Fabulous visit!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

On arrival we had to wade across a broken water main, which the guards thought hilarious, and was a gauge of the friendliness we encountered inside the museum. A member of the Kings Guard gave us a personal guided tour in very good English and with excellent knowledge, answering questions and being very patient with our children. The museum itself was well arranged and, even for me (a complete pacifist with no interest in arms) was interesting learning about the conflicts which have led the Omanis to the place they are today.
Our guide was fabulous, the other military personnel, very friendly, and we spent a lovely 2 hours for just 2 RO with not another person in sight! Fabulous visit!

Visited April 2013
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Sipoo, Finland
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Museum visit with a personal guide”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Good museum for anyone interested in Oman's military history. Museum has lot of equipment and history at display and you even get your own personal guide from the armed forces to show you around. Very nice. You can take a look inside a lot of big equipment and machinery and even sit on a sultan's old limo.

Visited February 2013
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