Spread over two former rich merchants' houses, this small but well-judged museum was a real pleasure. Traditional clothes and apparel (including Omani males' obsessions with swords, daggers and guns!) were well laid-out, explained, and regional variations within Oman contrasted carefully. This is the stock stuff, though, and the really interesting bit was the impressive map room in the second house showing the mapping of Arabia and Oman throughout the ages. Interesting and well presented. Various other displays and rooms offered glimpses into the suprising closeness of Omani and Western culture over the past two centuries - the conscious attempt to imitate or assimilate some European decor and habits. Too small and lacking in depth to justify 5 stars, and some will find it not worthy of 4, but Oman is new(ish) to modern tourism and these kind of exhibits, and I found this small museum well presented, thoughtful, surprisingly broad in its range, and a pleasant break in the day. Also check out the really attractive art gallery literally opposite it. Buy the combined ticket for the two parts / two houses. There is a wacky little miniature-Muscat model city in the very small gardens. Might be interesting for children.
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