Museum lovers living in Muscat might recognize this “museum complex” in Al Khuwair which houses both the Natural Museum (which I’ve posted on here, here and here) and the Sayyid Faisal Bin Ali Museum.
I’m sure I’m not the only person visiting the site who got confused and thought that this building was the Sayyid Faisal Bin Ali Museum (what a mouthful! Let’s just call it SFBAM, shall we?)
This building is actually some kind of administration building with offices. Always locked when I’ve tried entering.
The impressive cannons are sure to throw most tourists off, making it seem like this is the SFBAM. A museum of “traditional Omani weapons”..makes sense that it would have cannons in front, no?! 😉
Just look at the detail on those old cannons! Here’s a photo of the neighboring cannon that I posted earlier.
Aha! SFBAM is actually to the right of the “cannon building”. The sign below makes you think you’ve arrived at the right spot…but every time I’ve popped in for a visit, it has been locked up!
This has been posted in every daily edition of the Oman Tribune for at least the past year and SFBAM is not even open!
This time I was determined to get in, so I went around the building and entered in what looked like its office glass door. There was an Indian guard sleeping on a mat near the backdoor who was so out of it that he didn’t hear me coming or going. I walked through one door where an Omani lady was standing behind a desk as if she were waiting for people to buy tickets or something. I asked “Is this museum open?” and she answered, “NO! Never!” I was somewhat surprised by this unexpected response and thought maybe she didn’t catch what I had asked. I asked (in a deliberately slower, clear voice), “When will this museum open?” If I thought her last reply was strange, that would seem like nothing compared to her next response…She looked me in the eye and said in what seemed to be an agitated voice, “Not for 10 years!” (Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?!) Talk about bizarre! Imagine some tourist coming all the way across the world, scanning the paper, finding info on this museum, paying a taxi to come over in the heat of the day only to find the place closed and a woman in bad English saying “Come on back in 10 years”, ha!ha! Seriously though, if Oman wants to take itself seriously about tourism (as I’m constantly hearing), things like this really have to get sorted out! (My rant is now officially over and you may venture back to “the land of Just Chill“)
I figure that if even one person is thinking of visiting the Sayyid Faisal Bin Ali Museum and decides to do a quick google search before leaving and finds this post and as a result saves themselves a wild goose chase, then my mission is accomplished! 🙂