Old Town, Muscat
Old Muscat is located at the southern end of Muscat. It is the administration area and houses majestic buildings and old forts. It is the cleanest place I have seen. (The cleaning personnel works 24 hrs a day). Old Muscat is a quiet and atmospheric area, but it's nothing to do here in the nights.
The old city walls were used to surround the old town. Three gates were closed to protect the city from intruders. At one of these gates you’ll find the Muscat Gate House Museum. Other museums here are the Omani French Museum (Bait Fransa) and the Bait Al Zubair Museum.
The beautiful mosque, Masjid al-Khor, is a modern structure in Old Muscat. It is one of Oman's many colourful mosques, built in a style that draws on Arab, Persian and Indian architectural styles. Here, the use of blue onion-shaped domes and pointed arches is perhaps more influenced by Persia. Al-Khor Mosque is located just below Mirani Fort.
A walled city until the 1970s, Old Muscat is the official capital of Oman. Nowadays, it is a mere neighbourhood among a string of towns that form Greater Muscat. Until the British cut a road through the mountains in the 1920s, Muscat was only accessible by sea, with the rugged mountains encircling the town and forming a natural barrier. Today, Old Muscat contains the administrative and military establishments of the government and few residents. Its architecture is a mix of old and new, including many of the city's prime tourist attractions such as the 16th century Portuguese forts, old mansions-turned-museums, and the 1970s royal palace. The town is eerily quiet and can be covered on foot in an afternoon, provided the weather is cool enough. Attached are a few photos from around Old Muscat. Also check out additional tips on this page for descriptions of some of the sites.
Until 1970, the ancient gates of the walled city of Muscat were locked at night. Although Muscat has modernised significantly in the past four decades, the old walls and gates have been preserved as a reminder of the heritage of this isolated town. The walls had three gates, still standing to this day: Bab al-Kabir, Bab Muthaib and Bab Wiljat. In the attached photo is Bab Wiljat, also known as the Small Gate (Bab al-Saghir).
Old Muscat gate was closed every night until the 1970s. The part of the city was restricted during nights. Today it's one of many sights in this old part of the city.
The old city walls was used to surround the old town. Three gates were closed to protect the city from intruders. At one of these gates you’ll find the Muscat Gate House Museum.