Bait al Zubair is at the heart of an old, as well as newly emerging cultural quarter in the harbour district of old Muscat where a number of related arts and cultural institutions can be found.
The harbour district of Muscat has a long history and remains rich in heritage. High on the rocky cliffs that shelter the slate blue waters of Muscat Bay, two ancient forts, Al Jalali and Al Mirani, stand guard, just as they have for more than five centuries. On the shore, His Majesty’s iconic Al Alam Palace is heralded by a grand avenue of colonnades and complemented by an elegant royal guest complex. Nearby two beautifully restored house can be found; the seventeenth century Bait Graiza and the eighteenth century Bait Nadir.
In this context and with art galleries, an historic house, a museum, a mosque, and an exhibition hall, the Bait Al Zubair estate is a unique Omani cultural destination that is not to be missed. With all buildings painted pure white, Bait Al Zubair resonates with the description of Muscat as recorded by Jane Dieulafoy, a noted French archaeologist, explorer and writer, on a sailing ship entering Muscat Bay in 1884: “A tranquil bay opened behind two large ranges of rock. The green water lapped over the feet of the white city….”
Oman is an enchanting country that was one of the major civilisations of the ancient world, and has a diverse and magical landscape shrouded in legend and antiquity. Northern Oman is commonly thought to be part of the copper-rich civilisation of Magan, which was mentioned in the Mesopotamian cuneiform texts of the 3rd millennium BC, while southern Oman’s history is closely connected with frankincense, an aromatic resin that was highly prized throughout the ancient world.
Oman lies at the crossroads of three continents and four seas. Its strategic location at the tip of the Arabian Gulf led to its fantastic seafaring history, which includes the legendary Sindbad the Sailor. It was one of the first countries to harness the monsoon winds to reach far destinations, interlinking its history, religion and culture with many Indian Ocean cultures along the way. For over 5,000 years the people of Oman have built settlements and harnessed natural resources. Mud-brick communities, forts and castles that encapsulate history and human endeavour within their very walls are strewn across the country, symbolising the true essence of Arabia.
Today Oman extends over 320,000 square kilometres, and is ruled by one of the oldest dynasties in the region. Discover the treasures of Oman’s cultural heritage at Bait Al Zubair and witness the friendliness of a forward-looking nation that is proud of its traditions and legendary hospitality.