Al Alam Palace, Al Jalali and Al Mirani Forts

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Located in the heart of Old Muscat

The ceremonial palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Al Alam Palace was rebuilt as a royal residence in 1972 and is located in the heart of Old Muscat. It is flanked on either side by the impressive twin Jalali and Mirani Forts originally built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Both of these majestic buildings are still in use, and although they are not open to the public, tourists can admire the architecture from the yard and at the gates.

At the heart of Old Muscat is Al Alam Palace (“Flag Palace”), the most important of the six royal residences of the ruling monarch, Sultan Qaboos, which are dotted around Muscat, Salalah and Sohar. Built in 1972, the palace is Oman’s most flamboyant example of contemporary Islamic design, with two long wings centred on a colourful, cube-like central building, its flat, overhanging roof supported by extravagantly flared blue and gold columns. The palace isn’t open to the public, although you can get a good view of the facade from the iron gates at the front.

The palace complex is impressively stage-managed, approached via a long pedestrianized boulevard framed by two arcaded colonnades, with copious amounts of highly polished marble covering every available surface. On either side stretches a cluster of impressive government buildings: huge, snow-white edifices sporting crenellated rooftops, traditional wooden balconies and window shutters. Look right as you approach the palace and you’ll also see a fine section of the original city walls snaking up the hillside, punctuated with three large watchtowers en route.

More Places To See

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  • A’Dakhiliyah
  • A’Dhahirah
  • A’Sharqiyah
  • A’Sharqiyah North
  • A’Sharqiyah South
  • Al Batinah
  • Al Batinah North
  • Al Batinah South
  • Al Buraimi
  • Al Wusta
  • Dhofar
  • Musandam
  • Muscat

Things to do

Interested in a particular type of holiday experience? there is so much to do in Oman that you will want to keep coming back. Here are just a few of the possibilities to help make your next visit to Oman perfect.

Wadis Car passing through a Wadi in Oman

Off-Roading

Many of Oman’s stunning attractions are off the beaten track and require a 4WD vehicle. Whether dune bashing in the desert or exploring a wadi, off-roading is one of the best ways to truly experience some of Oman’s most exciting areas.

Mountains Stand up paddleboarding at Wadi Arabiyeen Oman 2

Stand up Paddle Boarding

Taking off as a new leisure activity in the early 2000s, Stand Up Paddle Boarding has gained momentum in Sultanate, quickly earning itself a reputation as a great SUP location thanks to its over 3,000km long coastline.

a small hole inside a cave 1 1

Caving

Home to the second largest cave chamber in the world (Majlis Al Jinn on the Salmah Plateau) and numerous others, the Sultanate has plenty of caves to explore.