Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art (متحف غالية للفنون الحديثة) is located on Muttrah Corniche near Muttrah Fort on the last stretch of connected building towards Old Muscat. The name of the museum is a bit misleading because it is not what you would traditionally think of as a modern art museum because it exhibits the modern era between 1950 and 1975 in Oman as apposed to any older period in Omani history. The museum also has a small section in the back for displaying proper modern art and has a clothes exhibition which was not open during our visit.
As mentioned above, the focus of Ghalya’s Museum is illustrating Omani life between 1950 and 1975. The concept of the museum is basically a reconstruction of what a Omani house would have looked like in that period of time. The museum has a bridal room, a kitchen, a child’s room, a “Majlis”, a winter room and a room displaying life outside Muscat during that time. The museum is quite compact, but rich in content, each room is delicately assembled and looks extremely authentic, many of the things I saw in the museum looked exactly similar to my late grandmother’s house.
Visiting Ghalya’s museum is a worthwhile experience for those in Muttrah looking for a traditional museum to visit, it is small and different from what you would see in Bait Al Zubair Museum. The museum does suffer from similar issues as most other Omani museums, there are very few labels around the museum and there is no narration or explanation of what you are seeing save for the small leaflet you get at the entrance of the museum. That still should not stop you from visiting this unique museum if you are coming to visit Muttrah.
The museum is open Saturday to Thursday from 9.30am to 6pm. The entry fee is RO 1 for adults and 500 baizas for children. The price includes a visit to the modern art gallery and I assume the clothing exhibition which was not open during our visit.
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