New Delhi: Represented by The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, the Sultanate of Oman celebrated the International Museum Day on 18 May 2023. This year, the celebration commenced under the theme ‘Museums, Sustainability and Well-being’. The International Council of Museums announced the theme to highlight the potential of museums across the world.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is striving to activate the role of museums in promoting knowledge and sciences among researchers and visitors that contribute to achieve many of the strategic programs of the Tenth Development Plan and the Oman Vision 2040.
She said, “This year, it has been decided to focus on the following goals. The first goal is to strengthen the global health and well-being, ensure a healthy life and promote well-being for people of all ages. The second goal is to take steps to combat climate change and its affects and adopt low-carbon practices in the northern region countries and adopt mitigation strategies in the southern region countries. The third goal is to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and raise the voices of indigenous leaders and biodiversity loss.”
Riya bint Mohammed Al Kindi, Director General, Museums, Ministry of Heritage and Tourism said, “The celebration of this day was approved by the International Council of Museums in 1977 for strengthening awareness that museums are important institutions for cultural exchange, enriching cultures, and developing mutual understanding.”
She said, “The museums, which are attracting several visitors, preserve cultural heritage, ensure its sustainability in creating direct and indirect job opportunities, promote local content, and dedicate its role as one of the tourist destinations. According to the official statistics issued in 2021, 115,255 thousand visitors visited the government private museums in Oman.
She added, “The Ministry is working on number of projects, including upgradation of the Land of Frankincense Museum, to achieve sustainability for the site, developing the local community so as to keep pace with major updates.”
Prominent museums in Oman include Maritime History Museum, Natural History Museum, National Museum of Oman, Sohar Fort Museum, The Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum, and Omani-French Museum.
She said, The Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum, which was officially opened on 11 December 1988 in Bait Al-Falaj Fort was restored and renovated during the era of the modern Omani Renaissance. It gives a view of the military history of Oman, from the pre-Islamic period to the Renaissance era. The Oman Across Ages Museum, tells through time the glorious history of Oman and the history of man on this land.
To develop and expand the Natural History Museum to keep pace with the development of contemporary museum styles, the Ministry is implementing an ambitious plan to build a modern version of the museum.
She said, “The project to set up Maritime History Museum is one of the projects that we are currently implementing under the 10th Development Plan for Oman 2040 Vision. The project execution will introduce our maritime history through a collection of museum holdings, embodying the Omani achievements in maritime navigation.”
The Ministry is supporting the private museums and heritage houses to revitalize them as attractive tourism destinations. Oman abounds in many museums. Oman Across Ages Museum, which was inaugurated by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, is situated in the Wilayat of Manah in the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah.
As for the setting up new museums and developing the existing ones, she referred to the new project of the Natural History Museum. “When the development of this museum is completed, it will constitute a qualitative addition to the Omani museums system in the region.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry is currently preparing a plan for the rehabilitation and the museum’s development after the completion of the restoration work in the Fort and the rehabilitation of its various facilities as well.