Muscat: Although the cultural scene in Oman goes back several centuries, with the Omani citizen contributing richly towards what has come to be perceived as the Arab public image, the Sultanate witnessed a substantial change on July 23, 1970.
After 44 years of the modern Renaissance, whose pillars were cemented by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, an observer can easily notice that the cultural work achieved today is in harmony with the civilisational and cultural history of the Sultanate as it engages with modernity.
From the very outset, the vision of His Majesty the Sultan was clear — to preserve and hold on to the Omani identity as the basis for the future cultural march of the young state.
The Sultanate is now entering a new year, a phase when the cultural institutions have achieved a distinct presence at various levels. As the Ministry of Heritage and Culture has laid the foundation stone for a cultural complex in Nizwa, it now looks forward to an exceptional year when it will celebrate in 2015 Nizwa, the capital of the Islamic culture.
It will be a yearlong series of programmes and events that will give this city and the Sultanate in general its cultural status, something that is part of the collective Arab memory. The next stage will see the launch of a cultural complex in Muscat, which is expected to become a milestone since it will have facilities that will help make big achievements in the cultural field as also from a view point of research. It will be followed by cultural complexes in various governorates of the Sultanate, as part of a determination to invest in culture. The government believes that the most important input is knowledge economy which alone can ensure a brighter tomorrow for Oman. Among the projects, which should see the light of the day soon, is the National Museum, which is well under way and is racing towards completion.
The Museum is a culmination of a series of museum projects supervised by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, and will be a window to view the historical and cultural landscape of Oman.
Among the cultural projects that constitute a milestone in the Museum system in the Sultanate is the Frankincense Land Museum project, which is located in Al Baleed Archaeological Park in Salalah in Dhofar Governorate. This Museum features two halls — the Marine Hall, and the Hall of History, the latter featuring details of the Omani history.