Centre of Excellence for
Historic Small Arms
The castle of Bayt Ar Rudaydah, located 130 km from Muscat at Birkat al Mauz, houses the Centre of Excellence for Historical Small Arms curated by Historic Arms, Exhibitions & Forts LLC. It contains highly-decorated Omani weapons as well as other items from around the world illustrating the development of firearms.
The castle was built in the reign of Sultan bin Saif Al-Ya’rubi in the first half of the seventeenth century AD. At that time Portuguese, and other forces were regularly invading the coastal areas of Oman and threatening the interior of the country. The Yarubid rulers of Oman forced the Portuguese to withdraw and even captured Portuguese colonies in east Africa, making Oman an imperial power.
During restoration in the 1970s and 1990s the gate on the southern side was eliminated and a new goods entrance was added on the western side. Since 2000 the erection of a tea room in a sense reflects the original character of the complex, though its height is out of proportion. The historic Falaj Khatmain which flows through it was also reconstructed with a more urban external finish unlike the rustic charm of the original.
The Centre is currently being refurbished and will open in late 2018 or early 2019.