The Bait ar Rudaydah was selected as the new museum of Historic Arms in 2004. The small arms museum in one tower at Nakhal Castle set up by Dr Roads in 2001- 2002 and which was opened by HE Maqbul Bin Ali Bin Sultan. The museum was judged to be a great success and the Ministry of Tourism sought to create something grander. Initially the British Ambassador received an offer from his late Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Sohar castle but as that castle already had a museum in place it was deemed better to choose an empty castle. Dr Roads was keen to have the Bait ar Rudaydah as it was the only castle to have reasonably equally proportioned rooms. Ideal for what was envisioned.
HAEF tendered to create the museum and this went so well that two further phases were in due course awarded. By 2008-9 the museum now under the Ministry of Heritage and Culture was renamed the Centre of Excellence for Historic Arms and 95% complete.
Sadly the death of Her Excellency the Minister, the departure of the Under Secretary and then the collapse of the world oil price all but halted the work of completion. Indeed it meant that from 2010-2017 the museum displays seriously deteriorated, in spite of the fact that in October 2012 during the visit of UNESCO’s ICOM and ICOMAM, the top visting experts declared that the Bait ar Rudaydah was in the ‘…top two or three arms museums in the world’.
At the insistence of the Minister of Commerce and Industry a contract to complete and open the the Bait ar Rudaydah was offered by the Minister of Tourism in early 2017. Unfortunately this was a fruitless venture due to all sorts external factors and ultimately only essential works of maintenance and restoration were completed. Nevertheless, due to ministerial insistence the Centre opened to the public on the 3rd April 2019 even though it was far from ready. Despite there being no public facilities, no guidebook yet and other issues, the visiting public for the five official months during which the Centre was open, were greatly impressed by what had been achieved.