Situated near a bay, east of the capital, lies the sleepy town of Old Muscat. The home of the ruling sultan, the town of Old Muscat retains the charm of a little town, cloistered away behind the city walls and watch towers which stand guard over the landward entrances. At the heart of this old city is the Al Alam Palace, the most significant of the royal residencies of the ruling sultan. If you’re travelling to Oman and searching for a comfortable place to stay nearby, there is an alternative to Muscat,Oman hotels, such as short term residencies like the Somerset Panorama Muscat, which is a mere 20 minute drive from Old Muscat.
Translating to “the flag palace”, Al Alam Palace was built in 1972 and is a colourful example of modern Islamic architectural design. Two long wings stretch out from a cube like central building, the flat, overhanging roof supported by splayed blue and gold columns. The palace is a private residence and therefore closed to the public, but that hasn’t stopped visitors from queuing up in front of the iron gates to take photographs and get a closer look at the extravagant edifice.
The palace is used mostly for official functions since the sultan prefers living in one of his other palaces, so don’t expect to see him there often. The building is quite elaborate and clearly designed to impress. A long avenue, framed by two marble arcades leads to the entrance while on either side are large white administrative buildings. All the buildings are stark white and feature traditional wooden balconies and window shutters. On the right side of the palace is a section of the old city wall that leads up to the hills, the wall is interspace by three ancient watchtowers that look over the palace. Past the city walls, the Al Alam Palace is bordered by two ancient forts, the Mirani and Jalali Forts, constructed in the 16th century by the Portuguese.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.