The Sultan's Al Alam Palace Muscat is isolated in a cove East of the city and protected by 2 portuguese forts: Al Jalali and Al Mirani. Even though there are not open to visitors, it is worth stopping by to admire them from the outside. Discover them below from various angles: inland, shore and sea.
Navigate back to the complete Oman Travel Guide
INFO & PLANNING TIPS Al Alam Palace Muscat Oman
There are many historical forts in Oman. However the 2 protecting the Royal Al Alam Palace in Muscat (Al Mirani and Al Jalali) are not of typical Omani's architecture but were built by the Portuguese. More historical information further in the post.
On this map from Google Maps, you can see, road 1 (yellow), Riyam street joining Road1, the 2 forts, the palace and the tunnel (in grey) that I am mentionning later in this article.
Currently planning a trip around Oman?
Check out the Guide eBook I wrote to help you plan
and make the most of your time in Oman
(incl. clear and practical Maps + GPS coordinates of all sites)
Al Mirani Fort and Al Jalali Fort from the old road
Between the areas of Riyam and the city center, rather than take the main road (road 1), enter the Riyam neighborhood (accross from the big Frankincense pot statue) and drive on the Riyam street. There you can stop and see the city center with the gate (on the left), the top of the palace (center right) and the 2 forts, one behind the other (in the center at the back).
Al Alam Palace Muscat from the front
As you drive through the city center, you can stop and walk along the walls of the Al Alam Palace, which is the Sultan Taboos Palace (and is sometimes called the Muscat Palace). The name means Palace of the Flag. It is one of the 6 official residences for the Sultan. You can walk all the way to the main gate and admire the strange facade.
Al Mirani and Al Jalali Forts - view from the cove
Most people stop where we were in the section above. However you should find Qasar al Alam Street where a tunnel takes you to the shore of the cove. (note: google does not know this street at the time I am writing this article)
From there you can walk from the marina gate to the palace, with nice views of the bay.
Here you see one extra fort or watch tower at the entrance of the bay. There is also one on the other side
The white building is the palace. The fort on the left is Al jalali and the one on the right is Al Mirani. Those forts are very different from traditional oman forts as they have been built by portugues on the 16th century. We learn more about them below.
Al Mirani Fort
Also known as Al Gharbiya Fort, Al Mirani is perched on a rocky hill at the west wall of the palace. It is one of the main structure remaining from the yeas of Portuguese colonization. It was taken back by the Imam Sultan in 1649.
Al mirani was restored in the 19th century and is the largest of the 2 forts.
Al Jalali Fort
Also known as Ash Sharquiya Fort, Al Jalali stands on the other side of the palace, on the sea side. According to Oman Tourism: "Some say that the fort’s name origin is "Al Jalal", meaning "great beauty", while others say the name is that of the Persian leader “Jalal Shah"."
As you cna see on the photo below, the structure of this fort is quite different. It has 2 main towers and a wall with holes for canons. With the steep rocky hill under it, access is limited to the protected stairway and bridge. A prefect protection for the palace.
Al Alam Palace Muscat Oman
Built in 1972, the Al Alam Palace has a flat roof and gold and blue pillars. This is quite a unique architecture. Next to it the big white palace is where they welcome guests from what I understood. But I could not confirm it through research.
The Al Alam Palace and Forts from the Sea
I also had the change to see those structures from sea. On my sunset boat tour, we went up the coast and sailed at the bay entrance.
This first pictures is of some watch towers at the end of the bay.
Want to see more of Oman's beauty?
Discover more things to do and places to see in Oman in my online Oman Destination Guide.