The Muscat Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) is a very intricate musical venue and a marvel for the eyes too.
Opened in 2011, it can be visited to discover the architecture and rich handmade decor of the different sections.
Below is my guide to help you plan your visit.
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Why visit the Royal Opera House Muscat?
The Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman is one of the must do in the capital city.
This is an architecture and technical masterpiece.
Built on the orders of Sultan Qaboos, a music lover, the Royal Opera House is a mix of tradition and modernity. It was officially opened on 12th October 2011, with the production of the Turandot opera. The venue can accommodate 1100 people.
Its little name is ROHM.
Already from the outside, the intricate play on volumes and level is fascinating:
And once inside you will be dazzled by the wood, marble, glass and gold decors with detailed carvings. It can make you imagine yourself as a Queen or an Opera singer!
This is one of the 2 architectural wonders to visit in Muscat, the other one being the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
More photos after the planning tips
PLANNING TIPS - The Royal Opera House Muscat
How to get to ROHM - location
- In the city of Muscat
- Located in the Shati Al-Qurm district (modern part of town)
- It is along the Sultan Qaboos Highway and near the Ministry of Foreign Affair
This location is included (with GPS coordinates, map of region and planning info) in my travel guide eBook that helps you easily plan your Oman road trip:
Be overwhelmed by the beauty, not the planning!
Visiting the Royal Opera House Muscat
- Opened for visit only everyday from 8:30am to 17:30am (closed on Fridays)
- Some local guides do group tours during those hours.
- Check the program on the Royal Opera House website
- If you decide to see a show, The Royal Opera House follows a strict formal dress code - no jeans, shirts, or tennis shoes are allowed
- Plan one hour for the visit
And if you have a few days, check out my list of things to do in Muscat, Oman.
Accommodations in Muscat
You can stay near: Al Qurum beach to enjoy evening walks on the sands, or in Muttrah for more traditional restaurant and experience, or in Ruwi for the cheaper options.
The Royal Opera House Muscat architecture - from the outside
This architectural masterpiece, which looks like a palace, is designed in the classic Islamic style and built with local construction materials, such as Omani desert rose stone. It is surrounded by landscaped gardens and set within an 80,000sq meter land.
After leaving the car in the undercover parking, I walked towards the incredibly white building. The simple yet intricate design, all in white, was mesmerizing. Just look at the different layers and arches!
My guide pushed me inside, which I can understand why as you will see below, but I wish I had taken more time to walk around and discover the different perspectives.
Need to rent a car in Oman?
Entrance of the Muscat Royal Opera House
In the main entrance you get a taste of what is to come. If you come after the visiting hours, you should still be able to check this room.
The ceiling is expertly molded and sculpted.
Inside the Royal Opera House Muscat
As you enter further in the Royal Opera House Muscat, the central room displays a mix of handcrafted decors: carved wooden ceiling with Burmese teak and gold leaves, marble from Italy and crystal chandeliers from Austria.
There is a lot of work in the decor and yet it looks elegant and not overdone. When I think at the heavy decor of the Garnier Opera House in Paris, this is way more elegant (according to my taste...)
There is of course a symetrical grand staircase:
I really enjoyed the reflections of the chandeliers on the roof. It is so delicate.
The ceiling is particlarly impressive. However I found it a bit too heavy as they have done it everywhere and the wood is quite dark.
The doors were closed but my guide still opened one and took me inside the royal entrance (separate from the one for the commoners).
I found this room simpler but more magnificent than the common entrance and loved the darkframes of the windows / doors.
And if you look up close to the glass you see the colors and the 3D work to create intricate shapes.
Of course, here again, the ceiling was in wood:
When there is no rehearsal, you also get access to the state of the art auditorium of the Royal Opera House Muscat.
This room is not only impressive because of all the handcarved wood decor but because of the ability to transform it from a proscenium style theatre (arched ceiling, curtained stage and orchestra pit) into a symphonic concert hall (shoebox shaped music hall with flat ceiling).
See the details in the carving of the wood - and the whole room is like that!
The other technical specifity of this auditorium is the presence of multimedia interactive display system - the Touch-screens, located on the back of every seat, allow the audience to read translated subtitles of each performance.
Musical Instrument Displays
And to finish, I appreciated the presence of displays of vairous musical instruments.
Want to see more of Oman?
- Best Things to do in Oman - read article
- Best of photos from Oman - Landscapes - read article
- Where to stay in Oman - read article
- Best days trips from Muscat - read article
- Best Things to do in Muscat - read article
- The impressive Wadi Shab - read article
- The Bimmah Sinkhole - read article
- The desert of Wahiba Sands - read article
- The Ras Al Jinz turtle reserves - read article
Planning a trip to Oman?
Check out my travel guide to help you plan:
Be overwhelmed by the beauty, not the planning!
And keep track of your own trip!
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