Past and present linked in Oman’s Architectural Journey

A book of photographs linking the past and present architecture of Oman has just
been published.

Corporate leader Mohammad Al Zubair is the man behind Oman’s Architectural Journey which
features structures from the remote past alongside contemporary designs.

The Sultanate’s building heritage includes forts and castles dating from the
pre-Islamic era to the present day, oasis and mountaintop settlement first
inhabited in prehistory, centuries-old merchant houses and ancient mosques.

Contemporary buildings featured include the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Royal Opera
House Muscat and the Barr Al Jissa Resort and Spa which is owned by the
author’s corporation.

Al Zubair is a keen architectural photographer as well as being one of the most
prominent members of his country’s business community.

“I’ve always been involved in architecture in my own way,” he said. “Even
when I was young I helped the masons build our house in Salahah and here
(Muscat).”

The idea for the book came after Al Zubair noticed older buildings were
deteriorating over the years he had been photographing them.

“I’ve been working on it for seven years,” he said. “I wanted to record buildings
that I think will disappear in a few years.”

The book contains 800 photographs which reflect the development of the Sultanate
showing how many traditional building styles have been maintained over
centuries.

Al Zubair’s own glass house is featured in the work.

“I wanted to include the architecture of the future,” he said. “So I built the
glass house. It’s all glass. I think it’s the only one in the world.”

The book is available from Muscat’s Bait Al Zubair Museum (pictured) and proceeds from sales
will be donated to the author’s philanthropic foundation.

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