The houses here in Muscat are interesting. They are all different, yet seem to have a similarity that binds them together and makes them belong. It took me a while to figure out what it might be…. I have a few ideas.
First of all, many of the windows have a semi circle on the top… either in the window itself, or molding around the outside. This is our house (just half of it, it’s a duplex). You find these arches everywhere, on mosques, old buildings, gates and fences. this house which is close by, has both curved windows and arched moldings – I’m told that the purple has faded – it used to be much brighter and matched the pink of the bougainvillia. This type of architecture has been popular for a long time…. just check out the door on the old fort in Qalahat.And speaking of forts leads me to the second feature. Oman is obsessed with forts… the countryside is covered with them, and it seems that every hill has its watchtower. Houses often have a “tower” look to them, and often crenelations, like the top of a castle wall. Even the water tank on the roof.
The other thing I notice on the buildings is the decoration. Many houses and fences have a row of tiles – often blue and white – near the top. There are open lattice-type tiles over the drain pipes which go down the outside of the buildings, instead of within the walls, like in Kuwait. You see arabesque and geometric designs all over… here are just a few I’ve seen and recorded.