Top Ten Omani Attractions

  Top Ten Omani Attractions

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       Oman is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam enclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam’s coastal boundaries. Though formerly under heavy influence from the UK, Oman was never formally part of the British Empire, or a British protectorate. British influence in the country was strong after the ousting of the Portuguese, who laid claim to Oman in 1507. During this period of Portuguese colonial occupation, Omani forces still controlled most of the interior of the country, whilst the Portuguese only held on to coastal forts. Oman has been ruled by the Al Bu Sa’idi dynasty since 1744 and has long-standing military and political ties with the US and UK, although it maintains an independent foreign policy. In particular, Oman is among the very few Arab countries that have maintained friendly ties with Iran. Wikileaks disclosed US diplomatic cables that have shown cordial relations between Oman and Iran have borne fruit for the UK (in helping release British sailors imprisoned by Iran). The same cables also portray the Omani government as wishing to maintain cordial relations with Iran and as having continuously turned down US diplomats requesting Oman to take a sterner stance against Iran. According to international indices, Oman is one of the most developed and stable countries in the region. The Sultan of Oman, who studied in London, aimed to transform his country for the better.

  1. Muscat
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    Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2010 census, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 734,697. The metropolitan area spans approximately 1,500 square km (580 sq mi) and includes six provinces called wilayats. Known since the early 1st century AD as an important trading port between the west and the east, Muscat was ruled by various indigenous tribes as well as foreign powers such as the Persians and the Portuguese Empire at various points in its history. A regional military power in the 18th century, Muscat’s influence extended as far as East Africa and Zanzibar. As an important port-town in the Gulf of Oman, Muscat attracted foreign tradesmen and settlers such as the Persians, the Balochs and Gujaratis. Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman in 1970, Muscat has experienced rapid infrastructural development that has led to the growth of a vibrant economy and a multi-ethnic society. The rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains dominate the landscape of Muscat. The city lies on the Arabian Sea along the Gulf of Oman and is in the proximity of the strategic Straits of Hormuz. Low-lying white buildings typify most of Muscat’s urban landscape, while the port-district of Muttrah, with its corniche and harbor  form the north-eastern periphery of the city. Muscat’s economy is dominated by trade, petroleum and porting.
    Links: Cities, Palaces, Top Ten Gates, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscat,_Oman,
  2. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
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    The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the main Mosque in the Sultanate of Oman.
    Links: Top Ten Mosques, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Qaboos_Grand_Mosque,
  3. Bahla Fort
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    Bahla Fort is one of four historic fortresses situated at the foot of the Djebel Akhdar highlands in Oman. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the oasis of Bahla was prosperous under the control of the Banu Nebhan tribe. The fort’s ruined adobe walls and towers rise some 165 feet above its sandstone foundations. Nearby to the southwest is the Friday Mosque with a 14th century sculpted mihrab. The fort was not restored or conserved before 1987, and had fallen into a parlous state, with parts of the walls collapsing each year in the rainy season. Restoration works began in the 1990’s, and nearly $9 million was spent by the Omani government from 1993 to 1999. It remained covered with scaffolding and closed to tourists for many years. The Fort at Bahla, together with the nearby forts at Izki and Nizwa, and one further north at Rustaq, were centers of Kharajite resistance to the “normalization” of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. The town of Bahla, including the oasis, suq and palm grove, is itself surrounded by adobe walls some 12 km long. The town is well known for its pottery.
    Links: Top Ten Fortshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahla_Fort,
  4. Land of Frankincense
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    The Frankincense Trail is a site in Oman on the Incense Road. The site includes frankincense trees and the remains of a caravan oasis, which were crucial to the medieval incense trade.
    Links: Top Ten Incenses, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankincense_Trail,
  5. Ibri
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    Ibri is a city in the region Ad Dhahirah, in northeastern Oman. The Wilayat of Ibri is distinguished by is archaeological landmarks varying between forts, castles and towers. Also, there are the remains of the town of Bat. Ibri is an interesting town at a 2 hours distance from Al Ain It is at a distance of 135 mi / 217.26 km from the capital Muscat.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibri,
  6. Archaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn
    Archaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-AynArchaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn1Archaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn2Archaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn3Archaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn4
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  7. Aflaj Irrigation Systems of Oman
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  8. Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oman,