The city of Nizwa is the regional centre of A’Dakhiliyah Governorate. It lies around 164 kilometres from the capital Muscat. Nizwa lies at the foot of Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain) to the south, amongst the mountains that form its walls. The city is full of rivers, orchards and palm trees towering amidst a balmy atmosphere. This clement weather has made a number of scholars and holy and free men claim Nizwa their hometown, giving it the name “the courtyard of Islam”.
Nazwa city is famous for its history, culture, origins and heritage that abound in its customs, traditions, crafts, and the traditional industries and handicrafts our forefathers have known and excelled in as a means of livelihood.
In his famous book “Masterpiece Spectacles in Foreign Lands and the Wonders of Travel” Ibn Battuta describes his trip to Nizwa and what he saw there. He says: “Then we headed to Oman country and walked for six days in the desert. We reached the country of Oman on the seventh day. It is a fertile land with rivers, trees, orchards, palm plantations, and all kinds of fruit. We reached the city of Nizwa, considered to be the main city in this country. Here, people usually eat in the mosques, where each one brings whatever food he has to eat in the mosque courtyard. Everybody shares the food and these people are helpful and courageous.”
Old Muscat is located along Muttrah Corniche from Port Sultan Qaboos to Al Bustan Beach, while passing through Muscat. When you set foot in Muscat, you’ll be swept over by a feeling of love and exhilarating joie de vivre as every inch of Muscat relates to its visitors an ancient tale of love between man and the Sea of Oman. Muscat is surrounded by a wall on its southern and western sides. The wall, with its round towers, was built in 1625, while the mountains and the Gulf of Oman have remained its natural walls to the north and east. Muttrah Corniche is coastal road which connects Muttrah through Gate, Muscat Gate Museum and the old neighbourhoods.
Salalah City receives its visitors with large vistas of grass and water mist, opening its arms to them and spreading the shade of its palm trees (locally called Coconut). The smell of frankincense wafts through the city. This is the same frankincense that has been portrayed on the walls of ancient Pharaonic temples ever since Hatshepsut journeyed to Oman’s fertile lands. Salalah is famous for its lights that sparkle through the night’s lyrical breezes and the day’s sun rays beating down on the waves that dance in celebration of Salalah’s eternal spring.
History and culture play pivotal roles in delineating the features of Salalah people, and the city’s nature and culture. Studies and research carried out by a number of scholars point to the ancient history of this city. This is evidenced by the various writings and inscriptions found on artefacts belonging to a succession of civilisations that have risen and fallen in this land and which still have their impact to the present day. Excavations are still under way to determine the exact historic timeline of these civilisations, including the Al Bilayd civilization which dates back to between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries, and the archaeological finds indicate the existence of much business activity.
The unique climatic factors make Salalah a magical spot and the jewel of the Arabian Sea. Here you will enjoy monsoon (khareef) amidst the green carpet woven by nature in Salalah, and marvel at the steep mountain views, bathed in the colours of sunset and sunrise that visitors enjoy every day, and marvel at the abundance of rare types of birds.
The city of Sur is one of the ancient Omani cities. It is a city that has played a prominent and distinguished role in maritime commercial activity across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Oman, forming a business and cultural bridge between the Arabian Peninsula, India, South East Asia and Africa. Sur Port is amongst the oldest ports, where more than one hundred and fifty sailing vessels docked daily during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is the most easterly city in Arabia and the first one to witness sunrise in this part of the world. Sur used to be an important shipbuilding centre of vessels that crossed the oceans. This wilaya has a number of famous ancient monuments, including Bilad Sur Castle, As Sinaysilah Castle, Al `Ayjah Castle, Fanar Ras Al Meel and Ras Al Hadd Castle. It also has a number of valleys, the most prominent being Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi, in addition to Ras Al Hadd where the Turtle Sanctuary at Ras Al Jinz lies.