Oman is famous for its Historic Forts

Nearly every Omani city and town has it own fort. Most of them were built or had major expansions during Al-Yarubi dynasty rule of Oman in between 1624 and 1744. They represent the fine Omani architecture and prosperity at that time. In times of war and with high and thick walls, their purpose was as a refuge for the people and a last line of defense for the town. Forts were prepared to withstand long siege with water wells, food storing capacity and secret tunnels ending many kilometers away from the walls of the fort. In times of peace they served as a centre of governance, a place for education and a social interaction point.

The list is long but here are some of the well-known names: Al-Jalali Fort, Al-Mirani Fort, Nakhal Fort, Rustaq Fort, Sohar Fort, Nizwa Fort, Bahla Fort, Qurayat Fort, Khasab Fort, Al-Hellah Fort, Al-Khandaq Fort, As-Suwaiq Fort, Barka Fort, Bait An-Nuaman, Al-Hazm Fort, Ibri Fort, Bait Ar-Radaidah, Jibrin Fort, Al-Muntarib Fort, As-Sunaisilah Fort, Bilad Sur Fort, Ras al-Hadd Fort, Mirbat Fort, Sadah Fort and Taqa Fort.

World Heritage Sites

  • The UNESCO through its International Heritage Preserve Programme Administration, aim to categorise all significant heritage sites worldwide.
  • Bahla Fort, its perimeter and adjoining oasis.
  • The third millennium (BC) settlement and tombs in Bat, the Al-Khatm and Al-Ain locations in Adh-Dhahira region.
  • The luban (frankincense) route in Dhofar. The route comprises the ancient cities of Al-Blaid and Shasr, Khuwr Rori, and Wadi Dooka. These locations collectively contributed to the flourishing of frankincense trade for many centuries.
  • Five falajs. A falaj is a channel that brings water from underground sources or springs to support agriculture and domestic use, often over many kilometers. Falajs are a landmark of ancient irrigation system which may date back two thousand years. The fair and effective management and sharing of water in villages and towns still relies on mutual dependence and common values. The falajs are: Daris in the Nizwa, Al-Khatmeen in Barkat Al-Muz (Nizwa), Al-Malki in Izki, Al-Mayser in Rustaq and Al-Jeilah in Sur.

Bull Butting Contests

In the Omani variety of this, the contests lasts for few minutes and the bulls suffers no more than wounded pride and a bad headache. Two bulls of the same size are pitted against each other. The first one to run away is declared the loser. At arenas along the Al Batinah Region coast in Seeb, Barka, Sawadi, and Sohar, bull contests usually takes place on Friday afternoons in the cooler winter months.

Horse and Camel Racing

Between the months of September and June equestrian races organised by Oman Equestrian Federation are held in various towns. The Royal Stables in Seeb is a good spot to observe equestrian events staged for public and private gatherings. Al Kamil/Al Wafi region of the country has the best breeders and trainers. Horse Races are often opened by the art of Al-Taghrood (chanting) enticing riders and horses. This act signifies both courage and chivalry and lauds the virtues of the horses. The races are normally held on public holidays and during National Day celebrations. As with Horse Races, camel races are arranged by OEF. Some Regions organize their own local races.