Upcoming Performances | Royal Opera House Muscat Open
Top Ad
Close Upcoming Performances | Royal Opera House Muscat
Destinations   
Governorate of Muscat
Governorate of Dhofar
Governorate of Musandam
Governorate of Al Buraimi
Al Batinah Governorate
Al Dakhiliyah Governorate
Al Sharqiyah Governorate
Al Dhahira Governorate
Al Wusta Governorate
 
 Al Batinah Governorate

 

 

Al Batinah divided administratively into two governorates:

 

 

  • Al Batinah North Governorate. The affiliated wilayats are Sohar, Shinas, Liwa, Saham, Al Khabourah and Al Suwaiq. The centre of the governorate is the Wilayat of Sohar.

 

 

  • Al Batinah South Governorate. The affiliated wilayats are Al Rostaq, Al Awabi, Nakhl, Wadi al Maawil, Barka and Musannah. The centre of the governorate is the Wilayat of Rostaq.

 

 

With its geographical location, economic resources and high population density, the Batinah Governorate has played an important part in Oman's history. It has always been the country's maritime and commercial outlet to the Gulf and the Indian Ocean and its mineral resources have provided the basis for several important heavy industries. Today the port of Mina Sohar is one of the Sultanate's economic mega-projects.

 

Most of the Batinah's wilayats and villages are on a plain and the governorate's most distinctive feature is its fertile coast with its acres of farmland and wide variety of crops. It has been famous for its agriculture since ancient times and its people have traditionally been farmers and fishermen - a fact reflected in the harmony between the blue sea and the green countryside.

 

The inland edge of the Batinah at the foot of the Western Hajar mountains is a land of wadis and aflaj flowing with sweet water. Ten groundwater storage dams have been constructed to conserve the precious water resources and enable agricultural projects to flourish.

 

 

Wilayats

 

 

Wilayat Sohar

 

When he visited Sohar, al Maqdisi described it as "the gateway to the east a prosperous, beautiful city and a pleasant place to live with a large number of inhabitants." He noted that its residential areas were strung out along the shore and that its mosque, which overlooked the sea, had a tall minaret and a mihrab that changed colour because it was plated with copper. In his book Mu'jam al Buldan (Geographical Dictionary) Yaqut al Hamawi refers to Sohar as "the kasbah of Oman", while al Farisi, author of Hudud al 'Alam (Boundaries of the World) describes it as "the market-place of the whole world." In his book Al Masalik wa'1 Mamalik (The Roads and Countries) al Istakhri says it is rich and beautiful - a description which indicates that even at that time it was economically prosperous and a haven for the ships that plied the Arabian Sea. Amr bin al `As - the Companion of the Prophet who brought the Prophet's message to Abd and Jaifar, the sons of al Julanda and kings of Oman, inviting them to embrace Islam - visited Sohar in the 3rd year of the Hijrah/624AD.

 

In later years, Sohar was one of the richest ports in the Islamic world and ships sailed to it from China and India and unloaded cargoes to be sold in its souqs. Historians admired the fine buildings along its seafront and described the town in the most glowing terms.

 

The Wilayat of Sohar is 240 Kilometres from Muscat and borders on the Wilayat of Liwa to the north, the Wilayat of Saham to the south, the Wilayat of Buraimi to the west and the Gulf of Oman to the east. It has a 45-Kilometre-long coastline and an area of around 1,728 square Kilometres. Its mountains extend for over 70 Kilometres.

 

Wilayat Al Rustaq

 

Nestling beneath the soaring peaks of the Western Hajar mountains, the Wilayat of Rustaq borders on the Wilayat of al Awabi the the east, Ibri is to the west, al Musana'ah to the north and the slopes of al Jabal al Akhdhar to the south. It is 150 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat and its population of 67,641 lives in Rustaq itself and its 170 villages. It has two niyabats - al Hawqain and Wadi Bani Hinai - and numerous enchanting wadis where the visitor can stroll among springs and lush palm groves. Among the best known of these wadis are Wadi Sahtan, Wadi Bani Ghafir, Wadi Bani Awf, Wadi al Haimli and Wadi Hajir Bani Umar. The wilayat has 200 aflaj including Falaj al Maisar -the oldest - Falaj al Sayighi, and Falaj al Kamil, which is a truly brilliant feat of engineering.

 

Wilayat Shinas

 

Although the Wilayat of Shinas is right up at the far end of the Batinah North Governorate on the Sultanate's northern border, it has enjoyed just as many of the benefits of modern development as the rest of Oman's wilayats. It has numerous tourist attractions, a lively commercial scene and a thriving agricultural sector and, thanks to its seaside location, it also has an important commercial sea-port. Its land is fertile and watered by flowing aflaj and it produces a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.

 

Wilayat Liwa

 

When our thoughts turn to the Wilayat of Liwa, we think of the smallest and lightest of unsinkable ships, or the Baobab tree with its pain-killing powers, or the wilayat's tourist attractions like the mountain village of Qazah.

 

With its 58 villages, Liwa is 270 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat, just beyond the Wilayat of Sohar and on the strip of coast that ends at the Wilayat of Shinas. It has numerous castles, forts and towers including Liwa Fort with its three towers, the recently-restored Qazah Fort - a fine three-storey citadel 15 metres high and 14 metres wide with four rooms on each floor - and Awlad Ya'rub Fort - an architectural gem in the village of Harmul. Liwa's white coral limestone mosques are an unusual feature of this area with their ventilation holes like small windows high up in their walls. Some of these mosques have attractive minarets; the prettiest is the minaret of al Bahlul mosque in Hillat al Husn.

 

 

Wilayat Saham

 

There is nothing odd about the fact that the Wilayat of Saham has adopted the lime tree as its emblem, because, despite its seafaring tradition, it has also been renowned throughout its history as a centre of citrus fruit cultivation.

 

The Wilayat of Saham extends from Qasabat Breik in the south to Majaz al Sughra in the north. It borders on the Wilayat of al Musana'ah to the south and the Wilayat of Sohar to the north, and it is 200 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat. With its 66 villages it has a high population density.

 

 

Wilayat Al Khaboura

 

The Wilayat of al Khabourah is 178 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat and borders on the Wilayat of al Suwaiq to the east, the Wilayat of Sohar to the west, the Wilayat of Ibri to the south and the blue seas of the Gulf of Oman to the north. It has 76 villages.

 

Al Khabourah has seven castles (the best-known of these is the castle of Bani Said), as well as twenty-one forts including al Khabourah Fort - a square building beside the sea with a round tower and a heavy wooden gate, which was restored in the year 2000. Date-palms, limes and fruit trees can be found in abundance in the wilayat's well-watered wadis and around the small villages that lie halfhidden among the mountains. Traces of the past may be seen in Wadi al Hawasinah and Wadi al Sarmi, famed for their fresh water springs and aflaj.

 

Wilayat Al Suwaiq

 

Visitors never realise that the Wilayat of al Suwaiq is one of the biggest commercial markets in the Batinah North Governorate, that it is known locally for its numerous souqs and that the town is full of modem shops.

 

They are also generally unaware of the fact that the emblem of this coastal wilayat is a four-legged desert-browsing ship - in other words, a camel. These are two of the anomalies about this place. Firstly, the name of the wilayat - al Suwaiq - is a diminutive of ,souq, despite the fact that there have

always been numerous souqs in the town and its surrounding villages. Secondly, despite the fact that sea-going vessels anchor off its beautiful shore, the wilayat's emblem is a ship of the desert.

 

Wilayat Nakhl

 

The Wilayat of Nakhl is famed for Ain al Thuwwarah - a fresh water spring that bubbles up through the rocks below the surface of the earth. There are numerous other springs nearby, all of which flow into one wadi. The wilayat gets its name - Nakhl - from the fact that the ground on which it stands "filters" the water. Ain al Thuwwarah, Nakhl's main attraction, receives visitors from far and wide at weekends and on holidays. They come to sit for hours, watching the water welling up from beneath the ground and flowing along the wadi and through the date palms.

 

Wilayat Wadi Al Ma'awal

 

Eight villages are strung out neatly along either side of Wadi'l Ma'awil - Afiy (the centre of the wilayat), Habra, al Wasit, al Tawiyah, Muslimat, at Maraighah, at Lajal and at Ghubrah. The Wilayat of Wadi'l Ma'awil also comprises some of the Wadi Mistal villages - Amsa, al Hail, Jama, at Jilah, Hasma, Qays, Miyaqa' Wardat Muwaizah, at Shabik, at Safa at Abyadh and at Mutali'.

 

Wilayat Al 'Awabi

 

The Wilayat of al 'Awabi is very similar to its neighbours, with its flowing wadis, mountain villages, fresh water springs and ancient buildings. Its best-known wadi is Wadi Bani Kharus, which extends as far as the beautiful village of al Aliya.

 

The Wilayat of al 'Awabi's emblem is a pen, an inkwell and a book. Over the years it has produced numerous scholars, poets and imams - the imams of Bani Kharus including al Warith bin Ka'b, al Salt bin Malik and Azzan bin Tamim, to name but a few - as well as men of letters like the poet Salim bin Ghassan al Lawah, and scholars like Abu Nabhan Ja'id bin Khamis al Kharusi who lived in the village of al Aliya where his mosque, his house and his tomb can be seen to this day.

 

Wilayat Al Masn'a

 

The Wilayat of al Musana'ah has no factories as Ithe root of its name (masaani), might appear to suggest. However, it has something much more valuable - the riches of nature, and these can not be produced by any factory.

 

In earlier times al Musana'ah was renowned for certain traditional industries such as the production of indigo, which was used to dye women's garments. It was also well-known for its sugarcane presses - a reflection of the fertility of its soil and the abundance of its water. The belt of trees along the edge of the desert - such as the evergreen rak (tooth brush tree) which the wilayat has adopted as its emblem - provides further evidence of the blessings nature has bestowed on al Musana'ah.

 

Wilayat Barka

 

With 75,501 inhabitants, the Wilayat of Barka is the first of the beautiful havens along the Batinah's fertile coast. It borders on the wilayats of Seeb to the south, al Musana'ah to the north and Wadi'al Ma'awil to the south, and the Gulf of Oman to the east. It has 63 villages and 29 schools with 21,858 male and female students. The wilayat has 38 forts, towers and other ancient buildings, including the forts of Barka, al Felaij and Bait al Nu'man.

 

Al Felaij Fort Theatre is in a pretty village and is one of the district's tourist attractions. A few years ago it was just an abandoned fort, but today it stages performances by leading Arab and international theatre companies.

 

 

Tourist Attraction Tourist Attraction

 

 

Nakhal Castle

Ar-Rustaq Castle

Al-Hazm Fort

Sohar Castle

Sohar Castle Museum

Wadi Al-Hoqain

 



How to get to Al Batinah Region

 

 

  • Barka, it’s a pleasant drive to Barka, 48 kms along the tree-lined highway from Muscat Airport.
  • There are two routes to Nakhl. You can turn left at the Barka rounabout, at 47.5 from Muscat airport.

 

Other important information 

 

 

  • The region has the second largest population after Muscat with almost 653,505 residents.
  • Batinah means front or inner and the region know as the belly of Oman.

 

Where to Stay

 

North Al-Batina Governorate

 

No

Name

Tel

Fax

 1

Crown Plaza Hotel-Sohar

26850850

26850800

 2

Sohar Beach Hotel

26841111

26843766

 3

Al Wadi Hotel

26840058

26841997

 4

Grean Oasis Hotel

26846442

26846441

 5

Al Thuraya Hotel Apartment

26750116

26750127

 6

Butterfly Hotel suite

26844531

26844392

 7

ALMawasim Hotel Apartment

26750933

-

 8

Mabahig Ghernatah

26844540

26844540

 9

Sadaf Hotel Apartment

9794019

-

 10

Traveler Oasis hotel Apartment

9515751

-

 11

Al Khaborah Hotel

26802800

26802800

 12

Atlas Hotel Apartment

26853009

26853011

 13

Al Anas Hotel Apartment

26762717

26762406

 14

Muscat Hotel Apartment

26860032

26860032

 15

As Suwaiq Guest House

26862241

26862242

 16

Manam Sohar Hotel Apartment

94054333

94054333

 

 

South Al Batina Governorate

 

No

Name

Tel

Fax

 1

AL Nahda Resort & spa

26886114

26883175

 2

As Swadi Beach Resort

26795545

26795535

 3

Millennium Hotel

26871555

26871694

 4

Traveler Hotel

26870998

26869288

 5

AL Rumais Guest House

26894177

26893175

 6

A'Shimookh Guest House

26877071

26877072

 7

Oriental Site Hotel

26884623

26882389

 8

Musana Hotel Apartment

26868818

26868477

 

 

Useful Number

 

Name 

Telephone

Sohar Police Station

26840099

Al Khabourah Police Station

26805099

Kitmat Milaha Police Station

26849413

Al Aswad Police Station

26849599

Al Wajajah Police Station

26849911

Rustaq Police Station

26875099

Suwaiq Police Station

26860099

Massanah Police Station

26968150

Barka Police Station

26882099

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014. Oman Visitors, all rights reserved.