A modern city
Once a trading hub at the gates to the Sharqiyah Sands, Ibra today is a modern city complete with university, hospital and hotels. Its many forts and mosques are some of the oldest in Oman, with Al Minzifah and the Wednesday Women’s Market just some of the must-see highlights.
Ibra, the hub of the Sharqiya region, enjoyed great prosperity during Oman’s colonial period as aristocratic locals set sail for Zanzibar and sent money home for plantations and luxury residences. These are still in evidence in the atmospheric old quarter of town, which makes for a fascinating place to wander. The tradition of farming is continued today, with rich plots producing vegetables, bananas, mangoes and, of course, dates. A watchtower punctuates the top of each surrounding hill, indicating the prior significance of the town – an importance it is beginning to enjoy again with a university, a large regional hospital and a lively souq area. All in all, Ibra is a pleasant stop-off for those heading to the Sharqiya Sands or simply wanting to get a sense of provincial life in Oman.