UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Oman currently has five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which deserve to be visited first-hand.
This immense mud brick fortress was the first in Oman to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 1987. Since then, it has been beautifully restored and opened to the public, allowing visitors to learn more closely about the long history of the fort, which dates back to the third millennium BC. The site includes the archaeological Bahla Oasis, including the traditional souq, corridors, ancient mosques, and the old houses, as well as the surrounding wall that extends for about 12 km.
Archaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ain
The archaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm, and Wadi Al-Ain in the A’Dhahirah Governorate are not only recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also boast the title of the most complete collection of necropolises and settlements in the world, dating back to the Bronze Age (3rd Millennium BC). This site was listed at the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.
Land of Frankincense
In Dhofar, the Land of Frankincense encompasses the frankincense trees of Wadi Dawkah Reserve and the remains of caravan and trading settlements such as Ubar, Khawr Ruri and Al Baleed – highlighting the importance of frankincense for the flourishing trade in the region during ancient times. This site was listed at the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000.
Aflaj Irrigation System of Oman
This ancient watering method is deeply rooted in Oman’s heritage, with over 3000 aflaj – or irrigation systems – still in use today. Using gravity to transport water from springs, the fair management of these waterways plays an important role in communities around the country. Five of the Omani falaj were listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006 under the name “Aflaj Irrigation System of Oman.” The five falaj are: Falaj Daris and Falaj Al-Khatmeen in Nizwa, Falaj Al-Maysar in A’Rustaq, Falaj Al-Malki in Izki, and Falaj Al-Jillah in Sur.
Ancient city of Qalhat
The site of the Ancient city of Qalhat in Sur has an exceptional international value as a trading exchange between Oman and the ancient world civilizations. It was one of the important commercial ports in the Indian Ocean, especially the trade of Arabian horses with India. It considered as a distinctive example of the architecture and planning of active port cities in the Middle Ages. This site was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018.