Ash Sharqiyah Region is the north east front of Oman over looking the Arabian Sea from the east. It includes the internal side of Al Hajr Al sharqi mountains which join it from the north. It also joins Wahibah Sand frmothe south and Ad Dakhliyah Region from the west.

 Ash Sharqiyah Region consists of wilayats : Sur , Ibra, Bidiyah, AI Qabil, Al Mudaybi Dima Wa At Taiyyin, Al Kamil Wa Al Wafi,.Jaalan Bani Bu Ali, Jaalan Bani Bu Hussan, Wadi Bani Khalid, Masirah.

 Sur town is one of the regional centers Located some 337 Kms from the Capital Muscat and the most important of Ash Sharqiyah cities. It played a historical rule in trade and navigation in the Indian Ocean. It was also known for ship buildding, as it was the most renowned city in the Arabian Peninsula in ship building in the last century. Besides, marine activity and ship building, Sur is femous for some historical touristic places such as caves. It is also known wood industries. textiles and produces a number of agricultural crops.

Ibra – the second regional center – is an agricultural wilayat. It also has some crafts and traditional industries. As regards Masirah Island which is in the Arabian Sea, it is distinguished for its strategic location and for the massive and different species of turtles which lay and hatch their eggs in the coasts of the island.

Wilayats

Wilayat Sur: Sur is located in the northern part of the Sharqiya coast in the Sultanate. It is constrained on the east side between the Arabian Sea on one side and the Gulf of Oman on the other. From the west it neighbors the Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid and from the north the Wilayat of Quriyat which is part of the Governorate of Muscat and in the south it neighbors the two Wilayats of Al Kamil and Al Waafi and Bani Bu Ali & Ja’alan Bani Bu Hassan. It stretches from Ras Al Had in the east to the mountains of Bani Jabir in the west and from Tiwi in the north to Al Faleej in the south. It contains about 112 villages and towns. They describe it as the pearl of the east coast of the Sultanate. It was the main source for sailors for Oman’s navy, which played an illustrious role in maritime history. It formed the gateway of the east of Oman and was a historical meeting place for sea routes. Malik Bin Faham Al Azdi Al ‘Umani  adopted it as the capital of his kingdom in 2500 B.C. When Qalahat became an important urban centre, the Wilayat of Sur flourished. In ancient times it was a Phoenician settlement, named after a city in south Lebanon. Ras Al Hadd is part of the Wilayat of Sur, it overlooks the sea and it is a natural harbor for sailing ships. When storms blow, they can take refuge in the two inlets of Al Hajar and Jarama. The area is characterized by its tortuous inlets, which I made it a suitable place to build an air base during the Second World war. It was a refuge where aero planes took shelter when they needed it. Traces of this airport can still be seen !

The springs, falaj and caves are tourist attractions in the Wilayat of Sur. There are some small springs in the mountainous areas, which are used to irrigate cultivated areas. There are 102 falaj, which the people of the Wilayat use for various purpose. One of the most important caves, for which the Wilayat of Sur is famous, is “Majlas Al Jinn” which is located in Wadi Bani Jabir. It is the size of seven aero planes and was discovered by satellite. In addition there are the caves of “Maghart Al’ais and “Jarf Mankharaq”. “Wadi  Shab” is a touristic attraction in Tiwi.

 

Wilayat Ibra: In the north and west it neighbors the Wilayat of Al Mudaibi, in the south the Wilayat of Qabil, and in the east the Wilayat of Dima and Taaiyin.

It contains about  70 villages. There are a number of archaeological features, castles, forts, towers and ancient mosques.There is only one castle, Al Dhahir, which is in the Al Yahmadi area which has recently been restored by the Ministry of National Culture and Heritage.There are five forts : Al Shubbak, Farifar, Al Daghsha, Al Yahmadi and Bait Al Qasimi .There are also nine towers: Al Qatabi, Al Naasiri, Al Qala’a, Al Mansur, Al Nataala, Al Qarin, San’aa, Al Safah and Burj Al Qarun

The most important mosque is the is the Al  ‘Aqaba Mosque, which was built at the foot of Jabal Al Naasiri. Its mihrab faces Jerusalem and it is from this mosque that the Wilayat took its emblem.

 

Wilayat bidiya: This Wilayat is almost in the middle of the Sharqiya, north of it is the Wilayat of AI Qabil and in the east it neighbours the Wilayats of Al Kamil and Al Wafi and Wadi Bani Khalid.I contains about 15 villages. Story tellers relate that it was established when the Hajjaris (who are the majority of the inhabitants) arrived there. That was in 1008 A.H. They built castles and forts, and they made a number of falaj, before which the Wilayat was reliant on wells. This stage “the descending of the Hajjaris” was considered the beginning of its prosperity and so they called it “Badiya” (the beginning) – thus relate the story tellers ….

One of the most important sites, in the Wilayat of Badiya is the fort which the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture restored recently. It is the fort of Al Mintarib. There is also the fortress of Al Wasil. This is surrounded by four towers, in addition to three other forts, which are called Al Shaariq, Al Hawiya and Al Ghabi.

 

Wilayat al Qabil: In the north is the Wilayat of Ibra, to the south the Wilayat of Badiya, in the north east it neighbours the Wilayat of Dima and Al Taaiyin, in the south east Wadi Bani Khalid and in the west the Wilayat of Al Mudaibi. It contains about 21 villages. There are about 69 archaeological sites, the most important being two forts, one of them in Al Qabil and the other in Al Mudirab.

There are about 50 falaj, the most important being: Al Mudirab, Al Qabil, Al Direez and Al Nabaa. It is also famous for a number of villages which are located between the high, golden sand dunes. The most important of these villages are Al Sakaa, Al ‘Aqida, Al Kharis and Al Jufaa. There are also a number of springs in the Wilayat. The most important are: ‘Ain Marzuk, known for water, ‘Ain Wadi Barka and ‘Ain Al Washal. The falaj, springs and villages located in the middle of the sand dunes are tourist attractions. 

Wilayat dima and AlTaaiyin: :    In the north it neighbours the Wilayat of Quriyat, which is part of the Governorate of Muscat, in the south the Wilayat of Ibra, in the east the Wilayats of Al Qabil and Badiya and in the west the Wilayats of Al Mudaibi and Bidbid, which is part of the Dakhaliya. It contains about  51 villages. The story-tellers say the people of the area once reared Arab horses and exported them to markets in India, by sea. They also traded them internally to other parts of the Sultanate and other areas ……thus the story-tellers relate.

The name Wadi Taaiyin goes back to the time of the collapse of the Ma’rab Dam in the Yemen, when the Arab tribes fled to various places. The Ta’a tribe, part of the Al Qahtaaina tribe descended through Wadi Sma’il then came out to Wadi Al Taaiyin, where they settled. Some of the Al ‘Udnaaniya trib also reached the wadi which is named for them. What about the name “Wadi Dima”

The story-tellers say that the Wadi witnessed many local wars, which shed much blood (dima) and that the name of the Wadi goes back to thos events. The Wilayat of Dima and Taaiyin has many archeological features – forts, towers and old mosques. There are castles in Al Hamaam, Khabah I and Al Husun. There are also 87 towers distributed among various areas of the Wilayat, in addition to an old mosque, which has recently been renovated. 

Wilayat Al kamil and Al Waafi : In the north it neighbours the Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid, in the west the Wilayat of Badiya in the south the Wilayat of Ja’alan Bani Bu Hasan and in the east the Wilayat of Sur.It contains about 40 villages and towns.

There are about 80 castles. The most outstanding mosques are the Al Jam’aa Mosque, in the village of Al Waafi, and Al Shariya Mosque in Al Kamil, which was built by the Ministry of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. In addition there is the mosque in the villages of Saiq and a number of other mosques in various parts of the Wilayat.

The Wilayat of Al Kamil and Al Waafi has a number of natural areas with running water which are important tourist attractions. Among them are the village of Saiq, Al Baatin, Mazra’, Tahuh and Wadi Laa. Natural springs, and among them ‘Ain AlRasa, ‘Ain Falaj Yastan, and ‘Ain Falaj Simoud are also considered tourist attractions. There are other springs that only flow when there has been much rain.

 

Wilayat Ja ‘alan Bani Bu’Ali : It is located in the south east part of the Sultanate and is one of the biggest Wilayats. It is a mix of three different geographical environments. What are they ? The first is the coastal area of the Wilayat, the second, the desert area and the third, the agricultural area. This mix of environments provides the inhabitants with a variety of incomes. It contains about 137 villages. The coast stretches more than 170 kilometres, from Ras Al Hadd in the north to Ras Al Ruwais in the south; and scattered throughout are inhabited areas. The Wilayat also includes the desert, so that it is made up of pasture, sand dunes and wadis.

Most of the people are Bedouin, but nowadays they are nearly all settled in their areas. In addition, there is the urban environment where the inhabitants practice agriculture and trade.
In the Wilayat Ja’lan Bani Bu ‘Ali there are castles, forts, towers and old mosques. One of the most important castles is that of “Al Hamouda” which was built at the beginning of the 11th century A.H.

There are also some ruined houses which have been taken over by the Organization of Castles and Forts. One of the principal forts of the Wilayat is located in the Badi’ya area, and bears the same name.”Husn Al Badi’ya”. It was built about 250 years ago. Some other forts are: Haasad, Al Lawiya, Jaabiya, Jaabiya ‘Ayun, Al Qatitra, Jaabiya Balidah, and two other forts, one in the Shariy’a area and another in Kaabid. There are also 13 towers in various areas.

 

Wilayat Ja ‘alan Bani Bu Hussan: To the east is the Wilayat of Sur, to the west the Rimal Aal Wahiba and the Wilayat of Al Mudaibi, to the north the Wilayat of Al Kamil and Al Waafi and to the south the Wilayat of Ja’alan Bani Bu ‘Ali. It also stretches south to the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. There are about 160 villages .The Wilayat chose two crossed spears as its emblem which indicates the bravery and courage of its citizens.

There is a collection of archaeological sites in the Wilayat. There are 15 castles, the most important being: the castle of Awlaad Murshid in the Al Manjarad area and the castle of Faleej. Al Mahiyul is considered the best fort in the Wilayat, which also has 13 other forts. This shows that, previously, it was a centre of local government. The most important of the 60 towers are: Al Safara, Al Mursid, and Burj Al Saqata. The Wilayat also has 40 ancient  mosques.

Springs, falaj and caves make up the tourist attractions of this Wilayat. There are about 15 springs, the most important being : Jabal Qahwan, Al Khatam, Al Balida, Dima, Al ‘Aqba and ‘Ain Um Al Baqr. The most important falaj are: Al Manjarad, Al Buirad, Al Mahiyul, Al ‘Aquiriya, Al Sharqi, Al ‘Ais, Hilal and Falaj Al Mashaaikh. There are a number of caves in Jabal Qahwan, which the inhabitants used to live in, to protect themselves and their animals from the fierce winds and rain.   The most important of these caves are : Mataab, Al Halifa, Wadi Al Marish, Matira and Wadi AI ‘Atan..

 

Wilayat Wadi Bani Khalid: In the west it neighbours the Wilayats of Badiya and Al Qabil, in the east the Wilayat of Sur, in the south the Wilayat of Al Kamil and Al Waafi, and in the north the Wilayat Dima and Al Taaiyin. It contains about 30 villages. It is famous for a number of archaeological sites. There are some forts, the most important being: Hasan AI Muwalik in the village of Al ‘Awina, which dates back to the 4 th century A.H., the biggest fort in the Wilayat and in the past was the base of the Wali and the Judge, the fort of Al ‘Adafin in the village of Qaswah, and the fort of Al Raziqiyeen in the village of Al Husun. All in addition to other forts of which only ruins remain. There are also 9 towers.

The Wilayat has many tourist features. The main one is the cave of Maqal, where water falls from holes, then bursts out with a gurgling sound into a pool. It disappears again and finally collects into lakes which the people distribute into three falaj. The Wilayat chose this cave as its emblem. Other tourist attractions are the springs, of which the most important are: ‘Ain Duwah, Al Lathab, Al Kabira’, Al Haajir, Al Kanara, Al Makhdah, Al Hawiya, Al Jabiyat Al khamra, Al Montajir, Al Halka, Al Ithnain and “Ain Ghalaala. In addition there are 56 falaj, the most important being: Al Hili, Al Fardhah, Abu Ba’rah, Al Saaruj, Al Garbi, Falaj Abu Khulaan and Al Kabeer.

 

Wilayat Masira: This is an island located in the south east of the Sultanate, administratively it is part of the Sharqiya. Around it are a number of other islands the most important of which are Marsis, Sha’anzi and Kalbaan. In the Wilayat of Masira are a number of villages: Dafiyaan, Al Samar, Duwah Mashgaf, Marsis, Sur Masira, Haqal, ‘Amaq, Maaghah, Raasa Sha’ah, Al ‘Aija, and Wadi Al Maqar.
Masira which is located in the Arabian Sea was a rest station for ships anchored off its shores, to get sweet water. Alexander the Great made it his base and called it Serepsis. Its beaches are a tourist attraction by themselves and in addition there are a number of springs on the island. The most important are: Al Qatara, Wadi Bilad and others near Jabal Al Hulm in the south of the Wilayat.
The island has no falaj. A number of ancient forts are found on the island, the 2 most important being Marsis and Dafiyat.

Tourist Attractions

– Al-Muntarib Fort

– Qalhat

– As-Sunaisilah Fort

– Ras Al-Hadd Fort

– Wadi Shab

– Wadi Tiwi

– Wadi Bani Khalid

– Jalan Bani Bu Hassan Fort

– Majlis Al-Jin Cave

How to get to Ash-Sharqiyah Region

– The easiest route to Sur from Muscat the Muscat Airport roundabout and joins the new dual carriageway road to Nizwa . At Bid Bid , 36 km from Muscat , the road is cleary signposted from Sur . The road heads into the mountains ,through thhe Sumail Gap and Wadi LAKK. There follows a 24 km stretch of winding road, full of sharp bends,starting at 58.2 km. It should be heeded .At Wadi Seigani there are delicious fruits for sale at the roadside. The road passes through Ibra and on to Al Kamilsome 249 km from Muscat . There is a signposted left turn to Sur another 60 km further on through Wadi Fulaij . The journey takes about four hours on good tarmac road with plenty of petrol stations route.

Other important information

–        With eleven wilayats and a total population of over 260,000, sharqiya is the third most densely populated region in Oman.

There is plenty to do and see in the Sharqiya Region. The souqs specialize in traditional silver jewellery , copper & weaving .

Hotels in Ash-Sharqiyah Region 

Hotel name

Telephone

Sur Plaza

968 25543777

Sinaw Rest House

968 25524056

Ibri Rest House

968 25689381 

Al-Areesh Camp

968 24493232 

1000 Nights

968 99448158

Al-Raha Camp

968 99343851

Al-Rahala Camp

968 99336273 

Bidiyah Tourism Camp

968 99332914 

Desert Camp

968 25586400

Golden Sands

968 99428728

 

Useful Number 

 

Name 

Telephone

Sur Police Station

968 25542599

Sinaw Police Station

968 25524999

Bidiyah Police Station

968 25583099

Ibra Police Station

968 25570099

Al Kamil & Al Wafi Police Station

968 25557420

Jalaan Bani Bu Hasan Police Station

968 25550420

Bahwan Travel

968 25544712

Nomadic Adventure & Tour

968 99336273