A drive along the recently completed dual carriageway between the Governorate of Muscat and the Dakhiliyah Region offers delightful views of palm groves and desert trees against a backdrop of majestic, high mountains with their peaks wrapped in cloud. Bordering on the Governorate of Muscat to the north, the Wusta Region to the south, the Sharqiyah Region to the east and the Dhahirah and Batinah regions to the west, the Dakhiliyah is the Sultanate’s strategic hinterland and links Muscat with the other regions.
The DakhiliyahRegion has eight wilayats – Nizwa, Sumail, Bahla, al Hamra, Manah, Adam, lzki and Bidbid. It is rich in economic and natural resources and has numerous tourist attractions including forts, castles, towers, old residential quarters and historic mosques. The Wilayat of Nizwa has a famous and imposing fort, several old mosques and a traditional souq, while Bahla Fort is one of the treasures of the human heritage. Misfah al Abriyeen in the Wilayat of al Hamra is a splendid example of a “hanging village”, while the wilayats of Adam, Manah, Izki, Sumail and Bidbid offer the visitor a range of interesting features, both ancient and modem.
To encourage tourism in the Dakhiliyah Region the government is developing the al Hootah Cave in the Wilayat of al Hamra, which is truly one of the wonders of nature. The old mountain passes on the slopes of al Jabal al Akhdhar and Jabal Shams have been restored to provide opportunities for trekking and adventure tourism and camps have been set up for tourists and week-end hikers.
Wilayat Nizwa: The Wilayat of Nizwa’s ancient city streets and buildings filled with the ghosts of the past contrast with the pretty terraced mountain villages, thickets, orchards and aflaj of its niya-bat of the Jabal al Akhdhar. Nizwa is the capital of the Dakhiliyah and its busy souq, which serves people from all over the region, is both a tourist attraction and a commercial centre.
The Wilayat of Nizwa borders on the wilayats of Adam, Manah and lzki to the south and east and al Hamra and Bahla to the west. From the north it is overlooked by the mountain peaks of the Jabal al Akhdhar. It is 170 Kilometres from the Governo ate of Muscat.Its main features are its huge fort (known as al Shahba’}.
The design of the renovated old souq blends in harmoniously with the Friday mosque and the fort. The wilayat has a large number of villages as well as two niyabats – Birkat al Mawz and the Jabal al Akhdhar. The Niyabat of Birkat al Mawz is renowned for its fine old buildings and the village is typical of an Omani village at its prettiest and most charming. The recently restored two-storied fort of Bait al Radaidah, which dates from the 17th century AD, is in Birkat al Mawz. There are turrets set within its thick mud outer walls, while its interior contains numerous arches and its walls and ceilings are coated with elegantly patterned gypsum. The old mosque near the fort, which dates from the same period, was also restored recently.
Wilayat Sumail : The Wilayat of Sumail is a natural paradise, a fragrant, shady garden with a lush wadi with cultivated plots along its banks that flows like a river through the middle of it dividing it in two. Wherever the visitor looks he will see date palms. The wilayat is famous for its dates and it has adopted the fardh date palm as its emblem.
The Wilayat of Sumail is almost half way between the Wilayat of Nizwa (75 Kilometres) and the Governorate of Muscat (85 Kilometres). It borders on the Wilayat of Bidbid to the north, the Western Hajar mountain range to the west, the Wilayat of Izki to the south and some outlying villages of the Wilayat of Dima wa’l Ta’een to the east. It has a large number of historic buildings including forts, castles and towers.
Wilayat Bahla: Bahla is one of the oldest towns in the Sultanate. Archaeologists working on an excavation programme in Bisya and al Ghubrah discovered sites dating from the third millennium BC, while an old falaj found at al Ghubrah – in Wadi Bahla – is also believed to date from the third millennium BC.
The Wilayat of Bahla is 200 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat. It borders on the wilayats of Nizwa to the east, Ibri to the west, Adam to the south and al Hamra to the north. With a population of 51,278 and, a variety of natural features including wadis, springs and mountains, its villages include Bilad Sait, al Ghafat, Bisya, Seefam, al Habbi, al Ma’mur and numerous others. The best-known of its wadis are Wadi Quriyat, Wadi al A’la, Wadi al Nakhr, Wadi al Shar’ and Wadi Bahla, and its springs include Wadhdhah, al Huwaidhar and Ain Seefam. The mountain of Jabal al Kawr with its shrubs and fruit trees is one of the wilayat’s most distinctive mountains and lies on the border between the Dakhiliyah and Dhahirah regions. From a distance it looks like a huge dome. There are several villages, caves,wadis and springs on its slopes including the villages of Sint, Ma’wal, Sant and al Rahbah.
It is an attractive area for tourists because of its gentle climate, clear air and fragrant trees, and visitors can enjoy the opportunity to marvel at its amazing rock formations, particularly along the course of Wadi al Naht.
Wilayat Adam : The Wilayat of Adam is in the south of the Dakhiliyah Region and borders on the wilayats of Bahla, Manah and lzki to the north, Mahawt and Haima to the south, al Mudhaibi to the east and Ibri to the west. It is 234 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat . It has a large number of villages and bedouin settlements, as well as green oases, orchards, farms, old mosques, souqs, residential quarters and archaeological sites. Travellers bound for the Wusta Region and the Governorate of Dhofar stop off in Adam.
The mountain of Jabal al Midhmar to the north of Adam and Jabal Salkh to the west are among the most attractive tourist spots in the Wilayat of Adam with their trees, grassy slopes, gazelles, hares, foxes and other wild animals.
In the summer months the bedouin of the Wusta Region migrate to the Wilayat of Adam for the date harvest and build temporary palm-frond shelters to protect themselves from the heat. At night the glow of their lamps and the distant bleating of their sheep and goats impart an inimitable charm to the scene. Over the years the bedouin have established small settlements which they return to time and time again on their summer migrations and some have opted to set up permanent villages like San’aa, al Samiti, Majazah, Wadi Halfain, Ras al Jabal, al Ghabitah, al Hajir, al Ghaidhranah and Qam al Alam, which receive government support and now have electricity services and modern housing.
Wilayat Al Hamra: Jabal Shams, the village of Misfah, al Hootah Cave, Hasat bin Salt, Bait al Safa and Bait al Shari’ah are the main tourist attractions in the Wilayat of al Hamra, which lies in the north-western part of the Jabal al Akhdhar range. It borders on the Wilayat of Nizwa to the east and the Wilayat of Bahla to the south. Its inhabitants live in the centre of the wilayat and the villages of al Mensur, al Sahmah, al Qaryah, Dhat Khail, Tawi Saleem, Dar al Khair and al ‘Aridh, to name but a few. It is renowned for its wadis, aflaj, gardens and orchards, while the mountain of Jabal Shams, which rises to 12,000 feet above sea level, is its most significant natural feature. It can be reached via the Wadi Ghul road, from which it is possible to see the stone village of Sabt Bani Khamis perched on the edge of a cliff beneath a huge overhanging rock. The slopes of the mountain are covered with buu and nimt (Sageretia spiciflora) trees, junipers, wild olives, milkweed and other plants, and the air is cool and refreshig.
A resthouse with several rooms has been built on the mountain and is staffed by Omanis. A visit to Jabal Shams provides an opportunity to see its rock formations, dams, mountain villages and wadis. Near the summit there is a breathtaking view into a chasm called Sharfat al Nakhr cut deep into the heart of the mountain.
Wilayat Manah: The Wilayat of Manah has several old buildings including forts, towers, mosques and attractive residential quarters. Particularly impressive is the old quarter in the village of Harat al Bilad with its traditional houses, mosques, wells, springs, perimeter wall and other features. Surrounded by date palms, it has been chosen by the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom as a typical example of Omani architecture.
The Wilayat of Manah is 160 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat and comprises eight villages:- Harat al Bilad, Mu’ammad, al Ma’arra, ‘Izz, al Faiqain, al Mahiyul, Abu Nakhilah and Mitan. It borders on the wilayats of Adam to the south, Izki to the north and east, and Nizwa to the west.
The road to Manah branches off the Nizwa-Salalah highway, though it can also be reached by the minor road which links the villages of al Mahiyul and Zakeet in the Wilayat of lzki. As you approach Manah, you will be greeted by the sight of its immense forts, including the recently-restored fort of al Faiqain, and the now-ruined Harat al Bilad with its mud houses, and tangle of arcades and alleyways. There are three imposing mosques in al Bilad with patterned gypsum mihrabs dating from the 10th century AH/16th century AD and engraved with Quranic verses. They are al ‘Aali mosque (built in 909AH/1503 AD), which has recently been renovated with Omani sarooj (burnt clay) and has retained its original mihrab, al Ain mosque (built in 911 AH/1505 AD and al Sharah mosque built in 922 AH/1516 AD.
Wilayat Izki: The Wilayat of Izki has some of the oldest sit4s in the Dakhiliyah Region. The remains of buildings and tombs from an ancient civilization thousands of years old, which can be seen on the hilltops neighbouring the village of Zakeet, include a number of small round towers similar to the towers of the Bat culture. The Wilayat of lzki – 130 Kilometres from the Governorate of Muscat – lies beneath the slopes of the mountain massif of the Jabal at Akhdhar, which forms its western border. It borders on the wilayats of Manah and Nizwa to the west and south, Sumail to the north and some villages of the Wilayat of al Mudhaibi to the east. Some of the better-known of its 26 villages include Zakeet, al Qaryatain, Seema, Muqazzah, Qala’at al Awamir, Habl al Hadid, Umtay and Qarut.
Apart from its ancient monuments, the wilayat’s most distinctive features are wadis and open desert. It has numerous forts, castles, towers and old residential quarters, the most important of which is Izki Fort, which lies between the villages of Nizar and al Yaman and is said to have been built during the reign of Sultan Said bin bin Sultan Al Busaidi. Its most significant castle is the citadel of Qala’at al Awamir, which was built three centuries ago and stands on a rocky hillock. The wilayat’s 142 small towers in the wilayat – most villages have at least one – include the restored tower of Wadi al Hajar. In the village of al Muqazzah there is an old Friday mosque dating from 1029AH/1619AD with a gypsum-coated mihrab set with glazed earthenware ornamentation.
Wilayat Bidbid: Bidbid’s most striking feature is its flyovers, which provide the only means of access to the main arterial roads which transit the wilayat, and it has adopted them as its emblem. Travellers will also be struck by the palm groves which grow along the banks of the wadi in the village of Fanja and surround the more distant villages of al Amqat and Hamim like puffs of green cloud. The Wilayat of Bidbid has been described as the “smiling mouth” of the Dakhiliyah Region and the crossroads between the Governorate of Muscat and the Sharqiyah, Dakhilyah, Dhahirah and Wusta regions and the Governorate of Dhofar. Everyone travelling from any of these regions to Muscat has to pass over the Fanja flyover, which is a reliable, fast road even during the rainy season. Now that the main dual carriageway has been completed, a second flyover has been built over Wadi Fanja, so that it now has two flyovers.
Around 70 Kilometres from the city of Muscat, the Wilayat of Bidbid lies beneath the Hajar mountain range where it divides into the Western Hajar and the Eastern Hajar. It borders on the wilayats of Sumail to the south, Dima wa’l Ta’een to the east and the Governorate of Muscat to the north.
– Nizwa Fort
– Nizwa Souq
– Masjid Sultan Qaboos
– Bahla Castle
– Bait Ar-Radaidah
– Jabrin Castle
– Al-Hoota Cave
– Falaj AlKhatmain
– Falaj AlMalaki
– Falaj Dares
– The village of Birkat Al Mawz ( Banana Pools )
– Jabel Akhdar
– Wadi Ghul & Jabel Shams
– The drive to Nizwa , 143 kms from Muscat , takes about two hours.
– At 117 kms from Muscat lies the village of Birkat Al Mawz.
– At 136 kms from Muscat is a roundabout where the road to Salalah begins.
– Bidbid is a small town with a fort, 36 kms along the dual carriageway from the airport.
- – The Dakhiliya region creates a link between the coastal region around the capital , Muscat and the interior of the country through Sumail gap.
Geographically , the area is distinguished by the Hajar mountain range , from which Jabel Al Akhdar the Green Mountain soars magnificently to 3,000 meters.
Golden Tulip Nizwa
Tanouf Rest House
Majan Rest House
Nizwa Police Station
Bahla Police Station
Adam Police Station
Nahida Police Station
Sumail Police Station
Bidbid Police Station
Izki Police Station
Rawdat Alazhar Tourism
Al Kome Al Akdar Travels
Al Huthaili Travel & Tourism
Ibn Atiq Restaurant