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Al Sharqiyah North & South  Governorates


   Al Sharqiyah area  is  in 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 Governorate from the west.  Al Sharqiyah area consists of:

  Al Sharqiyah North Governorate.

 The affiliated wilayats are Ibra, Al Mudhaibi, Bidiya, Al Kabil, Wadi Bani Khalid and Dima W’attayeen. The centre of the governorate is the Wilayat of Ibra.
  
  Al Sharqiyah South Governorate.

 The affiliated wilayats are Sur, Al Kamil W’al Wafi, Jaalan Bani Bu Hassan, Jaalan Bani Bu Ali and Masirah. The centre of the governorate is the Wilayat of Sur.

 

 


Tourist attractions.

 

Wilayat Ibra

  Ibra - the  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.

  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.

     Springs, falaj and caves make up the tourist attractions in the Wilayat. The most important springs are: Abu Saalih, Al Diyaan, and Shabihaat, the water from all of these can be drunk. 'Ain Al Milah is famous because its mineral water can cure skin diseases. There used to be 64 falaj in the Wilayat, but now only 34 remain. The most important are : Al Writ, Al Masmum, Al Thaabati, and Abu Makhirin. The most outstanding cave is the cave of Jarf Rajib. In addition there are some other tourist attractions noted for their water and shady trees, places such as: Faj Majaaza in Al Haaimah area, Al Hadima in Al Yahmadi area and Qasiba in the south of Qaghifa.

Wilayat Sur

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.    
     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 !

     One of the most outstanding fortresses in the wilayat of Sur is the fort Al Rafsah which was used- long ago- to guard the main gateway to the Wilayat on the desert road .Now, a strong chain has been put up to stop people going in, for safety and preservation purpose. This forts was restored recently by the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture." Hasan Bilad Sur" is considered one of the most important forts in the Wilayat, it was previously the Wali's forts, used as a place of celebration on festivals and special occasions. It has also been restored. There are also other Forts like Sinaislah Forts, Ras Al Had and Ebn Magrib Fort.

      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 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.

     Added to the tourist attractions of the Wilayat are the falaj, springs and other pleasant places. The most important falaj are Al Mintarib, Al Shariq, Hatwah, Al Qa'a, Al Jahas, Dibeek, Al Raka, Shaahik, Al Heeli, Al Hawiya, Al Dhaahir, Al Mutaaw'a and Al Ghabee. The most important springs, famous in the Dhahir area are: 'Ain Yaya, Habseen, Abu Saheela, Abu Sareema, Abu Ghafa and 'Ain Al Tamr.

       In addition to all this, nature plays a beautiful role in the Wilayat of Badiya. The environment differs between sand and mountains, the coast and green oases. The Wilayat is famous for Arabian horse and camel racing which takes place at the end of each week. Many enthusiasts from both inside and outside the Sultanate, watch these races.

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 al mudaibi
 

      In the north it neighbours the Wilayats of Bidbid and Sumail, which are part of the Dakhaliya Governorate, and Ibra and Al Qabil which are part of the Sharqiya Governorates, in the south the Wilayat of Mahut, which is part of the Wusta Governorate, in the east the Wilayats of Badiya and Ja'alaan Bani Bu Hasan and Ja'alan Bani Bu 'Ali, and in the west the Wilayats of lzki and Adam, which are part of the Dhakaliya Governorate. There are about 90 villages . Its history goes back thousands of years, according to what archaeologists have discovered in Samad Al Shaan.

      Some of its archeological features are: the castle of Al Jawabir in the town of Al Rawdha, the two forts Kabeeb and Khazam in Samad Al Shaan, the fort of Al 'Aqir, the castle of Al Busa'idi in the town of Al Akhdar, and Burj Warid and the houses of Mutowa where the Wilayat meets the Wilayat of Ibra. The most outstanding mosques of the Wilayat are Al Sawar in Al Mudaibi, and the Al Jam'aa Mosque in Samad Al Shaan.

     There are a number of tourist attractions, natural springs, falaj, caves and modern places of amusement. The most important spring is 'Ain Al Harid, which is famous for curing various contagious diseases. The two most important falaj are Al Farsakhi and Bumanin.

     There are caves throughout the mountains of Al Rawdha and Jabal Madar. One of the modern amusement spots is in the Al Fasha'iya area in Wadi 'Andaam, and others in the towns of Al Sahili, Wadi Daqiq and Wadi Da'ada'.
 

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.

      The springs, falaj and caves in the Wilayat of Dima and Taaiyin are outstanding tourist attractions, 'Ain Falaj Al Mamar, 'Ain Falaj Al Sakhana, 'Ain Al Masafaa and 'ain Al Sakhana being the most important ones. Al 'Aqadaani, Al Qaria, Al Luwyaili, Al 'Ain, Al Taht and Falaj Or are some of the most important afalaj. The number of 'hot' afalaj is almost 200. There is one cave, Ghar Abu Habaan. Wadi Daiqah is also another tourist attraction.

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.

     The Al Jam'aa Mosque was built in the 11th century A.H., it is unique in form and design and it is made up of 52 cupolas in a wonderful feat of engineering, in that its roof is also covered with cupolas. These allow light and air into the mosque. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos had it restored at his own expense. The Wilayat of Ja'alan Bani Bu 'Ali has a moderate climate throughout most of the year, because of the winds that blow on to its shores from the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, carrying clouds, drizzle and rain. One of the most important of these winds is called "Riyah Al Kawus", which is particularly characteristic of the Al Ashkara area. This climate induces many Omanis and people from neighbouring Gulf states to visit the area during the summer months, and is considered a tourist attraction for the Wilayat. It is not the only attraction, however ! There are wadis with very luxuriant tree growth, the most important of which are: Wadi Saal, Wadi Al Rawdha, Wadi Abu Fashigha, Wadi Al Labida,and Wadi Jarif.

      There are a number of afalaj: Abu Al Hees, Al Dhahir, Al Seih, Hamad, Ziyad, Al Jidar, Al Faleej, Al Rahyaan, Al Jadid, Ghadiraan, Zawid and Bahbouh. There are also about 52 springs used for irrigating the fields, which have a special system for distributing the water, similar to that of the falaj.

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.


Traditional occupations

Wilayat Sur

     Among the traditional occupations in the Wilayat of Sur are: fishing, textiles, black-smithery, gold smithery, weaving, carpentry and sweet-making. The principal traditional industries in the Wilayat of Sur, is the building of sailing ships of all types and sizes. The best know of theses ships is the "Ghanja" from which the Wilayat of Sur takes its emblem.
In addition, traditional old Omani doors, with their well-known emplishments, and wooden windows are made, together with the curved "Sur Khanjas. Women 's jewelry -old and new. Textiles are also produced, the most important are "Al Azar", "Al Saba'ya", "Al Shawadhir", "Al Masr", and "Al Hasar Al 'Umaniya" .

Wilayat Ibra

       The traditional occupations, industries and songs of the Wilayat are various. The most important are: weaving, and especially weaving traditional Omani clothes, spinning of goats hair, making khanjars and women's jewellery, making artifacts from palm tree leaves and ropes, and leather tanning etc. The industries are: drying dates and unripe dates, drying lemons, weaving from palm leaves, making traditional leather goods, and gold and silver working.

Wilayat bidiya
 

       Agriculture is the main occupation for most people in the Wilayat. The most important of its crops are fruit and vegetables and animal fodder, They also cultivate grazing and animal husbandry The traditional industries are : gold and silver working - jewellery, Khanjars and swords, and special tools such as the "Makharif" which is used to collect dates from date palms and also the "Dharuf used to storing dates, leather tanning for Khanjar belts, sword scabbards and weaving with leaves, mainly ropes.

Wilayat al Qabil

      The people of the Wilayat are famous for a number of occupations, industries and traditional songs. Agriculture is their main occupation. The most important products are : dates,various kinds of seasonal crops, and citrus fruit. The people also spin and weave, make specialized handicrafts from the leaves of palm trees, raise livestock - especially camels and horses - work as blacksmiths and manufacture embellishments for camels and horses. The people of the Wilayat of Al Qabil also follow traditional industries such as silver working to make Khanjars and jewellery, sweet-making, making pottery in the town of Al Mongara'd, in Wadi Naam, and also in mining Omani gypsum.
 

Wilayat al Mudaibi
 

     There are various occupations, industries and traditional songs in the Wilayat. Agriculture is the main occupation, famous products being: palm trees, lemons, clover and vegetables, grazing and raising camels are also practiced. Spinning and weaving textiles, weaving palm leaves, bee keeping, making agricultural tools, especially ploughs and spades, making Omani sweets and mats

Wilayat dima and AlTaaiyin
 

     The Wilayat of Dima and Al Taaiyin is famous for agriculture and animal husbandry. Much of the agricultural area has good grazing so animal resources have grown. It is the main income for the citizens of the Wilayat. In addition there are various agricultural products, such as several kinds of dates, which ripen early (about a month before any other Wilayats in the Sultanate) The early marketing of these dates is extremely lucrative for the farm owners. Khanjar making, weaving, jewellery making and blacksmithery are some of the important traditional industries.
 

Wilayat Al kamil and Al Waafi
 

      A number of occupations, industries and traditional songs are practised here. The occupations are: spinning, weaving clothes, making horse saddles and embellishments for camels, belts, making khanjars and swords, animal husbandry and grazing. The industries are: making wooden doors, windows, minbars, wardrobes and beds. Aside from these pottery is made. There are woven goods such as horse and camel saddles, men's and women's clothes, and handkerchiefs. Bricks are also made.

Wilayat Ja 'alan Bani Bu'Ali

     The Wilayat is famous for a number of occupations, industries and traditional songs. Fishing is the main income for the people who live in the coastal area, with. grazing and animal husbandry for the people of the desert, and agriculture and trade for the people of the urban areas of the Wilayat. Ship building is one of the most important traditional industries, especially in Al Ashkhara, together with the making of gold and silver jewellery.

Wilayat Ja 'alan Bani Bu Hussan

     There are many traditional occupations in the Wilayat, but most of the population are involved with agriculture, which is the main source of income. The soil is very fertile and is suitable for many crops.For irrigation they depend on falaj and wells. The most important agricultural products are: various types of dates, vegetables, and fruit, especially mango. The most important types of date are "Al Khalaas", "Al Madluki" and "Abu Naaranja". The people also graze goats and camels, as the area has a particularly suitable type of grass.

     In the coastal part of the Wilayat of Ja'alan Bani Bu Hasan, from Bandar Al Saklaa to Bandar Al Jueera, most of the people are fishermen, and this is the main income of the area. Some inhabitants are blacksmiths, making spears and swords and agricultural tools. They also polish and maintain bronze pots, eliminating the toxic sediment from cooking pots, and making them shiny and clean again. In the desert people spin and weave goats hair and so fullfill their needs for woollen items.
The "Shamaara" makes leather handicrafts such as scabbards for swords, belts and holsters for rifles. Gold and silver working is also practised, making jewellery and khanjars. Many people in the Wilayat also make woven or earthenware pots (Fakhaar), to such an extent that the wadis in the west of the Wilayat are known as "Khaam Al Fakhaar". There are also some modern industries in the Wilayat which have developed during the Renaissance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. The most important of these are dairy products, ice and brick manufacture.

Wilayat Wadi Bani Khalid

     The Wilayat has numerous occupations, industries . The occupations are weaving with leaves, animal husbandry and grazing, growing palm trees, citrus fruit, mangos and bananas, and producing local folk remedies for mending broken bones and cauterization. The industries are gold and silver working, weaving and blacksmithery.

Wilayat Masira

     Weaving is one of the most important traditional occupations. Masira was famous for building types of ships which are rarely found now. However the island is still famous for making fishing nets.


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