Travel Guide Middle East Oman Nizwa



Nizwa is a historic city in Northern Oman. Nizwa was the capital of Oman in the 6th and 7th century, and is known as one of the first cities in Oman to convert to Islam. For centuries it was a seat of conservative Islamic scholarship, and was considered to be so hostile to outsiders that even in the mid-20th century the explorer Wilfred Thesiger was forced to abandon his attempts to visit the city.

In the 1950s Nizwa revolted against the Sultan of Muscat; this was eventually suppressed with the aid of British forces. Since the 1970s it has quickly modernized, yet managed to retain its traditional character in its newer architecture. Today the city is known for date cultivation, the most highly prized varieties of which are khalas and khumaizi.

Nizwa is located at the base of the Hajar Mountains, and can be a good base for day trips into the mountains or nearby wadis. It is now after Muscat the second city most visited by foreigners.



Getting There

Nizwa is about 1 hr 30 min southwest of Muscat on Highway 15. For travelers driving from Al Ain in the UAE, it is just over a 3 hr drive on Highway 21.
Buses run to and from Muscat twice daily, with a travel time of 2 hrs 20 min.



Getting Around

  • Nizwa Fort, ☏ +968 26 5411844. Sa-Th 09:00-16:00, F 09:00-11:00. Built in 1668 by Imam Sultan bin Saif al Ya'rubi, this imposing fort is one of Oman's most-visited national monuments. In the early 1950s the large round tower of the fort was bombed by the British Royal Air Force during the revolt. It houses a museum, and from the tower there are good views of Nizwa and the surrounding date plantations. OMR .50.
  • Falaj Daris, Hwy 21 (northern outskirts of Nizwa). One of five aflaj, gravity-fed irrigation systems which are collectively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this falaj has been in operation since at least 500 CE, although it is believed a similar irrigation system has been used in the area since 2500 BCE. A pleasant park has been created around one section of the falaj, and makes an ideal spot for a picnic. Free.




  • Bahjat Al Sham, Hwy 21 (next to the Al Diyar Hotel), ☏ +968 25 412409. Good, inexpensive international menu. Unlicensed.
  • Lulu Hypermarket, ☏ +968 25 415900, fax: +968 25 415999. Sa-Th 08:00-23:45; F 08:00-11:00, 16:30-23:45. Has a full hot and cold deli. This is a good place to stock up if you're heading into the mountains for a couple of days.




  • Al Diyar Hotel, Highway 21, ☏ +968 25 412402, fax: +968 25 412405, ✉ Has Wi-Fi, pool, gym, and restaurant. OMR 35-55/night.
  • Falaj Daris, ☏ +968 24 410500, ✉ Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Has onsite restaurant, two pools, and gym. This hotel is popular with Omanis and tourists. OMR 58+.
  • Majan Guest House, Highway 21, ☏ +968 25 431910.
  • Safari Hotel, ☏ +968 25 432150. 3 star hotel with fitness centre, massage, billiards, Turkish/steam bath, outdoor swimming pool and restaurant.



Keep Connected


You can find internet cafes in some places, but they are not very common in Oman, mainly also because there's no free press. To use the Internet, individuals, companies, and institutions are asked to sign an agreement not to publish anything that destabilizes the state.
Wifi is on the rise including free wifi spots provided by Omantel, mainly in Muscat and a few other places.


See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for Oman is 968. The general emergency number is 999.

Dialling out from Oman you will need to dial 00 + International Code + Number. Dialling into Oman callers use +968 followed by an 8-digit number.
These 8-digit numbers generally start with a 9 if it is mobile number, and with 2 for land line.

Telecommunication services in Oman are provided by Omantel. The company has a monopoly on the land-line telephone and Internet markets.
To avoid high costs when using your cellphone in Oman, buy a local SIM card, which are readily available in the country. Make sure you have an unlocked cell phone.


Oman Post provides postal services in the country. Post offices generally open from 8:00am to 1:30pm Saturday to Wednesday and 8:00am to 11:00am Thursday. Services are reliable and relatively fast, though if you like to send a package internationally, you could also try and use international companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.


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This is version 2. Last edited at 12:10 on Jul 15, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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