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Introduction

Sohar is a city in Northern Oman, 100 km north of Muscat. This is the home city of Sindbad the sailor and is near the Sawadi Island diving paradise.

The coastal city of Sohar was once an important Islamic port and the largest town in the country. Nowadays, Sohar has a new port under construction, being built at a cost of RO 120 million. The city is renowned for its copper deposits, and archaeological evidence points to copper extraction being carried out 5000 years ago. There are still three copper mines in operation in Sohar with over 18 million tonnes of copper deposits.

This is an attractive region for tourists due to its clean, safe beaches and the plethora of archaeological features. Visitors will be attracted to its large souq with handy tailors, fruit sellers and fishermen vying for space, and its fort which stands apart with its four-story walls and six towers, an imposing sight overlooking the bay.

One of the first references to 'Sohar' is in the work of historian, Yaqut al Hamawi who implies that the city took its name in the 6th century AH (13th century CE) from a descendant of Noah: Sohar bin Adam bin Sam bin Noah. When the Palestinian Arab scholar Muqadisi visited the city in 10th century AH (17th century CE) he described it as a "flourishing city with a large number of people living there. It is a beautiful city with a comfortable life, ... and its mosque overlooks the sea... the Mihrab (indicator of the direction for prayers) changes colour because it is covered in copper...."

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Sights and Activities

  • Sohar Fort and Museum, Sultan Qaboos Rd, ☏ +968 26 844758. Currently closed for renovation. One of the most prominent features in the city of Sohar and was built between the 13th and 14th centuries CE by the 'Emirs of Hormuz'. Imam Nasser bin Murshid Al Ya'arubi managed to conquer and expel the Portuguese from the castle, which was used since then as the administration centre for the rulers of Al-Bu Said dynasty. An escape tunnel runs from inside the fort to the Wilayat of Buraimi, 10 km to the west. It was used as a route to obtain reinforcements and supplies during sieges. The castle features a museum located inside it.
  • Sallan Park, Sultan Qaboos Rd (on the NW side of the Sohar Beach Hotel). A nice park.
  • Fish market, Al Bahri Rd (Corniche). Best in the early morning. A good place to watch fisherman unload the catch of the day.
  • Hawra Burghah Fortress, Wadi Jizzi (13 km W of Sohar on Hwy 7; turn left at the sign for Wadi al Jizzi Dam). A ruined 13th-century hilltop fortress with commanding views of the wadi and neighboring area. The hill can be climbed most easily from the north, and there are extensive remains of cisterns and falaj (canals), indicating that this was once covered with lush vegetation. Free.

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Getting There

Oman National Transport Company (ONTC), Gail Al Shabool (near Penguin Restaurant), ☏ +968 26 841772, ✉ info@ontcoman.com. Runs four daily buses from Muscat (3 hr) and Buraimi.

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Getting Around

Zubair Car Rental, Shell Gas Station, As Suwaihara St (between the Grand Mosque and Hotel Mercure), ☏ +968 9521 9355, ✉ umeed@zubairautomotive.com. Daily 08:00-19:00. Ask for Batreeq.

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Eat

  • Golden Goal Restaurant, ☏ +968 26 843900. Daily 12:00-23:00. Indian cuisine.
  • Lobnan Al Akhdhar, Sohar St (Al Woqaiba), ☏ +968 22 025553, ✉ lobnan.alakhdhar@yahoo.com. Tu-Th 09:00-23:00, F Sa 09:00-01:00. Lebanese restaurant.
  • Milan Vegetarian Restaurant, ☏ +968 26 840107. Daily 08:00-13:00, 17:00-23:00. Indian cuisine.
  • Omar Al Khayyam Restaurant, Al Muntazah St, ☏ +968 26 844901. Daily 11:45-00:00. A branch of an Omani chain, serving Chinese, Indian, and Arabic dishes.
  • Sunlight Restaurant, ☏ +968 9962 6733. Daily 09:30-23:50. Indian cuisine.

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Drink

The only bar where you can drink alcohol is at the Sohar Beach Hotel.

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Sleep

  • Al Wadi Hotel, 459, Al Barakat St, ☏ +968 26 840058, fax: +968 26 841997, ✉ reservationalwadi@omanhotels.com. Check-in: 12:00-13:00, check-out: 11:00-12:00. From RO 45/night.
  • Crowne Plaza Sohar, Falaj Al Qabail Roundabout (off of Hwy 7 to Buraimi), ☏ +968 26 850850, fax: +968 26 850800. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Has non-smoking rooms, an onsite bar-restaurant, outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and airport shuttle (with surcharge). Frm RO 44.
  • Mercure Sohar, As Suwayhrah St (Al Humbar West, Al Batinah Highway), ☏ +968 2235 4800, fax: +968 2235 4848, ✉ H7838@accor.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Built in 2016, the hotel has an onsite restaurant, gym, outdoor pool, and free Wi-Fi. Doubles from RO 30, breakfast RO 7.5.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Sohar, Beach front of Al-Zafaran, ☏ +968 2664 0000, ✉ info.sohar@radissonblu.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Opened in 2016, facilities include non-smoking rooms, an onsite bar-restaurant, outdoor pool, and free Wi-Fi. From RO 40.
  • Sohar Beach Hotel, Sallan Road, ☏ +968 26 841111, fax: +968 26 843766, ✉ Resvsbh@soharbeach.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Nice hotel at the beach with the best facilities in town. From RO 40.

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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.

Post

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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Sohar Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Sohar

This is version 2. Last edited at 12:17 on Jul 15, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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