Sur

Travel Guide Middle East Oman Sur

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Introduction

Sur is a city in Central Coastal Oman, best known for its dhow shipyards. Sur was founded in the 6th century CE as a trading port and has a long history of ship building, continuing to the present day. In addition to being an interesting destination in its own right, it makes a good base for day trips to Wadi Shab, Wadi Tiwi, and Ras al-Jinz.

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Sights and Activities

  • Dhow shipyard (near the suspension bridge to Al Ayjah). Sur is where authentic dhows are still built in the traditional fashion. NOTE: the locals don't call them "dhows" but rather safeena (ship) or suh-fin (ships). If you say "dhow," they'll be perplexed.
  • Fatih Al-Khair (Dhow Museum). If you are an enthusiast of hand-made wooden boats and ships, this is definitely worth a visit. Several old dhows are on display, the largest of which is the Fatih Al-Khair, built in Sur 150 years ago and now beautifully restored.
  • Sunaysilah Fort (Sinaysla Fort) (off of Hwy 23 near Roundabout 3). Sa-Th 8:30am-2:30pm. If the "natour" (guardian) isn't there, just walk up to the fort itself and he'll see you, come sell you a ticket and then sit in the entrance hall while you look around the displays. It is possible to climb all four towers which offer great views of the town. Don't expect much in the way of history or signs. 500 Bzs.
  • Bilad Sur Fort (Bilad Sur Castle) (off of Hwy 23 near Roundabout 1). Built 200 years ago, the fortress is closed for renovation.
  • Al Hamooda Fort (Al Ayjah Fort) (Al Ayjah). Su-Th 8:30am-2:30pm. 500 Bzs.
  • Al Ayjah Lighthouse (Al Ayjah). Built by the Portuguese and now fully restored, this building offers good views of Sur.
  • Al Ayjah Watchtowers (Al Ayjah).
  • Fish market (Fish souq). Daily in the morning. Visitors can watch fishermen unload and sell the catch of the day.
  • Corniche (boardwalk). A pleasant seaside promenade.

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Getting There

There is no airport in Sur. Although one was in the works several years ago, the project has since been abandoned due to the expected increased frequency of cyclones.

Sur is a 2.5-hour drive south of Muscat, off of Highway 17. A taxi from the Rusayl Roundabout will cost about RO 25 (shared RO 5). Microbuses cost RO 3 and travel inland via Highway 23, passing Ibra.

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Getting Around

There is no public transportation in Sur beside taxis, which charge 150 Bzs for any ride within Sur.

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Eat

  • Bawadi Al Ayga (in the souq, near Nadi Sur Sports Club). Indian restaurant. A lot of the locals know it but everyone knows where Nadi Sur is so just take a taxi there. Prices are low. about RO 1-1.5 for a vegetarian dish with rice while anything with meat, depending on the type, runs from RO 1.3-1.8. They also have "Chinese" food. Friendly staff, largely English speaking from Kerala, very non-intrusive. Male and family sections available.
  • Zaki Restaurant, Hwy 23 (near the desalination plant), ☏ +968 9946 2367. Indian restaurant, with food about the same quality as Bawadi but slightly more expensive. They also have "Chinese" food. The ambiance is extremely noisy. Staff are friendly, and a couple of them speak English. Many Omanis come here with their families, there is a family section in the back of the restaurant.
  • Sur Beach Hotel Restaurant, Al Murtefeh (near the beach). Food is okay, not great and a touch more expensive than Spicy Village.

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Sleep

  • Al Ayjah Plaza Hotel, Al Ayjah, ☏ +968 25 544433. Sur's newest hotel, with restaurant next door.
  • Sur Beach Hotel, 411 Sur, Sherkiya, ☏ +968 25 542031, fax: +968 25 542228, ✉ surbhtl@omantel.net.om. Check-in: 1pm, check-out: 1pm. RO 35+/night.
  • Sur Hotel, ☏ +968 25 544856, +968 25 540090, fax: +968 25 543798, ✉ info@surhotel.net. Basic, with free wi-fi and breakfast, within walking distance of the souq and bus stop. RO 24+/night.
  • Sur Plaza Hotel, Al Aise St, ☏ +968 25 543777, fax: +968 25 542626, ✉ reservationsur@omanhotels.com. Has wi-fi, pool, and onsite restaurant and bar. RO 25+/night.

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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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This is version 2. Last edited at 11:57 on Jul 15, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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