Sohar is a city in Northern Oman, 220 km north of Muscat.
This is the home city of Sindbad the sailor, 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...."
- 1 Oman National Transport Company (ONTC), Gail Al Shabool (near Penguin Restaurant), ☏ +968 26 841772, email@example.com. Runs four daily buses from Muscat (3 hr) and Buraimi.
- Daily flights from Sharjah (Emirates)
By rental car
- 2 [dead link] Zubair Car Rental, Shell Gas Station, As Suwaihara St (between the Grand Mosque and Hotel Mercure), ☏ +968 9521 9355, firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 08:00-19:00.
- 1 Sohar Fort and Museum, Sultan Qaboos Rd, ☏ +968 26 844758. Closed indefinitely. 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.
- 2 Sallan Park, Sultan Qaboos Rd (on the NW side of the Sohar Beach Hotel). A nice park.
- 3 Fish market, Al Bahri Rd (Corniche). Best in the early morning. A good place to watch fisherman unload the catch of the day.
- 4 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.
The long quiet beach is ideal for jogging, with or without shoes.
- 1 Al Qala'a Souq (Handicraft Souq), Al Qalah St. Has about a dozen shops, with silversmiths, herbal medicines, handicrafts, and antiques.
A number of Omani coffee shops are present which serve Omani foods such as shwarma. Other than that 1 Pizza Hut, 2 Penguin Restaurant, and 3 KFC are in the centre.
- 4 Lobnan Al Akhdhar, Sohar St (Al Woqaiba), ☏ +968 22 025553, email@example.com. Tu-Th 09:00-23:00, F Sa 09:00-01:00. Lebanese restaurant.
- 5 Milan Vegetarian Restaurant, ☏ +968 26 840107. Daily 08:00-13:00, 17:00-23:00. Indian cuisine.
- 6 Sunlight Restaurant, ☏ +968 9962 6733. Daily 09:30-23:50. Indian cuisine.
- 7 Muscat Bakery Restaurant, Mashal An Nur St, ☏ +968 9130 5202. Daily 11:00-23:00.
- 8 Switz, Al Mina Round About, ☏ +968 26 701500. Su-Th 08:00-17:00.
The only bar where you can drink alcohol is at the Sohar Beach Hotel.
- 1 Al Wadi Hotel, 459, Al Barakat St, ☏ +968 26 840058, fax: +968 26 841997, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00-13:00, check-out: 11:00-12:00. From RO 45/night.
- 2 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.
- 3 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.
- 4 Radisson Blu Hotel, Sohar, Beach front of Al-Zafaran, ☏ +968 2664 0000, email@example.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.
- 5 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.