It is one of the regions belonging to the Sultanate of Oman and is known as the Batinah Coast, as it occupies a vital geographical location on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. It extends from Khatmat Milaha in the north to Ras al-Hamra in the south and is confined between the foothills of the Western Hajar Mountains in the west and the Gulf of Oman in the east. The width of the coastal plain is about 25 km. Its total population is about 563,833 Omanis and 88,833 expatriates, according to 2003 statistics. The region includes the largest number of states, as it includes twelve states… They are Sohar, Shinas, Liwa, Saham, Al-Khaboura, Al-Suwaiq, and the center of the governorate is Sohar.
The Governorate of North Al Batinah is also characterized by economic potential represented in the fact that it includes the largest agricultural plains of the Sultanate (Al Batinah Plain) and a variety of mineral ores that have begun to be exploited to establish several vital heavy industries.
Sohar Industrial Port also represents one of the giant economic projects in the Sultanate, especially in light of the attraction of the industrial zone in Sohar to a large number of large industrial and transformational projects such as fertilizers, petrochemicals, aluminum and iron. The development of commercial and industrial sectors close to it, at a faster pace and helps encourage investments in them, in addition to developing the port of Shinas, linking the Governorate of Musandam with the Governorate of North Al Batinah through sea lines to transport passengers and goods, in addition to the train project, which is part of the Gulf train project, and its route will pass through Al Batinah North and South Governorates along the Al Batinah Expressway.
castles and forts
The Governorate of North Al Batinah is considered one of the distinguished governorates of the Sultanate of Oman, as it has many historical forts that are distinguished for the governorate, including Al-Suwaiq Fort, Al-Awabi Fort, Sohar Fort, Liwa Fort, Saham Fort, Al-Khabourah Fort, Fazah Fort, Al-Tarmad Fort, and Shinas Fort.
It is located near the shore of the Sea of Oman in the Wilayat of As-Suwaiq in the Governorate of North Al-Batinah. Fort Al-Suwaiq is characterized by its round towers on three of its corners.
The fourth pillar is a square protective wall built in the style of pre-cannon architecture. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the wife of the governor of Al-Suwaiq defended the fort in a distinguished way. The fort was taken as the seat of the governor, and it was built of mud, stones and plaster. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture restored it in 1992 AD.
Al-Awabi Fort is located in Wadi Bani Kharus, the head of Wadi Al-Fari’. The fort located there is called the Al-Awabi House.
The importance of this site is also evident from what occurred in 1135 AH / 1722 AD between Balarab bin Nasir, who attacked and occupied Rustaq Castle, and Imam Ya`rub bin Balarab, who sent a group of about 400 men From Nizwa to recover Rustaq, but they were unable to move beyond Al-Awabi, and the fort was attacked at the end of the century by Bani Riam, who inflicted severe damage on it and even destroyed one of the towers completely.
This fort is located on a medium hill in the Wilayat of Liwa (Hillat Al-Husn), northwest of the Wilayat of Sohar. It represents an area 58 meters long and 75 meters wide. It includes five circular towers and a small central castle known as (Al-Qasbah).
It was previously used as the seat of government and administration of state affairs. Fort Liwa is distinguished by its strategic location, as it can reveal large parts of the state, and Liwa was given this name because the palm trees twist around the fort.
Another narration says that it was given this name in relation to the brigades of wars that were held in Liwa, and Liwa Fort is unique from other forts of the Batinah coast region by its distance from the sea.
Saham Fort consists of one floor and there are many rooms built by Sayyid Shihab bin Faisal bin Turki Al Busaidi during the reign of Sultan / Saeed bin Taimur bin Faisal Al Busaidi (1351 AH / 1932 AD – 1390 AH / 1970 AD), and this fort was built on the coast within the urban boundaries of the city of Saham Works in the North Al Batinah region.
The fort is a rectangular building with a length of about 50 meters, a width of about 40 meters, and a height of 14 meters. The fort was built using materials of clay, gravel, and stones. The fort wall is equipped with four square-shaped towers. The fort was renovated in 1415 AH / 1994 AD.
Besides being used for defensive purposes, the fort was also used for housing purposes and as a center for the governor to manage the affairs of the state, as well as as a Sharia court that judges the affairs of citizens.
Sohar Fort (known as the Kasbah of Sohar)
The accounts indicate that it was built in the seventh century AH / thirteenth century AD or at the beginning of the eighth century Hijri / fourteenth century AD.
Its location is at the southern end of the city of Sohar, on the site of the ruins of old houses, not on the ruins of old forts. The fort was built by the princes of Hormuz.
The fort was a military center and stronghold for the leaders that controlled Sohar from the Hormuzids, the Portuguese, the Ya’ruba and the Al Busaidis.
The fort was also a center of political and administrative power from its inception until the beginning of the eighteenth decade of the twentieth century, when power was then transferred to the offices of the governors.
The fort is a rectangular building with high walls. The outer wall is about 120 meters high and about 70 meters wide. The fort contains circular bastions and towers. The largest of the towers is located in the northern corner and has a diameter of about 12.7 m in its upper part at the roof. Its base is about 13 m. Its walls are about 1.7 meters thick, and it has five openings for cannons. Perhaps the tower on the north side next to the entrance was one of two towers guarding the entrance to the fort.
It is located in Hilat Al-Hosn in the Wilayat of Al-Khaboura, a small coastal state located near the mouth of Wadi Al-Hawasneh. Its fort is located next to the school. The Wilayat of Al-Khaboura is about 170 km away from the Governorate of Muscat. It is bordered by the Wilayat of Saham to the west.
Al-Khaboura Fort is 53 meters long and 24 meters wide, and is surrounded by high walls built of mud bricks. The fort was used as the seat of government and management of state affairs due to its strategic location. Al-Khaboura Fort consists of several rooms where there are rooms for guards, rooms for visitors, a room for storing foodstuffs and weapons, and two rooms for the governor’s residence.
There are also two towers, one of which is circular in shape with a diameter of 7.5 meters and is located in the southeastern corner, and there is a rectangular tower or bastion with a width of 7.5 meters located in the circular corner.
The main entrance to the fort is located on the northern side, and in front of it are two cannons next to them, another cannon whose part connected to the pipe was destroyed. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture restored the Khaboura fort in 1994 AD.
This castle was built during the reign of Imam Saif bin Sultan in the year 1104 AH / 1681 AD, and it was used as a seat for governance and management of the village’s affairs. The Fazah Castle is located in the heart of the village, which is surrounded by mountains on all sides and consists of three floors. It was named after the village of Fazah.
Fazah Castle consists of three floors that are 12 meters long and 15 meters wide. The first floor contains a group of rooms that were used to store weapons and gunpowder that they used in wars, and also to store supplies (foodstuffs) such as rice, dates, and wheat (wheat). As for the second floor, it was a center for managing the affairs of the village and was called Al Mubarraz (the council). As for the third floor, it was used for the residence of the ruler, and there is a circular tower in the castle, whose height is about 25 meters above ground level. The village of Dabeen, which is 20 km away from the village, but this tunnel has no trace at the present time.
Al-Tarmad Fortress is located in the Wilayat of As-Suwaiq, about 14 km west of Al-Musanna, near the main road. for the troops and housing for the imams. Al-Tharmad Fort includes a number of rooms, some of which were used to store weapons, while others were used to store foodstuffs such as rice, wheat, and dates.
Shinas Fort is located near the beach. It is a rectangular walled area with corner circular towers and a rectangular tower in the northeastern side. In its construction, clay and gravel were used, and its length is within the range of 100 meters, its width is 80 meters, and its height is 8 meters. It is mentioned that it was built since the time of the Nabhani state in 650 AH / 1229 AD for the purposes of defense, protection, and housing, and as a court and a school. Shinas Fort is considered one of the important forts in Al Batinah Because this fort is the last government fort of the state in that region, and it is the front to repel all invaders.
The fort consists of several rooms that were used to store weapons that were used in wars, in addition to storing foodstuffs such as rice, dates, and wheat, as well as rooms for guards, and there are ways in which they used to consult Among them in managing state affairs, and there is a prison in the fort for those accused of treason and other small charges, and there is a mosque and one well in the middle of the fort, and there are five cannons in the fort, four of which are large and one is small, and they were used to strike the enemy.
The fort consists of four towers, three of which are circular in shape, and the fourth is rectangular in shape in the northeastern side. The length of the tower is about nine meters, and its width is 4.5 meters, while the diameter of two of the circular towers in the south is about 11 meters, while the diameter of the northwest tower is about seven. meters. While the height of the walls of the southwestern tower is about six meters, while the northwestern tower and the rectangular tower in the northeastern side have a height of about 4 meters.
The fort is surrounded by a large wall. The wall was built of stones and mud bricks, and there are decorative openings permeated through the wall. The length of the western wall is 81 meters, and the southern wall is 54 meters. It seems that this fort was rebuilt since the year 1224-1225 AH / 1810 AD when part of it was destroyed by cannon fire, and after Mutlaq Al-Mutairi and Muhammad bin Ahmed Al-Tanji occupied the fort, Mr. Saeed and the English forces attacked Shinas from the sea on the thirtieth of December and They surrounded the fort the next day.
After Muhammad bin Ahmed withdrew at Mutlaq in Buraimi, Sayyid Saeed’s men stormed the fort after demolishing one of its sides and killing all the garrison. When the English forces returned to their boats, Mutlaq’s forces returned and seized the fort again. This problem was not solved until when Mutlaq was encamped in Musanna, and Sayyid Saeed visited him in his tent carrying a gift from his ship, at which point Mutlaq returned to Buraimi and dismissed his recruits before returning to Riyadh.
It is noteworthy that Shinas was important in the era of ancient trade when goods were transported by road to Sharjah to avoid capture by the Indian Navy. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture restored the fort in 1984 AD and it was inaugurated in 1986 AD during the reign of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, may God have mercy on him.
Al-Sawadi Beach, Barka
Al Sawadi Beach: It is located in the Wilayat of Barka in the Al Batinah South Governorate, which is 70 km from the capital, Muscat. What distinguishes this beach are the beautiful rocky islands that are distributed over areas close to the coast. Migratory and endemic birds.
On this beach, many marine activities can be practiced, as the beach contains a resort equipped with everything a visitor needs to practice such activities.
It is located in the Wilayat of Sohar in the North Al Batinah Governorate, where the sea road overlooking the coast and adjacent to the historic Sohar Fort has been built. Along the way, there are restaurants, toilets, signboards, and seating umbrellas. On one of the corners, a small garden has been constructed for visitors.