Across the Sultanate of Oman, one can hardly miss the watchtowers that rise high above the hills, mountain passes to ports to the ancient capitals of the interior. Most of Oman’s towers are circular and are made of mud with only one entrance and many lookouts. They were often built higher near a fort, and were meant to offer a high degree of surveillance and control.
Over virtually every village, fortified watchtowers perch atop handy crags high enough to command a view of picturesque Wadis and towns. They no longer serve alerts to potential invaders.
The Sultanate of Oman is blessed with over 1,000 forts and including watchtowers scattered along the length and breadth of the country.
These forts and towers bear witness to a long history that dates back to centuries.
Many of these towers have been restored and have become one of the tourist attractions visited by tourists from inside and outside the Sultanate of Oman. However, there are dozens of these towers that have not received their share of restoration and repair.
The restored Portuguese watchtower on a promontory out to sea, halfway along Muttrah Sea Road, affords a view of the ocean and the grand sweep of Muttrah's waterfront.
Al Ayjah watchtower is one of the landmarks standing at the entrance of the port of Sur. It is characterised by a unique architectural design, becoming an attractive destination for photography enthusiasts giving its visitors the privilege to enjoy a stunning view of Sur city.
“There are many historical towers that suffer from collapse due to climatic changes and their exposure to natural erosion and neglect. You can see such towers in various governorates of the Sultanate of Oman. It has become weak and fragile, unable to withstand the frequent heavy rains and dry spells”, a specialist in archaeology and Omani history told the Observer.
If you’ve gone to the interior of Fanja, the dramatic towers perched on hills and located on some very noticeable points will definitely get your attention.
Everyone agrees that the maintenance of these historical monuments will help preserve the historical identity of the Sultanate of Oman, and will undoubtedly contribute to the revitalisation of tourism in various wilayats of the Sultanate of Oman.