Liwa: There are many tourist attractions in the Sultanate. They include tall towers, castles and forts, which are unique in designs.
The Wilayat of Liwa in the Governorate of North Al Batinah is famous for its stunning views, Aflaj or ancient irrigation system or water channels, valleys, archaeological sites and historic landmarks.
It is located in the North of the Sultanate, bordered in the South by the Wilayat of Suhar and in the North by the Wilayat of Shinas. The wilaya is famous for Liwa Fort, which is located about one and a half kilometres from the centre of the wilaya near the sea.
Ahmed bin Abdullah al Ghufaili, tourist guide in the Fort, said it was built for more than 400 years ago and was used for protection as well as the residence of the Wali, and a place to discuss and manage the wilaya’s affairs.
He pointed out that the Ministry of Heritage and Culture started fort’s restoration works in 2000, which were completed in 2003. He added that the fort contains a high wall and 5 observation towers, in addition to a main entrance, locally known as “Al Sabah”.
The Wali, the judge and a group of shaikhs and dignitaries used to meet every morning in the fort to manage the wilaya’s affairs, resolve disputes and discuss topics of interest to citizens of the wilaya. Al Ghufaili referred to what is known as the “Kasbah,” which is the highest building in the fort and consists of three floors, five rooms and two halls, in addition to a main entrance, locally called “Sabah” and two rooms, one for the well, its drilling and cleaning and the other for bathing.
This Al Kasbah was used to housing the Wali and his family, and a post for observation.
There is a Majlis (guest room) known in the past as “Al Sablah”. In addition, there are three wells scattered in the fort at various sites, which were used in the past for many purposes, including cooking and irrigating plants in the Fort. The tourist guide of the fort spoke about the parts that were added to the fort at the time of restoration, including the theater, which was built in a way inspired by the old theaters. It is currently used to host various national events. The fort is surrounded by houses and date-palm trees. The visitor can see from the towers of the fort many villages in the Wilayat of Liwa, such as the coastal village of “Harmul” and the famous mangrove trees. — ONA