The Wilayat of Al Rustaq is a historical and ancient city in Al Batinah South Governorate, surrounded by the central Al Hajr mountain range and blessed with abundant date palm groves and aflaj. The city came to prominence when Imam Nasser bin Murshid al Ya’rubi started his reign in the Sultanate. Al Rustaq, which was once the capital of Oman, has many attractions that make it one of the most sought-after tourist attractions. Today, the wilayat is a key administrative and commercial centre of the governorate.
Al Rustaq is famous for two impressive and historically important landmarks: Al Hazm Castle and the imposing Al Rustaq Fort. Al Hazm Castle was built by Imam Sultan bin Saif al Ya’rubi in the early 18th century.
The castle features a massive beautiful wooden door with intricate writing and it is unique among other Omani castles for having its roof held by columns instead of the traditional wooden support. The massive Al Rustaq Fort, a much older fort dating back to the 13th century, is near the city market and can be seen from the surrounding hills. The fort is cradled by four tall towers, the tallest being more than 18 metres high.
The Old Souq of Al Rustaq is located right next to Al Rustaq Fort. Shoppers can go to the new temporary souq to buy locally made handicraft, agriculture produce and pure Omani honey.
A popular destination in Al Rustaq is Ain Al Kasfa hot water spring. The spring is frequently visited for its therapeutic sulfur content. No swimming is allowed in the source of the water, but there are designated bathing rooms where the water is channelled for the public to use.
Niyabat Al Hoqain in Al Rustaq is located 45 km away from the centre and 150 km from Muscat. The place encompasses picturesque wadis and villages. This comprises a renowned Wadi Al Hoqain. This valley is characterised by its year-round flowing streams which are best for taking a dip in the hot summer. It is advised not to get into wadis during rainy season. These wadis in Oman are truly beautiful with clean and clear water.