Manah – A peep into the past

The Wilayat of Manah in the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah is one of the wilayats that has many heritage and tourism attractions, which mirror the rich and deep-rooted history and culture.
Today, it is an integrated city with comprehensive services embodied in its markets, houses, mosques, fences and towers.
Manah is a must visit for anyone who is curious about Oman’s past.
Oman Across Ages Museum, a new national monument in the Sultanate, will provide a new and refined experience to its visitors, especially the youth.
Being constructed in the Wilayat of Manah, the museum, which is reportedly in its ‘fit out’ stage, is a celebration of the country’s economic, cultural and social renaissance since the 1970s.
The foundation stone of the iconic project was laid by the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos in 2015 in accordance with his vision to establish a museum showcasing the history of Oman through ages in both sound and pictures.
Being constructed in approximately about 40,000 sq metres, the distinctive design of the museum has been inspired by the geometric profile of the majestic Hajar Mountains crisscrossed by ravines.
According to Australian company Cox Architecture, which is designing the museum, the new project will be a cultural and educational hallmark for Omanis and visitors to Oman.
“The museum acknowledges the rich foundations of the country’s past while celebrating its bright and opportunistic future. Forging a bridge between past and future, space will transcend knowledge of the country’s achievements in an innovative, informative and interactive manner,” says a note in the company’s website.
When completed, the museum is expected to be the largest of its kind in the Gulf region.
Visitors will experience a simple, yet immersive and interactive way of expressing modern narrative techniques which depict the geographic diversity of Oman.
The wilayat also embraces other archaeological landmarks including the Al Fiqain Castle. It is located in Al Fiqain village, which was built almost 400 years ago. The castle has been completely renovated. The damaged parts have been restored and reopened for the public in 1994. Since that time, it has received tourists from inside and outside the Sultanate.
The wilayat is home to Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-Native Speakers which teaches the students to communicate and interact effectively in any Arab society.
Another notable landmark in the Wilayat of Manah is ‘Harat Al Bilad’. It is located at the centre of the wilayat.
It is the oldest residential area in the wilayat.
‘Harat Al Bilad’, which maintains the old Omani architectural designs, includes four mosques namely Al Sharah, Al Ain, Al Rahba and Al Aa’li, which date back to 909 AH.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is implementing a project to renovate ‘Harat Al Bilad’ to maintain it in a good condition.
Bait Al Hisn or Hisn Najad, located at the southern side of ‘Harat Al Bilad’, is one of the attractions of the wilayat. In 1350 AH, some towers were added and a boundary has been fixed.
The Grand Mosque, a rectangular mosque built of mud in 941 AH/1534, is located near Bait Al Hisn.
The wilayat is also known for many traditional crafts such as Omani Halwa, rose water, silver works, textiles, date-palm frond works and carpentry.
The wilayat is also known for traditional art performances such as Razha, A’zi, Taghroud, Hamble Al Boosh, Al Tariq, Al Wailiyah, Zafat Al Kaitha and Al Maghayidh.
Since Manah is an agricultural oasis, it relies mainly on aflaj and irrigation.
There are renowned aflajs like Al Asgharin, Al Akhtam, Al Masraj and Al Mahyool, which feed the vast wheat farms.