The oasis of Ibri ( عبري ) is now mostly known for its oil fields more than anything else, but this special city in Al Dhahira Governante is rich with many historical and natural offerings that should not be overlooked.
Things To Do
The biggest attraction in Ibri and one of the most significant archeological sites in the country is the Bat Necropolis. This is a historic site inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List that consists of numerous beehive tombs built more than 4000 years ago, and according to the records of UNESCO it is the most complete collection of settlements from the 3rd Millennium BC in the whole world. The primary site of Bat Necropolis is only a few kilometers away from the downtown of Ibri. Each beehive tomb is made up of a tower of varying height and a single entrance leading to the burial chamber. Visitors to the Bat Necropolis can walk by and see tens of the haunting tomb structures still intact in their original state scattered all over the area.
Ibri is also home to several castles such as Ibri Castle, Al Sulaif Castle, and Al Aswad Castle. Ibri Castle was built around 500 years ago in classic Omani military architecture, and is the most interesting one to see. It features in its compound a unique tall cubic tower, two wells, and a horse stable. Ibri Castle was used in the old times as the residence of both the Wali and judge of Ibri. It is also known for its gates, each of which known as a “Sabah”, and its historic mosque, one of the oldest still-in-use mosques in Oman.
Ibri also has a lot to offer to those looking for an active outdoors adventure as many wadis can be found in the outskirts of the city including Wadi Dhum, Wadi Maqniyat, and Wadi Bilad Al Shoom. Wadi Dhum, or the Hidden Wadi, is the most popular one with locals and tourists alike. The wadi has magnificent landscapes, majestic boulders, and shaded walkways enveloped by the great mountains of the wadi making this a fun and pleasant trek. The wadi does not always have a lot of water, but when it does numerous pools can be found throughout the trek.
Places To Stay
Ibri does not offer many options for staying over, if you are not going to consider camping at one of the wadis, it is probably better to stay over in look for a place to stay over in Buraimi or Nizwa both of which are about an hour away from Ibri.
How To Get There
Ibri is located about 300 kms from Muscat and the drive to it can be a treat as travelers can go through the beautiful mountainous road of Rustaq to get to Ibri and then come back through the older Nizwa road to pass by the all ancient landmarks in Nizwa and Bahla.