Nakhal Fort (قلعة نخل) is one of the most magnificent forts in Oman and one of the most popular ones to visit after Nizwa Fort and Jabrin Castle. The exact date in which this ancient fort was built is unknown, but many believe that it was built in pre-Islamic times, i.e. more than 1500 years ago. The fort is located in Nakhal, a palm oasis about 120 KM away from Muscat.
Nakhal Fort has been expanded and renovated by many of the rulers of Oman throughout history, the oldest record of improvement to the fort is during the time of Imam Salt bin Malik Al Kharusi in the 9th century, it was later expanded during the reign of other Omani tribes such as the Yahmadi tribe, the Nabhani tribe, and the Yarubi tribe. The outer walls and the main gate were added in the 19th century by Sultan Said bin Sultan Al Busaidi. The fort was renovated to its current form in the year 1990 by Sultan Qaboos. Strangely, unlike many other cities with significant forts such as Bahla, Nizwa, Rustaq and Sohar, Nakhal was never used as the capital from which the Imam or Sultan ruled the country.
One of the most unique features of Nakhal Fort is that it does not follow any uniform shape. The shape of the fort instead follows the irregular outline of the massive boulder on which the fort is built. This boulder elevates the fort above ground and gives the fort its magnificence. The lower level of the fort has a mosque, a well, and a date storage room, while the upper level of the fort has the Wali residential quarters with a variety of rooms for the family of the Wali, seasonal reception halls for men and women, and designated rooms for the children of the Wali. The rooms of Nakhal Fort display a variety of traditional exhibits showcasing how life went on during the old times, one of the guest rooms also has a gorgeous ceiling featuring geometric designs and Arabic scriptures.
Nakhal Fort is without a doubt the most significant fort in the whole of Al Batinah region that is open to the public at the moment. The trip to the fort can be combined with a visit to the Ain Al Thawarah spring or Wadi Al Abyadh. Nakhal Fort is open from Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm and on Friday from 8am to 11am. Entry fee is 500 baizas for adults.