Oman is known for its unique cultural and historical sites with landmark architectural structures found in several parts of the sultanate. To spread awareness on these architectural marvels, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has released the latest statistics, according to which, there were 3,346 heritage sites registered in the country in 2020.
A statement issued by the ministry said, ‘Of the 3,346 heritage sites registered in Oman, 146 are forts, 373 castles, 1,272 towers, 53 walls, 348 mosques, 1,030 harat (abandoned old villages) and 124 heritage houses.’
The ministry runs several programmes to preserve and restore buildings of architectural and archaeological importance. This work is sometimes done in collaboration with international experts. Additionally, the ministry recently signed a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to protect and conserve a number of geological heritage sites in the country.
The memorandum aims to establish a mechanism to rehabilitate important geo-heritage sites and promote these as tourist destinations. It also aims to facilitate exchange of information and expertise on geological sites between the ministry and PDO to map these.
This will help develop geo-heritage based tourism in Oman and the establishment of geoparks as economic and job opportunity generators.