Sur in Oman, overview of a ship building town

This Sur in Oman overview introduces a town best known for the ship building of traditional Omani Dhows. Those wooden ships are a trade business and part of the Sur’s rich heritage. 

Sur in Oman overview

Sur is the second wealthiest city in Oman and it has a population of around 120,000 inhabitants. The old town and neighborhood of Al-Ayjah are a delight due to its magnificent coastal panoramas. Sur also serves as a convenient base for beauty spots around Tiwi and the turtle reserve at Ras Al Jinz.

Even though Sur is a real modern town which has a giant gas plant on the edge of its limits. The large industrial activity provides jobs, bringing in long-stay expats who spend money in the town’s growing number of services. For visitors, the town’s growth has given a set of hotels from which to explore the beautiful coast.

Sur is the perfect spot to enjoy the beauty of a traditional Omani town. We arrived there for a day trip from Ras-Al-Hadd. And we really got impressed with its awesome heritage and its nice panoramas of the nice coastline with beautiful rocky landscapes and with harmonic houses. 

Sur is best suited to those who enjoy culture and heritage but it has very nice natural surroundings and trek opportunities through the mountains like to reach Wadi Shab in Tiwi. Sur is also great for enjoying the picturesque view of the Arabian Sea and sunbathe on the nearby beaches. The Lighthouse, the Old town and Bila Sur Castle Ayjah watchtowers are some must that a visitor cannot miss on a visit in town.

What to do in Sur

Bilad Sur Castle

This castle is one of the must-visit places in Sur. Bilad Sur Castle is situated at the central part of the Bilad Sur Plain in Oman. The castle was built to defend the town against the nearby tribes, but its towers offer a spectacular view of the surroundings. Currently, Bilad Sur Castle has a museum, where visitors can get a deeper insight into its rich historical relevance.

Al Ayjah Fort

The Al-Ayjah fort was built along with the merchant houses surrounding it. These houses have beautifully carved doors and lotus pillared porches. The architecture of the fort is plain and well maintained. It has a uniform square structure as most of the other forts in the region. It is not special if this is not the first fort in the region you visit, but the location is so good not to miss it. 

Sur Lighthouse

Al Ayjah Lighthouse in Oman, is one of the top attractions to visit in the city. The lighthouse is on Ras Ayqah, the highest east side point in Sur Harbour square. The building of the lighthouse itself is not very impressive but the views of the coast with its white cute beautiful houses is outstanding. 

Dhow Factory

Sur is one of the most famous places in the Middle East for building wooden boats. Today, this old factory is a museum which showcases some boats at different building stages. Besides Omani ships, displays along with photographs of sailors, and the Old town of Sur. Since the museum is not very large, it should not take more than an hour to explore this beautiful place and immerse in its rich heritage and history.

Dhow Factory of Sur in Oman
Dhow Factory

The Corniche of Sur 

This is the place for perfect views on the main stretch of the corniche that runs along the vast water body offering a spectacular view of the wooden dhows docked at the harbour nearby. You may also spot the ancient watchtower across the bay and the houses of Al Ayjah in the background. In addition, Sur Corniche gives a great view of the skyline with nice iconic mosques and mountains behind them.

Sunaysilah Castle 

The Sunaysilah Castle is around 300 years old and like many castles at this area was built as a defense system to guard the city of Sur. The fort has a great view of the town and offers the chance of visiting the adjacent mosque. 

Mosque of the Commander of the Faithful, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab

Impressive and very welcoming mosque where men and women are welcome to get in and learn about Muslim culture. The building of the Mosque is beautiful itself but the views of the city are even more impressive. It has external lavatories for ablution with city views. Just stop by, you won’t regret it!

How to get to Sur in Oman

By plane to Sur in Oman

Unfortunately, there is no airport in Sur yet. There was a project to build one but it was abandoned due to the climate conditions. Therefore the best solution is to fly to Muscat and continue your journey by land. 

By bus to Sur in Oman

The government company Mwasalat operates buses between Muscat and Sur twice a day. You can buy tickets at the office in Ruwi in Muscat or in Sur. The coastal route via Tiwi should cost around 30$ and it may take 3h and 15 minutes. The cheaper interior route via Ibra is simply terribly tiring and it can take even 7 hours long. You can get more information on their official website

By car to Sur in Oman

This is the best way of arriving in Sur. So you can just rent a car in plenty of locations in the country or just rent one at Muscat airport where the prices are more reasonable. Check here the current prices of renting a car in Muscat.

Where to stay in Sur in Oman

  • Sur Grand Hotel: The Sur Grand Hotel offers glass windows with panoramic views of the beach and a relaxing rooftop pool.
  • Sur Plaza Hotel: Classic comfortable hotel with a beautiful swimming pool and excellent service.

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