Museum of the Frankincense Land

The main point of interest in Salalah is the ancient site of Al-Baleed. The comprehensive set of ruins, which are well labelled and atmospherically lit at night, belong to the 12th-century trading port of Zafar. From here, frankincense was shipped across the sea to India in exchange for spices. The surrounding plantations of coconut, papaya, sugar cane and banana illustrate the fecundity of the region and it is little wonder that the port was a prosperous one. Little is known about the port’s demise but the excellent on-site museum charts the area’s settlement since 2000 BC and illustrates the maritime strength of the nation, including its recent renaissance through the port projects at Salalah, Duqm (tipped to be the largest port in the Arab world) and Sohar. The site includes at least 3km of beautifully landscaped walking paths (open until 8pm each evening) alongside the khor and into the adjoining reed beds where an observation tower makes for good birdwatching.
The Land of Frankincence

Arabian Gulf Directory

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