Harat al-Bilad, Manah

A Virtual Exhibition

Harat al-Bilad is an ancient settlement quarter (harah) in Manah oasis, central Oman. The settlement is a fine example of fortified town on the desert borderlands, pierced by four gateways, surrounded by a stone and mudbrick wall, and with two formidable watchtowers. Along its three main streets feature mosques, meeting halls, shop and madrasahs.

Before the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, now Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, initiated the conservation of Harat al-Bilad in the early-2000s, it had been uninhabited for decades and was quickly attaining a state of extreme dilapidation. The Ministry’s restoration and rebuilding effort has focused on the north access gate, three mosques and a selection of domestic and civic buildings.

This virtual exhibition, developed by the Liverpool School of Architecture’s ArCHIAM Centre, aims to raise awareness on the importance of Harat al-Bilad in Oman’s history, as well as in the urban, architectural and artistic development of central Oman.

Key Sites

Click on the yellow highlights to read about the sites

3D Virtual Exhibition

Drawing from the material produced for a pilot study of Omani settlement types focused on Harat al-Bilad, which was undertaken by Professor Soumyen Bandyopadhyay between 1993 and 2010, and from an extensive photographic collection produced by Clive Gracey, the exhibition displays the settlement’s heritage in five thematic galleries.


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