The rumoured home of two famous sailors, the historical Ahmed Bin Majid and the semifictional Sinbad, Sohar is proud of its illustrious past. A thousand years ago, it was the largest town in the country: it was even referred to as Omana, though its ancient name was Majan (meaning 'seafaring'). In the 3rd century BC, the town’s prosperity was built on copper that was mined locally then shipped to Mesopotamia and Dilmun (modern-day Bahrain). Little more than legend and a triumphal arch over Hwy 1 marked Sohar's place in history, however, until the new port transformed the town into a city, bringing jobs and creating wealth.
For the visitor, Sohar has a few sights of interest, while shopping opportunities and some good hotels make it a relaxed destination on a tour of northern Oman. It's also the perfect stopover on the long drive between the United Arab Emirates and Muscat.