Merchant Houses


Of passing interest in the town of Mirbat is the old quarter, where some merchant houses still stand proud along the beach front. Some are still lived in, but many are derelict as modern residents opt for concrete lodgings over the traditional mud and wattle. Some of the old buildings have kept their fine doors and latticed window frames, illustrating the former wealth of this Dhofari outpost.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dhofar attractions

1. Mirbat Castle

0.23 MILES

The town’s main fort is now derelict despite being the site of the well-documented Battle of Mirbat. Nine soldiers kept 300 insurgents from taking Mirbat…

2. Mirbat Fort

0.42 MILES

Recently restored, this old crenellated castle is set square to the sea as if designed to repel invaders. It's closed to the public but makes a photogenic…

3. Bin Ali's Tomb

0.95 MILES

Housing the remains of Mohammed Bin Ali, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, this tiny tomb, with its two distinctive onion domes, marks the old…

4. Baobab Grove

7.01 MILES

Botanists may be surprised to find a small stand of baobab trees gracing the thickets just above the Salalah Plain. These magnificent giants, their trunks…

5. Jebel Samhan Viewpoint


The upper plateau of Jebel Samhan suddenly ends in a vertiginous drop more than 1000 meters to the coastal plain below. Barely a ledge interrupts the…

6. Tawi Atayr

12.1 MILES

This deep sinkhole (1 million cu metres), known as the Well of Birds, gapes without warning in a corrugated landscape of rock, covered in thicket. A small…

7. Taiq Cave

12.16 MILES

Identified in 1997, this 90 million cu metre–sinkhole is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Elliptical in shape, it has a depth of 250m and is…

8. Khor Rori Beach

16.98 MILES

A celebrated local beauty spot, this khor (inlet) is often partitioned from the sea by a sandbar that shrinks and grows according to the season. In the…