Welcome to Qalhat
The 2nd-century settlement of Qalhat is one of the most ancient sites in Oman. There’s not much left to see except the ruined Tomb of Bibi Miriam, but if you pay the site a visit, you’ll be in excellent company: both Marco Polo in the 13th century and Ibn Battuta in the 14th century stopped here on their travels. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that your journey to Qalhat was a tad more adventurous than theirs. In their day, Qalhat was a ‘very good port, much frequented by merchant ships from India’ and a hub for the trade in horses from the interior. Today only the tomb, water cistern and remnants of city walls are visible, and in place of barques and dhows, all that the sea brings to the shore are sharks, sardines and rays. If you camp nearby, the water is often spangled at night with green phosphorous.
The site began a major five-year redevelopment in 2014. Until the site is redeveloped for tourism, you can spot the tomb from the highway.