Fatah Al Khair


Built in Sur 70 years ago and brought back from its retirement in Yemen, this historic wooden fishing vessel has been meticulously restored and now sits permanently on dry land as part of an open-air museum dedicated to Sur's shipbuilding lineage. It's not possible to climb aboard Fatah Al Khair, but it's interesting getting up close to the flanks of the dhow: traditionally, these vessels were made by hand without nails and using handwoven ropes to shore up joins.

Other smaller traditional vessels are on show in the grounds. Look out for a small workshop opposite the dhow: Sur is famous for carpentry and some finely crafted model dhows are on sale here (although opening hours are at the whim of the owner).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sur attractions

1. Corniche & Dhow Yards

0.03 MILES

The corniche affords a picturesque view across to the village of Ayjah. Dhows used to be led to safety by Ayjah’s three watchtowers, which mark the route…

2. Khor Al Batah Bridge

0.19 MILES

Oman's only suspension bridge, the 240m-long Khor Al Batah Bridge opened in 2009 and cut down the journey from Sur to Ayjah from 20 to just three minutes…

3. Ayjah Watchtowers

0.31 MILES

An integral part of the landscape of Ayjah, and visible from the corniche in Sur, these three small round towers made of sandstone once guided dhows to…

4. Al Ayjah Fort

0.48 MILES

This renovated fort, which is open somewhat erratically, if at all, seems to have been built as part and parcel of the surrounding merchant houses, with…

5. Lighthouse

0.53 MILES

This aged lighthouse is a prominent landmark in Ayjah, including for the goats who for some reason like to congregate under the three-storey stone tower…

6. Sunaysilah Castle


Crowning a rocky eminence in the centre of town, this 300-year-old castle is built on a classic square plan with four round watchtowers. It was the most…

7. Bilad Sur Castle

3.11 MILES

Built to defend the town against marauding tribes from the interior, 200-year-old Bilad Sur Castle boasts unusually shaped towers. It has been closed for…

8. Bibi Miriam's Tomb

14.21 MILES

The ruined tomb of Bibi Miriam is about all that remains of the 2nd-century settlement of Qalhat, one of the most ancient sites in Oman. There’s not much…