Sohar - Gateway to China

In the early Islamic period Sohar was the most important port of Oman. In those days the sailors from Sohar brought goods home from the whole of the Far East. Their mastery of the art of navigation was admired throughout the world and found its way into many tales and legends.

In the early Islamic period Sohar was the most important port of Oman. Chroniclers of the time such as Al Istakhri and Al Muqaddasi actually described it as the most important port in the whole Islamic world. Its origins stretch back to the fifth century before the Christian era and it is first mentioned in the 3rd century BC.

Directly after Islamization the Persians were driven out of Oman and the flourishing town now took the name of ”Sohar”. In those days the sailors from Sohar brought goods home from the whole of the Far East. Their mastery of the art of navigation was admired throughout the world and found its way into many tales and legends. Sohar was given the nickname ”Gateway to China” and counted as one of the richest towns in the world.

It is alleged that Sinbad the sailor was born in Sohar. The fortress here is well worth a visit. Today it houses a museum with collections of artifacts representing different periods of Omani history.

After the destruction of the city in the 10th Century it never rose to its former glory, living a shadowy existence through the centuries. However, modern Sohar has created a new image for itself, developing more and more into an important industrial harbors.