Sur, the former East African port

The port of Sur was once Oman’s most important port for trade with East Africa. In Sur’s heyday up to 400 such ships or even larger merchant ships lay at anchor in the large lagoon of the city. The city still maintains its reputation as a shipbuilding metropolis. Today Sur is one of the most significant regional centres of Oman.

In the middle of the 19th century a storm took the large African fleet by surprise when returning from Zanzibar. The ships sought safety in a bay of the Al Hallaniyyat islands, but almost all fell victim to the full force of the storm. It smashed the whole fleet against the island’s cliffs and many people lost their lives. This catastrophe sealed the end of Oman’s great maritime age. But Sur still maintains its reputation as a shipbuilding metropolis.

Since 1992 the town seems to be exploding and parallels to Muscat in the 1980s spring involuntarily to mind. Suddenly there is not a single old building to be found, everything seems to be brand new. Sur has been once more becoming one of the most significant regional centres of Oman.

-> overnight in the region Sharqiyah / eastern Hajar mountains