Discover the beauty of this misterious country, the Sultanate of Oman with White Oryx



In ancient times the deserts of the Wilayat of Thumrayt played a role in the frankincense trade, which produced the civilization of al Shisr/Wubar with its columns and domes. Today it is an archaeological site. The Wilayat of Thumrayt is the gateway to the Governorate of Dhofar.It borders on the wilayats of Salalah to the south, Shaleem and the Hallaniyat Islands to the east and Muqshin to the north.To the west it borders on Wilayat of al Mazyounah. It is 80 Kilometres from Salalah. Its main features are the old ruined site of Hanoun with its pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions, the oasis of al Shisr, its wadis which extend right into the heart of the desert, Wadi Andhour with its traces of early human settlement, and the Wadi Dawkah Reserve, which has been added to the UNESCO's World Heritage Cultural List because of its importance as a site on the old frankincense trade route; najdi frankincense trees grow here in abundance.
Thumrayt has five niyabats - Madhiy, al Shisr, Halouf wa Masheelah, Barbazoum and Dhahboun. Madhiy, 80 Kilometres from the centre of the wilayat on the edge of the northern Dhofar uplands, is a desert area with date palms and late Iron Age burial grounds with triliths. The site of Maseenan - a pile of large stones which is believed to be ancient - is also in this niyabat.

The Niyabat of al Shisr is 85 Kilometres from the centre of the wilayat. The old site of Wubar is one of the most ancient sites in the Governorate of Dhofar and was discovered in the Niyabat of al Shisr by the Trans Arabia mission in 1992 following confirmation of the significance of some satellite images of the area. Al Shisr, which is 160 Kilometres north of Salalah, lies to the north west of the Salalah¬Thumrayt road and the route to the site is signposted.

The excavations at Wubar were carried out by an international team generously supported by the Sultanate. The team spent several seasons at the site and discovered that much of it consisted of defensive fortifications; their finds there included implements and ceramic and stone vessels.

In Barbazoum and Dhahboun a range of government services are available including health centres and modem housing. The Niyabat of Halouf wa Masheelah, 37 Kilometres from the centre of the wilayat, also offers a range of government services. Its main feature is the large number of najdi frankin¬cense trees that grow within its borders.  Jabal Halouf - a local landmark - is a white mountain ten Kilometres from the centre of the niyabat.

Trees of the palm type grow in abundance in Thumrait's wadis and the local people use their fronds to make ropes. The sand dunes of the Empty Quarter lie along the northern boundary of the wilayat and are a popular destination for visitors during the winter months.

The desert round Thumrayt has many shady trees and is home to numerous species of wild animals.  Herds of oryx and gazelles used to live in this area, though today they can only be seen in the deserts of the Wusta Governorate.


Traditional Occupations
The people of Thumrayt still engage in a number of crafts and industries practiced traditionally in this locality. Livestock herding and breeding is a principal livelihood, along with the harvesting of frankincense and the overland caravan trade.

The spinning and weaving of wool is an indigenous local industry, along with tent making, palm frond weaving and the leather industry.