Barka: Barka, bordered in the east by the Wilayat of A’Seeb, in the west by the Wilayat of Al Musannah, in the south by the wilayats of Wadi Al Ma’awel and Nakhal, and from the north by the Sea of Oman.
There are many tourist sites in the Wilayat of Barka, most notably the Bait Al Nu’aman Fort. The Wilayat of Barka is located 85 kilometres from Muscat.
Tourists, both foreign and domestic, visit the Wilayat of Barka to tour the archaeological and tourist sites, including the Bait Al Nu’aman Fort.
Ibrahim bin Sabeel Al Balushi, a tour guide at the fort, said, “For 325 years, the journey between Muscat and the headquarters of Ya’aribah rule in A’Rustaq and Al Hazm was arduous, as travellers rode on the backs of camels and horses.
He added that in the middle of the road between Muscat and A’Rustaq, Bait Al Nu’aman Fort was built as a shelter, as well as a guesthouse for the Imams of Ya’aribah during their travels to A’Rustaq. It is believed that Bait Al Nu’aman Fort was built from 1691 to 1693 during the reign of Imam Bal’arab bin Sultan, who had his seat of rule in Jibreen Fort.
It is also thought that Bait Al Nu’aman Fort was built by Imam Saif bin Sultan Al Ya’rubi, brother of Imam Bal’arab bin Sultan.
“Imam Saif bin Sultan, who succeeded his brother in the position of the Imamate, was a man with a vision. He built a strong merchant fleet and worked to expand foreign maritime trade, along with the implementation of the reclamation project in order to grow crops. It is said that he was responsible for planting more than one-third of the trees in the country, as he issued orders to plant some 600 date palm trees, and 300 coconut trees in the west of Bait Al Nu’aman Fort and in the fertile soil of Al Batinah Plain. Many of these palm trees can still be seen in the west,” Al-Balushi added.
He said that Bait Al Nu’aman Fort was renovated by Imam Ahmed bin Said Al Busaidi (1749 -1783), after nearly a century of use. The building was fortified by strengthening the walls and the construction of two new defensive towers, which enabled guards to fire their guns in all directions.