Frankincense is an integral part of Oman’s culture and heritage. This aromatic resin is mostly used in incense and perfume and obtained from the tree bark of genus Boswellia.
Frankincense is also known for its healing and restorative properties.Locally known as luban, Oman is known to produce the world’s finest frankincense.
The best quality of frankincense is found in the Dhofar region and is abundantly available
in the souqs. Hafa Souq in Salalah is an exclusive place that sells them. Oman’s frankincense trail in Dhofar region was visited by explorers Marco Polo and Lawrence of Arabia. The frankincense tree (boswellia sacra) can still be found in Wadi
Dawkah. The trees grow in the alluvial bed of the wadi under the extreme heat of this region.
According to Oman’s Ministry of Tourism, “Frankincense is a symbol of life, or rather it is life itself, for the Dhofari people. It is not a mere tree, but an embodiment of culture, history, sociology and geography. The Omani researcher and historian, Abdul
Qadir bin Salim Al Ghassani, mentions in his book ‘Dhofar, the Land of Frankincense’ that Alexander the Great had imported huge quantities of incense from Arab
Other sources suggest that frankincense was used round the throne of King Solomon as
incense. In the present time, we know that this incense is used at the Vatican in Rome.”
The Land of Frankincense in Al Baleed in Salalah is one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Museum of the Land of Frankincense is located in the region of Al Baleed in Salalah and borders the ruins of Al Baleed Archaeological Park. Visitors can discover how trade
with Frankincense and maritime strength ensured that the region flourished in the 12th century.