Impressions from the old centre of the harbour town Mirbat.
Mirbat was already important as a trading base in the 17th century. Ships from India and East Africa entered the sheltered bay of Mirbat and exchanged spices for frankincense and Arabian horses.
Mirbat translated means "horse market". Worth seeing are some traditional trading houses in the city centre, which have a South Yemeni influenced architecture. All houses are almost rectangular and divided into two floors around an inner courtyard, which serves as a light and air shaft.
The old town of Mirbat has been abandoned and is decaying, as renovation costs more than new construction. A pity, because the architecture of the houses is impressive.
The artistically decorated wooden window grilles and the typical South Yemeni plaster technique, which was created with stone imprints in damp clay, are wonderful.
The city is about an hour's drive east of Salalah and, with over 10,000 inhabitants, is one of the larger settlements in Oman's southernmost district of Dhofar. Outside the city there is another tourist attraction, the Mausoleum of Mohammed bin Ali al Alawi.