Muscat – The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) has launched a development plan for Al Hazm Castle as part of its efforts to boost tourism in the wilayat of Rustaq. The ministry is seeking to partner with the private sector to manage and develop the castle.
The ministry said Al Hazm Castle is one of the most magnificent castles in Oman and was built in 1708, towards the end of the Al Yarubi tribe’s rule when they made Rustaq their capital. It is about 160 km from Muscat and has found a place on Unesco’s tentative list for inclusion as a World Heritage Site.
An MHT official said, “As part of our efforts to support the national economy and benefit from the presence of historic structures in the country, the ministry has launched a tender for the management and development of the castle of ‘Al-Hazm’.
The Ministry confirmed that competing companies must submit a study including the commercial and cultural marketing of the castle, the holding of cultural workshops, the organization of artistic and cultural events and the establishment of various activities to revive the castle. . Competing companies must highlight the architectural uniqueness of the castle and involve the local community in various cultural and social events.
Al Hazm Castle was designed primarily for defense and security purposes and features delicate artistic architectural elements. The most prominent feature of the main castle building is its intricate Indian wooden door. The castle also has a prison, a mosque and a religious classroom. There is a falaj that runs under the castle which provides water for many date palms and other agricultural treasures in the area. Al Hazm Castle is a strong reminder of Oman’s proud history and enduring legacy.
There were 366,360 visitors to castles and forts in Oman in 2018. In 2020, 133,464 people visited castles and forts compared to 426,525 in 2019, a decrease of 68.6%.
The ministry is currently working on setting up many projects to attract tourists to achieve the strategic goals of Oman Vision 2040.