Ibri is part of the Dhahira region in Oman and is also one of the sites of the country’s earliest human habitation. Today, Ibri has a population of over 100,000 and is also the regional capital. Ibri has long been a strategic crossroad between Oman and the other Gulf states as it lies in almost equal distance to Muscat, Dubai and Abu Dhabi (between 220 and 330 km). As well as between Nizwa in the Omani interior and Sohar on the Omani Gulf coast (both less than two hours drive from Ibri). Given its strategic location, Ibri has a long history as a trade route for caravans, hence its name which means “point of transit.”
Due to its proximity to the world’s largest sand desert, appropriately named the “Empty Quarter,” Ibri has a desert climate with low humidity. During the winter months from November through March, Ibri enjoys relatively cool weather with temperatures ranging between 18 and 30 degree Celsius (low 60s to mid-80s, Fahrenheit), which at times can even drop to a relatively ‘chilly’ 10 degrees. There might be some rainfall in February and March, however, during the season when the dates are harvested, from May to September, temperatures can reach 30 to 50 degrees with very little rainfall, thus almost everywhere you go you will find air conditioning.
Ibri boasts many historical sites, most prominent among them is the 400-year old Ibri fort and its famous gates are known as “Sabahat,” located right beside the well-preserved old suq of Ibri. Inside the fort, there is an old mosque which is still in use today. Amongst the most prominent archaeological sites in and near Ibri is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bat with its pre historic beehive tombs.
Ibri’s souq is one of the largest and most prominent souqs both for the Dhahira region and historically for Oman; it once served as an important hub for the trading caravans of the past. Today it is still lively and animated throughout the week with local produce, ready-made goods and livestock being bought and sold daily; while also surrounded by some beautiful, traditional Arabic-Islamic architecture.
Please note that Oman is a conservative society where the consumption of alcohol, smoking in public, dating, immodest dress and behavior, and excessive contact between the genders are not socially acceptable. Thus, we recommend and advise that students respect Oman’s cultural norms to have a successful study at Noor Majan.