The Hajjar Mountains is a mountain range in Northeastern Oman and also the Eastern United Arab Emirates. This moutain range is the highest in the Eastern Arabian Penisula, they separate the low coastal plain of Oman from the high desert plateau.


The Al Nahda Resort & Spa is located in the Al Batinah South Governate, just inland from Barka and about one hours drive from the centre of Muscat.  The area is sandwiched between the Al Hajjar Mountains to the south and Al Batinah coast to the north.  The hotel itself was built in a mango plantation with instructions that no trees were to be moved or damaged during the building process.  The result is an oasis of thirty acres of gardens providing tranquillity and relaxation (apart from when it is disrupted by a multitude of V-twin engines!).

Barka is one of the historic cities on the coast of Oman which flourished during the ancient times.  It was an area of export and received produce from the neighbouring wilayats to ship to other countries.  Reminders of the prosperity of these times include Al Na’man Fort, built by the Imam Saif bin Sultan al Ya’rubi.  There are many other historic forts in the area, with particularly fine examples at Nakhl and Rustaq.  Both of these forts date from pre-Islamic times and the fort at Nakhl is unusual in that is built around a tall rock and incorporates the rock into its structure within the fort's walls. 

Barka is a frequent venue for traditional Omani bull-fights.  Unlike Spanish bullfighting, the Oman version is bloodless and the animals suffer little or no injury during fighting.  This is not a gory sport, but rather a contest of strength between two powerful animals.  The Brahmin bulls used in fighting are often pampered family pets.  At the beginning of a fight, two bulls of similar size are led into the centre of the ring to lock horns for battle.  The fight is over when the weaker of the two either gives up and runs away, or is forced out of the ring.  Each fight lasts just a few minutes, and usually the worst injury suffered is a bruised ego on the part of both the losing bull and its owner!  There is no prize money, although sometimes the owner of the winning bull receives a token amount.  This historical form of entertainment is loved and treasured by Omanis, and you’ll find that half the fun is watching the locals cheering for their favourite bull, and trying to recapture it at the end of the fight.

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