In a previous post, I wrote about why it’s a good idea to take a staycation. If you haven’t read that post, go ahead and check it out here. Staying true to that idea, I decided to visit Jabrin Castle (also spelled Jabreen or Jibreen). Jabrin Castle is located in the Jabrin area of Oman about 25 minutes outside of Nizwa, Oman.
Currently, Oman (along with other Gulf countries) is trying to expand its economy and rely less on oil. One way they’re planning to do this is by pushing for more tourism. In the not-so-distant past, Oman was more or less eclipsed by its neighbors in terms of tourism. Saudi Arabia had its share of tourism in the form of religious pilgrims. The UAE had the reputation of Dubai (and also Abu Dhabi) that brought people there. It was also an international hub in terms of flights. The same was true for Qatar as well.
However, in recent years, due to its stability and being a country that wasn’t oversaturated with tourists, Oman is now beginning to see a rise in visitors. People are curious and want to explore the Sultanate. Since I’m in the heart of all of this, I thought it would be a great idea to explore new places and to revisit the ones I haven’t been to in a while.
Some Information about Jabrin Castle
Jabrin Castle dates back to the 1670’s. It was built during the Ya’ruba dynasty under Imam Bil’Arab bin Sultan al-Ya’ruba who ruled from 1679-1692. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful (if not the most beautiful) forts/castles in Oman. Not only in terms of architecture, but because of the interior design as well.
The castle consists of three levels throughout. It contains sun and moon rooms along with meeting rooms for the ruler and his advisors, guests, etc. Rooms were made for visitors as well as study rooms. When you enter Jabrin Castle, you’ll immediately come across an interior courtyard with no roof at the top. This allows air to circulate throughout keeping things fresh and pleasant. It may not be air conditioning, but you can imagine the relief it would have brought centuries ago. Especially in the summers when temperatures may have been above 100 degrees (in Fahrenheit). As you go continue, you’ll also come across two small prisons, one for men, and one for women. Unfortunately for the prisoners, there was no courtyard breeze.
What makes Jabrin Castle stand out from the other forts and castles in Oman is the decor inside. In guest rooms and majlis (meeting) areas, you’ll find carpets and colorful pillows to lean on. In the kitchen and supply areas, there are containers, cooking supplies and more. As you walk around the castle, you’ll get an idea of what life was like back then. The only thing that’s probably missing are actors to reenact a “day in the life” at Jabrin Castle scene.
As far as the interior of Oman goes, Nizwa and Bahla forts are usually the places people go to for tours. However, anyone who visits should add Jabrin to their itinerary. You can cover the whole place in under an hour and it’s worth visiting in my opinion. Currently, the price of admission is 500 baisas. With that, you’ll also receive a map/information guide as well as tour guide headphones that speak in different languages. As of this writing, Jabrin castle is open Saturdays-Thursdays from 9:00am-4:00pm and on Fridays from 8:00am-11:00am.