A civilization thriving around an Oasis
The oasis city of Nizwa, the largest in the interior province, was the capital of Oman in the 6th and 7th centuries AD. Today, it is a diverse, prosperous area, which has many agricultural, historical, governmental and recreational aspects. Nizwa Castle, located in the town proper, is an imposing structure. With its connections to the root of Islam, Nizwa has a number of important mosques, such as Nizwa Mosque; a Friday mosque heralded as a 'beacon of science', So'al Mosque; built in the 2nd century AH, and Al-Shawadhana Mosque which is located in the district of Aqr.
Nizwa is famous for its bustling souq where tourists can buy exquisite copper and silver jewelry and other craft items. The souq is situated next to the castle and was renovated in the 1990's, costing OMR 2.5 million. The design of the souq compliments the castle in every way and has been constructed using same traditional materials. In 1993, Nizwa won the award for 'Organization of Arab Cities'.
There are around 90 Falaj in the area, the most important being Falaj Daris; the life maintainer of Nizwa gardens and the water supplier for all domestic purposes. The Wadi Tanuf Dam, completed in 1989, is designed to increase the supply of subterranean water which feeds the Afalaj of Daris and Tanuf. The increased supply has led to an expansion in the agricultural area. The dam is 135m long and is located on the watercourse of Wadi Tanuf which is famous in the Middle East for its mineral water.