Shinas: Melting pot of cultures

While Shinas is now the last stop before the border between Oman and the United Arab Emirates, it has always been a melting pot for the various cultures that have influenced the Sultanate over the years.

Located around 260 km from Muscat, the journey by road is expected to take about two hours and forty-five minutes, and those who make this journey must be prepared for a memorable road trip through the country’s Batinah governorates.

One of Shinas’ attractions is the Shinas Castle, which is one of the northernmost fortified structures on the Omani mainland.

“The most northerly castle on Oman’s Batinah coast, Shinas castle is less than 700 metres southwest of the town’s modern ferry port,” said the country’s Ministry of Tourism. “Previously, the fort was located directly on the beach, and as a result, suffered occasional ineffective bombardment by passing naval ships. Today, the four round corner towers overlook a more peaceful scene as the ferries make their way north to Musandam.”

“Al Batinah North governorate is an expansive coastal area that hosts a fertile agricultural plain that extends along the coast and spreads over its lands agricultural fields and population centres,” added the Ministry. “In this governorate are distributed many castles, forts and ancient villages, the most famous of which is Sohar Fort and the forts in Shinas, Liwa, Saham, Al Khabourah and As Suwayq. Al Batinah North governorate has a very vital geographical location extending along the southern coast of the Sea of Oman.”

The town’s ferry port is one of the most vital transport points in the country. The country’s National Ferries Company operates its ferries to the northern governorate of Musandam from here and short of crossing the UAE it is one of two ways to enter the Omani exclave.