Abu Dhabi: Oman’s traditions, history and culture are so enticing that visitors feel swept by their charm. Even as the country is modernising, it has maintained its cultural integrity.
Al Sharh Sablah, an Omani traditional town hall, in the village of Bani Sobh, in Al Hamra, a well-preserved old town in Ad Dakhiliyah province, has been restored.
Walking through Al Hamra’s warren of alleys and stone steps is like going back in time — a time when mud houses used to be the mainstay of culture in the sultanate.
Though some of the walls are crumbling, the place exudes an authentic old-world charm.
From traditional Omani life, comes the Sablah custom.
In different towns, Sablahs are set up. This tradition is very popular, consisting of a small hut, or covered platform, open on all sides, with a light ceiling of rugs and fronds put on palm trunks.
This type of buildings are centrally located in the villages. They serve as a town hall for people to hold religious and cultural ceremonies. The Sablah also serves as a meeting point for residents to assemble and discuss politics and local issues daily, over steaming cups of Omani coffee.