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Mirbat fort

Mirbat fort

Mirbat

A typical merchant’s house in old Mirbat. Ibn Battuta spoke of the town of Zafari (al-Baleed) being famous for the export of horses to India. In fact the horses were exported from Mirbat – the word actually means ‘the place where horses are tethered”. Bedouin brought their famous horses overland on ancient trade routes through the Rub al-Khali or ‘Empty Quarter’ to the coast. A statue of an Arab horse at full gallop is placed on each side of the road at the entrance to the town to commemorate its past. The stucco relief of a boat decorating the house on the upper left corner of the picture is something I have only ever seen in this town. On another more modern house in Mirbat, I saw a different style of boat carved over the doorway. It presumably signifies that the owner was engaged in maritime trade or that he owned a ship (or several).

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