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Heritage Management Plan

View the Harat as-Saybani HMP on ISSUU

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StatusCompleted (2011)
TypeDocumentation and Heritage Management
ZoneArabian Peninsula
LocationDakhiliya, Oman
Coordinates22°55'30.14" N
57°40'23.95" E
Funding BodyMinistry of Heritage and Culture, Sultanate of Oman
Research Team
Prof Soumyen Bandyopadhyay
Principal Investigator
Dr Giamila Quattrone

Research Fellow
Dr Mohammad Habib Reza
Research Associate
Haitham Al-Abri

PhD Student
John Harrison

Expert in Vernacular Architecture


Documentation and Heritage Management Plan of Harat as-Saybani

The oasis of Barkat al-Mawz is one of the best preserved oases in the Dhakhliya Governorate, home also to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Falaj Kathmeen which today still waters the wide expanse of palm groves at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar. Rising along a steep hill on the northern side of the oasis lies the settlement of Harat as-Saybani, negotiating the complex terrain with intricate architectural solutions. Grand houses and an integrated water-network give this village a unique character which it has been essential to document and preserve for future generations.

Harat as-Saybani (BARKAT AL-MAWZ)
Harat as-Saybani (Barkat al-Mawz), view of the oasis. Photo: ArCHIAM, 2011

Funded by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) this project sought to ascertain the state of preservation of the settlement while also give great attention to the sociological component that determines the morphology of vernacular settlements of Oman. Special focus was given to the tribal makeup of the settlement, the distribution of the various groups with it and the evolution of the Omani courtyard house.

The highly detailed documentation of the site will permit not only the development of specialised preservation techniques and development strategies, but also provide an exhaustive record for a site which, due to its perishable materiality, is decaying quickly. The extremely meticulous level of documentation, coupled with in-depth ethnographic surveys, provided the benchmark for all future ArCHIAM projects.

Plan of Harat as-Saybani (BARKAT AL-MAWZ)

Harat as-Saybani (Barkat al-Mawz): ground floor plan (left) and analysis of tribal make-up (top right), master plan (middle right) and settlement components (bottom right). Images: ArCHIAM, 2011.

Harat as-Saybani (Barkat al-Mawz), view towards the tower. Photo: ArCHIAM, 2011