Situated on the Omani coast, Barka is a vibrant beachside city in the Al-Batinah region. What makes this town unique is their age-old tradition of bull-fighting and their famous Omani Halwa. A 40-minute drive from Muscat, Barka provides the perfect day trip and is a favourite resort destination amongst Omanis. The Barka Fort, standing imperiously over the Omani coastline, and the Barka Souq, the traditional marketplace of the city, are major tourist attractions in the region.
Barka bursts into life during the annual Muscat Festival as visitors throng to the nearby Naseem Park, where the festival is hosted. The city is also undergoing rapid development with many industrial projects taking place in the area and is making Barka more visible as a tourist destination. The newly industrialized areas along the Muscat-Sohar Highway include many upscale boutiques and restaurants and provide the perfect avenue for shoppers.
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1. Barka Factory - Omani Halwa
Oman is popular for it's traditional sweet known as Omani Halwa. There is a factory that you can visit to taste is wonderous confection flavoured with cardamom and saffron. You can also purchase this delicacy at the many sweet shops that line Highway 1 near Barka Flyover.
2. Barka Fort
Built in the 18th century, the Barka fort cuts an imposing figure as it looms over the Sawadi coastline. It is a major tourist attraction within Barka and is also a site of historical significance. The Persians were exiled from Oman and the Barka fort witnessed the establishment of the Al Bu Said dynasty, whose descendants form the royal family that rules Oman today. The Barka fort also served as the site for what has come to be known as the Banquet massacre, where scores of Persian soldiers were killed during a banquet dinner with their Omani counterparts.
3. Naseem Park
Barka is characterized by the tranquil Sawadi beach and drips cultural influence from the 18th century through the buildings that are scattered throughout the city. Night safari and desert tours take you through the exotic desert landscape as you zoom past and over undulating sand dunes.