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AL-HAMRA: MISFAT AL-ABRIYIN

AL-HAMRA: MISFAT AL-ABRIYIN

MINISTRY OF TOURISM SULTANATE OF OMAN

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MINISTRY OF TOURISM SULTANATE OF OMAN


Š University of Liverpool & Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman Jul. 2016 This project was initiated at Manchester Metropolitan University and Completed at University of Liverpool. All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the copyright holder.

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RESEARCH TEAM PROF. SOUMYEN BANDYOPADHYAY Principal Investigator and Project Director DR. GIAMILA QUATTRONE Research Fellow and Project Coordinator DR. MARTIN S. GOFFRILLER Research Fellow and Project Member DR. HAITHAM AL-ΚABRĪ Associate Researcher DÉSIRÉE CAMPOLO Research Assistant KONSTANTINA GEORGIADOU Research Assistant CLAUDIA BRIGUGLIO Research Assistant

ASSOCIATE RESEARCHERS DR. BIRGIT MERSHEN Ethnographic Research ROGER BONE Tourism Economics

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MisfĀt al-‘Abriyīn - Heritage Management and Development Plan

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION

2 RECONNAISSANCE AND FIELDWORK IN MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN

4 STRUCTURAL FAILURES AND STATES OF PRESERVATION

2.1 Introduction

4.1 States of preservation and failure analysis

2.2 Preparatory work

4.2 Guiding principles to conservation and rehabilitation

2.3 Fieldwork in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn

4.3 Guiding principles to repair actions

2.4 Ethnographic study

4.4 Structural and non-structural failure types

2.5 Photographic documentation 2.6 Desk work and master planning

5 PROTECTION, AND CONSERVATION GUIDELINES 5.1 Philosophy of development and conservation principles

3 ETHNOGRAPHY AND URBAN ANALYSIS

5.2 Approaches to development and conservation

3.1 Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn and its history

5.3 General policies for development and conservation

3.2 The population of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn

5.4 Guidelines for development and conservation

3.3 The old residential quarter Harat al-Bilad 3.4 The falaj 3.5 Agricultural land and activities 3.6 Significance and threats

6. TOURISM ECONOMICS 6.1 Visitor numbers and sustainability 6.2 Study background and case study identification 6.3 Study context - growth and visitor numbers 6.4 Misfāt case study

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Table of Contents

6.5 Revenue and employment

8.5 Essential maintenance and infrastructural development

6.6 Phasing

8.6 Additional services

6.7 Capital costs and amortization

8.7 Signage

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6.8 Capital costs, private investments and and residents’ cooperative

Tourism Economics

9 MASTER PLAN

7 THE MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIVE

9.1 Regional master plan

7.1 Introduction

9.2 Transport master plan

7.2 The Misfāt community cooperative

9.3 Modern Misfāt (Harat as-Siban)

7.3 Corporate structure

9.4 Old Misfāt (Harat al-Bilad)

7.4 Membership

9.5 Phasing strategy

7.5 Responsibilities

9.6 Phasing of structural interventions

8 PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVEMENTS

Appendix A1, Bibliography

8.1 Introduction

Appendix A2, Preservation tables

8.2 Challenges and opportunities

Appendix A3, Community consultation and feedback

8.3 Buffer zones

Appendix A4, Extended documentation selection of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn

8.4 Environmental protection policies

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MisfĀt al-‘Abriyīn - Heritage Management and Development Plan

SUMMARY

The following document proposes a detailed and comprehensive strategy for the preservation and development of the village of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn in the Wilayat al-Hamra of Oman. The aims are, as agreed with the Sultanate’s Ministry of Tourism, the creation and implementation of a sustainable development strategy, which will ensure the survival of Misfāt’s ancient heritage as well as provide an opportunity to showcase said heritage to stakeholders and visitors. The plan was produced by the ArCHIAM research centre (Architecture and Culture of India Arabia and the Maghreb). The interdisciplinary team of researchers, comprised of architects, archaeologists, anthropologists and tourism experts, has substantial experience working in the Sultanate of Oman with past projects including the Bahla WHS, Birkat al-Mawz, Harat al-Yemen in Izki, Fanja, Ibri, Al-Mudayrib and several others. This project, however, distinguishes itself from other similar initiatives in the broader GCC region by the extensive amount of social and ethnographic work carried out on site and with the community. Large amounts of information were gathered regarding the social history of Misfat, but also consulting the community of residents on their hopes and expectations for the future. The establishment under ArCHIAM’s guidance of the Misfat Development Cooperative is an unprecedented approach for this kind of project in the region, bringing the community into the decision making and management process of the development plan. ArCHIAM’s inclusive approach has the potential to serve as a model for sustainable heritage management for Arabia and the broader Middle East In addition to a substantial amount of fieldwork by a team of 8 people over the course of 3 weeks, this proposal draws substantially on past studies and plans drafted for Misfāt by a range of international researchers. A complete and detailed bibliography of the sources consulted and cited is included at the end of this document.

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Statement of Intent

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ArCHIAM STATEMENT OF INTENT The fundamental intention of this development plan is to achieve the sustainable preservation and continued habitation of the vernacular settlement of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn in the Jabal Akhdar Range of Oman. Under sustainability we understand not only the ecological and cultural aspects which form the principal appeal of the site and must therefore be protected, but also the financial concern of investing in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn’s future. Capital for the maintenance and investment in the settlement will necessarily require external (i.e. ministerial) input to begin with, but the final goal is to reach a level of self-sufficiency where proceeds from visitor revenue sustain the required expenses of the Misfāt community, managed through a cooperative. This body, comprised by local stakeholders and community members, is set up to safeguard Misfāt’s heritage value and ensure that the needs of Misfāt’s inhabitants are met. ArCHIAM proposes that traditional values such as self-sufficiency and economic self-sufficiency be the guiding principles that lead the future development of Misfāt, providing a model for sustainable development and ecological responsibility for Oman and the broader GCC region. All measures here proposed are in accordance with international conventions and ICOMOS guidelines and it is expected that all future interventions at Misfāt will continue to uphold these values.

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MisfĀt al-‘Abriyīn - Heritage Management and Development Plan

1 INTRODUCTION

MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN

1.1 LOCATION The small settlement of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn is located on the southern slopes of the Hajjar Mountains of the Dhakhliya Governorate of Oman. More specifically, it is located within the administrative region of the Wilayat al-Hamra which lies about 3km to the south of Misfāt, and some 2 hours’ drive to the southwest of Muscat. Misfāt itself is positioned atop a rocky ridge some 150m (950m ASL) above the confluence of two wādi systems, which provide the settlement with the water for its extended oasis. Of these wādis the larger is the eastern one, known as the Wādi Misfāt which brings water from the upper reaches of the mountains towards the settlement in a steady stream which reputedly never dries out. This permanent source of water was likely the main motivation for the early settlement of the area and later the foundation of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. The wādi Misfāt and the larger hydrological network of valleys of which it forms part is more than just a source of water for the settlement, as it also functions as the main route across the mountains. A number of paths, none drivable by road vehicles, traverse the difficult terrain of the Hajjar towards the northern watershed of the range. The Wādi Misfāt connects the broader region of Misfāt and al-Hamra to the settlement of Balad Sayt and the broader area known as the Wādi Sahtan and its many villages. The wādi, therefore, traditionally functioned as a source of wealth both extrinsically and intrinsically in allowing the settlement to retain a degree of autarchy while simultaneously connecting it to the broader economy of the surrounding land. Access to the settlement traditionally happened along narrow donkey path leading up from al-

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Introduction

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Hamra via the wādi, but in recent years a hardtop road was built to allow vehicular traffic to reach the village directly. The consequent ease of access has made it possible for larger construction project to be undertaken in the area and it encouraged locals to build outside of their ancestral village in the surrounding area. This has led to an unfortunate development of the surrounding landscape, detracting somewhat from the appeal of the site. These issues will also be addressed within this development plan. Traditionally the Wādi Misfāt provided a mountain pass across the Hajjar toward the northern slopes of the range to the Sahtan Basin and settlements such as Balad Seyt. This route is popular today with trekkers and still provides an unparalleled experience of Oman’s natural beauty.

1.2 MASTER PLAN GOALS AND INTENTIONS The relatively small community of around 60 dwellings of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn, clustered on the southern slopes of the Jabal al-Akhdar mountains, is of great value as a prime example of Oman’s vernacular architectural heritage and the inventiveness of its inhabitants in dealing with difficult terrain and a harsh environment. The settlement is still inhabited for the most part, a situation not to be taken for granted in a country that has seen as much economic and demographic change as Oman has over the last 40 years. It is not unusual in this climate of accelerated growth and development for the vernacular settlement of this type to be abandoned and to fall into disrepair, only to eventually disappear completely. Traditional cultural values often fall victim to changing perceptions about ‘modernity’ and new expectations about standards of living. Traditional lifestyles are often associated to low standards of living, austerity and poverty, and may therefore lead to the abandonment of ancient spaces of habitation and the loss of ancestral knowledge. The notion of ‘preservation’ must therefore transcend the mere physical representations of the past such as architecture and monuments and instead amplify its remit to a preservation of values and identities. Only if the stakeholders feel a living connection to the object will the task of preservation become a matter of course and the local community will engage in it of their own volition without prompting. While tourism can be regarded as a useful vehicle to generate short-term cash flow, its long-term success can only be guaranteed if the visitor experience remains to be perceived as exclusive and personal. This in turn requires that the visitor stream be locally limited and controlled by the community. ArCHIAM’s approach to the issue of heritage preservation and development is geared toward a

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MisfĀt al-‘Abriyīn - Heritage Management and Development Plan

holistic understanding thereof. The intention is not purely to thematise the past for its own sake, but to instead make tradition a contemporary subject.

Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn, with its oasis and village, should be regarded as an integrated system in which all parts complement one another.

The continued habitation of Misfāt poses a number of challenges as well as opportunities to the project, the resolution of which is expected to serve as a regional model for the engagement with traditional communities. Two core factors must be taken into account in this effort: 1) The local community, which expects a raising of their living standards and infrastructural improvements though governmental support. 2) The visitor community, which expects to be given an experience of Omani culture and the traditional lifestyle.

One of the fundamental identitarian aspects of the mountain communities of Oman’s, as indeed the vast majority of the many hinterland communities of the country, is their autarchic and selfreliant nature. Though always in contact with the broader world around them through ancient longrange networks of exchange, each individual community was capable of producing practically everything it needed for its own continued survival. It is this sophisticated approach to economic self-sufficiency which has given Oman its famous falaj networks and made it possible to settle an otherwise unforgiving and harsh environment. It is this ancient autarchic character which forms the foundation of Misfāt Al-‘Abriyīn’s physical and cultural substance and it is this aspect of Misfāt’s heritage which this project aims to preserve and, indeed, develop.

THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF TOURISM AS A SOURCE OF INCOME

Tourism is at times treated as a sort of panacea that will quickly cure all economic ills for nonindustrial and under-specialised economies. The expectation is that with minimum effort and small investment a large amount of foreign capital can be attracted into the local economy without the need for large-scale infrastructural development or training of a workforce. This sort of half-cooked approach to tourism economics is often coupled with an at-best faulty understanding of what the visitor actually wants to experience, and often leads to ‘over-servicing’ the perceived wishes of visitors. The result is invariably a drop in experiential quality followed very quickly by a drop in visitor numbers. In order to avoid the museumification of Misfāt it will be necessary to provide the local community with alternative sources of income which are only indirectly linked to tourism and create a more solid economic base, which can successfully withstand market and visitor fluctuations.

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Reconnaissance Reconnaissance and Fieldwork Methodologies and fieldwork

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2 RECONNAISSANCE AND FIELDWORK METHODOLOGIES

2.1 INTRODUCTION This report was produced taking into account earlier work by scholars and academic and research institutions that have been involved in the study of Arabian vernacular architecture and urban development. The impressive location and well-preserved oasis of the settlement of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn on the steep banks above the intersection of two wādis, has attracted scholars and government bodies for research and development. The first description of architecture of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn came from the work of Dumluji in 1998 in The Architecture of Oman. The work of Damluji although was mostly descriptive but was found a useful source of material. In 1999 a collaboration work between five research and academic intuitions (German Universities and Sultan Qaboos University), studied Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn settlement structure, typology, development and sustainable tourism. The survey of that project on Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn was part in the large survey conducted under Transformation Process in the Oasis Settlements of Oman. The scope of that project was to understand the change in the northern settlements of Oman and future prospects. The architect Knut Lohrer (Salut Eng.) also carried out an important study at Misfāt in 1999, with a proposal aimed at touristic development of the settlement for Ministry of Tourism. Certain cartographic and drawn material from that study have been included here. Dr. Birgit Mershen, who has worked on Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn in the past, has also contributed to the present report in the form of an ethnographic survey. The study done on al-Hamra by al-‘Adawi in 2006 also included Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn as an important historical and social influence in al-Hamra history. He proposed the pre-existence of Misfāt before

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to bring and use the microcopter prevented the ArCHIAM team employing it in this project. While for reasons of documentation the lack of modern high-resolution photographs of the village is unfortunate, this did not substantially delay the work as older images (1985, 1991) were procured from NSA by the team’s associate researcher. Additionally, beyond the team’s own documentary work, the in-depth analysis of the social history carried out by Dr. Birgit Mershen is also expected to aid in the production of accurate site plans and architectural studies.

2.2 PREPARATORY WORK Extensive preparatory work was undertaken to develop the fieldwork strategy and implementation procedures. The following were accomplished: 1. Preparation of detailed fieldwork documentation and drawing production guidelines for use on site; 2. Procurement and preparation of aerial photographs for on-site use; 3. Creation of a schematic plot boundary map including buildings, other structures and open areas; al-Hamrā and, indeed, its pre-Islamic existence to be evident by the presence of the Rogan fort (Husn Rogan), a defensive structure of reputed Persian origins. Local lore has it that a Persian general called Rogan Anu Sharwan built this structure on the rocks above Misfāt, but tangible evidence for this claim has so far not been forthcoming. The publication of Islamic Art in Oman by al-Salimi, Gaube and Korn in 2008 has also included Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn in the context of settlement structure and topology but was found to be a reprint of the 1999 collaboration project. The survey and documentation on traditional settlements (Phase-1) done by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Oman (MHC) in 2009, has classified Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn as level-1. The level-1 category is a traditional settlement defined with significant historical and architectural importance and it should be documented and developed within MHC level-1 regulations.

4. Establishment of a data handling and storage strategy, as outlined in the ‘Fieldwork Guidelines 2012’, which was subsequently to survey assistant trainees from the MHC to standardize proceedings; 5. Collection and review of past literature on Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn and the settlements of the Jabal Akhdar.

Due to the relatively large range in size and nature of the buildings at Misfāt it was decided to carry out a full documentation of the settlement with a view towards complete data collection, and determining the values of certain areas, structures and elements as part of the desktop study once back in the UK. Nevertheless, a degree of selectiveness was required due to the continued occupation of certain buildings or the ruinous condition of other parts. In these cases exhaustive documentation was either not possible or required. Unfortunately, the delay in getting the necessary approvals from security bodies in Oman by MOT

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Reconnaissance and fieldwork

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2.3 FIELDWORK IN MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN Following arrival on site in September 2014, an extensive reconnaissance campaign in the first day was undertaken to determine the actual size, characteristics and condition of the settlement, and to adequately familiarize ourselves with the environs. The extensive documentation work continued for three weeks covering the architecture, transport infrastructure, the falaj system, oasis field systems, history and ethnography of the settlement. In the course of this it became clear that the condition of the hārah still remains solid and the majority of structures are in good condition with some in ruins. This is because the settlement is still partially inhabited with active running falaj and agriculture activities, and the inhabitants still practice their festive traditions in the settlement. However, it is important to highlight that the weathering factor and the construction of new buildings still threaten the disappearance of such wealthy heritage. Additional tourism economics related survey and data collection was conducted in late November, undertaken by UK-based specialist tourism economist Roger Bone. The urban morphology of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn demonstrates a high degree of organicity in its urban pattern, with the architecture and street pattern constantly adapting to the complex topography and the changing requirements of the inhabitants. The limited amount of space available within the fortified enclosure of the hārah required ingenious solutions to the creation of new living space for the growing community. This was partly achieved through the construction of rooms overhanging the narrow winding streets. This feature tends to occur primarily in those cases where adjacent houses are owned by the same individual or belong to the same family group, providing a direct connection between two households but retaining the high degree of privacy preferred by the inhabitants.

FIELDWORK METHODS Following reconnaissance and general site evaluation a two-pronged documentation approach was devised whereby the first team (for the first two weeks) would undertake the complete ground work in terms of sketching, measuring and photographing the settlement. The second team (for one week) would carry out the documentation of the settlement’s larger context including the agricultural terraces, falaj channels, passages to the wādi and cross sections through the settlement. The ground work was begun immediately with the development of systematic zoning plans, assigning alphanumeric designations to each individual building unit (letters for zones and numbers

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for buildings and structures). These zoning plans, which were generated and updated in CAD as fieldwork progressed, ensure a cohesive and organised approach to the documentation effort by clarifying the various sectors under study at any given moment. The following approaches were undertaken to physically document the settlements: • Preparation of sketch plans and, where necessary, sections; both white-paper and graph paper drawing was employed – the latter aiding the representation of proportion in the case of more orthogonal structures; • Taking measurements using tape measures (5m, 7.5m, 30m, 50m, as required); this provided accurate measurements using methods of triangulation of sides and diagonals of units’ rooms as well as open spaces, streets and alleys; • Taking measurements using laser measures, especially at locations where long distances or the dilapidated state of the fabric made it infeasible to undertake measurement using tape measures; • Extensive photographic documentation of interiors and exteriors taken in sequence and ensuring comprehensiveness, but also recording significant elements/objects in detail, which follows established standardised guidelines;

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• Geo-location of selected features using a Garmin handheld GPS unit, which is expected to enhance the accuracy of the drawn documentation; • Production of section drawings of defensive features and dwellings, where applicable, which enables a better documentation of their three-dimensional quality; • Collection of datable material, such as pottery and organic remains, and artefacts where necessary; • Tracing and evaluation of water channels, where applicable.

ArCHIAM’s habitual practice of complementing the ground-based documentation with high resolution aerial photographs could not be carried out due to the restriction by the ROP of bringing our proprietary microcopter into the Sultanate for the duration of the fieldwork. Apart from the in-depth documentation of the urban confines of the settlement itself, a significant amount of time was also devoted to the documentation of the oasis. Terraces and water channels were mapped and measured, as well as numerous sections were drawn in order to better understand and visualise the solutions required by the builders in order to deal with the complex topography. In addition to the documentation carried out on the physical fabric of the settlement and its environs, a series of semi structured interviews was undertaken, in order to record first hand aspects of the social-history of the sites. The first of these was done with two inhabitants of Misfāt Al-‘Abriyīn to better understand the settlement and record the owner list and establish a clear zoning plan and boundaries of all structures. The interviews were conducted using both audio and video recorders from various angles. The second series of more extended interviews and in-depth anthropological enquiries were undertaken by a specialist in the field and resident in Oman. A number of structures, in particular those of the greatest architectural interest, were drawn not only in plan, but also in section and isometric perspectives. These are expected to significantly enhance the recorded material, and also aid in the production of 3D models of the buildings which may be exhibited at international exhibitions and conferences as has already been the case with selected structures from Hārat as-Saybanī, Birkat al-Mawz. In addition to photographs and drawings, physical models are an excellent way of showcasing Oman’s architectural heritage internationally and also to the local community.

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Reconnaissance and fieldwork

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SETTLEMENT STRUCTURE AND MORPHOLOGY While the structural aspects of Misfāt are discussed in more detail in Chapter 3 Ethnographic Study and Morphological Analysis, the shape and size of the settlement influenced the fieldwork approach of this project. One of the prime factors in the formation of Misfāt’s urban morphology is the complex terrain upon which the settlement was built. Located on a steep hillside at the confluence of two wādi systems at 945m ASL, the village of Misfāt negotiates some of the most forbidding terrain in the region. The steep topography influenced the settlement to form in an organic cluster pattern of terraced structures and passageways. Individual dwellings follow irregular ground plans and are often constructed over several different levels, which are accessed, either internally or externally, via stone-built flights of irregular stairs. The dwellings are organised in informal clusters which roughly correspond to family groups or, indeed, tribal distinctions. Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn has one main gate (Bāb al-Mqbarah) and one main passageway (Sikkat al-Tawī) crossing through an open space used for festive occasions, and the passage leads to the main irrigation pool (Lajil al‘Ālī) and mosque (Masjid al-‘Aqbah). The structure of old Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn or Hārat al-Bilād consists of five sub-hārahs: (1) Hārat ad-Derīs, (2) Hārat as-Shewā, (3) Hārat al-Wistā or al-‘Uqud, (4) Hārat al-Sur, and (5) Hārat asSāfil. The name of each sub-hārah refers to the usage and location of its dwellings. Hārat al-Bilād also consists of locally known dwelling clusters and individual dwellings that shape the settlement along with the dwelling clusters. The most important of these dwelling clusters are Bait al-Baitain (consisting of five dwellings), Bait al-Safāh (two dwellings), Bait al-‘Aqid (two dwellings), and Bait al-Ambā (two dwellings). The individual dwellings are Bait as-Sāfil, Bait al-Mrāqī, Bait Qa’z al-Khamrah, Bait al-Hjur, and Bait al-Husin. The passages branching from the main passage are also known with referring to their direction or sub-hārah name. All public accesses to the interior of the hārah were located on the downhill/ falaj side of the settlement. The settlement is fortified with one main gate and surrounded by six towers, Burj al-‘Ain, Burj al-Khatwah, Burj Naqifah, Burj al-Hjur, Burj Māll al-Falaj, and Burj alDhai. The communal zone is located between the main hārah and Hārat as-Safil, and it consists of the falaj channel, pool, mosque, sablah, and a female prayer and bathing structure, as well as the agriculture land. The majority of structures have at least two floors and in all cases accessible roofs, which tended to be used for the drying of dates and other agricultural produce. They also counted with mezzanine levels for storage and basement levels for livestock, due to the change in topographic levels. In general there is a tendency for the larger dwellings to be located closer to the core of the settlement

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and main passage. Unusual for a settlement of Misfāt’s small size is the fact that it counts with a total of 5 mosques. These are: Masjid al-‘Aqbah, Masjid al-‘Ain, Masjid as-Sāfil, Musulā al-Mahāriq (for women), Masjid al-Lajil, and Masjid al-Qantrah. There are two public sbal in the settlement, Sablat alMhathair, due to its location in the middle of the agriculture fields and used for falaj meetings, and Sablat al-‘Arish, associated with Masjid al-‘Aqbah.

2. 4 ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH As already mentioned, a central aspect of ArCHIAM’s documentation work is the high value placed on the recording of first-hand testimony on the settlement’s social and material history from erstwhile inhabitants. This work is essential as the local knowledge and memory are for the most part not preserved in any literary form. The advanced age of many of the interviewees gives this part of work additional urgency, as memories of the past are quickly fading in Oman’s highly dynamic and rapidly expanding economy. As described above the second set of interviews was conducted by a specialist anthropologist with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the livelihoods and histories of Misfāt’s inhabitants. These interviews staggered over a number of days with several members of the Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn community, who have been exceptionally forthcoming with information regarding both the social history of the settlement and their expectations for its future. Members of all ages were interviewed on site, whilst walking through the hārah over several hours. The aim was firstly to learn more about the hārah’s social history and the role of the inhabitants within the larger context of Misfāt. Particular attention was given to the tribal distribution pattern within the settlement itself as this provides useful data in attempting to reconstruct the morphological evolution of the hārah. The interviews were also conducted with the falaj keeper (wakil al-falaj) and individuals involved in agriculture, who gave great insight into both the falaj and agriculture, and their role in the daily life of the settlement. Transcription and evaluation of the interviews took place in the UK and Oman. A printed survey by ArCHIAM was also distributed to all members of Misfāt Al-‘Abriyīn to share their opinion and future prospects on their settlement. The results were fed into the various historical, social, morphological, urban and architectural analyses conducted for the Heritage Management Plan. The attached illustrations show interviews being conducted at the various sites during the autumn 2014 fieldwork season.

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Reconnaissance and fieldwork

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2.5 PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTATION As elsewhere, at Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn the ArCHIAM team was engaged in exhaustive photographic documentation of the built heritage and the contextual environment. The process of producing large amounts of photographic material (up to 100 images per unit and up to 600 photos for the oasis context), apart from producing the required record of the built fabric, also allows for the production of stitched panoramic images which provide a better understanding of the space and its context. The photographic record at Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn extended beyond the urban fabric of the settlements and concentrated to some degree on the irrigated terraced lands that are the oasis’ lifeline and the breath capturing views of the mountain and wādi. The gradual decay and occasionally intentional destruction of these areas, either due to environmental factors or the construction of grand new villas within the groves, is probably the greatest danger to the future potential of Oman’s vernacular environments. The lack of appropriate legislation coupled with a reticence to enforce existing heritage preservation guidelines is resulting in the loss of large areas of fertile ground and green zones. It must be noted at this point that once the palm groves have disappeared the successful implementation of heritage management policies is, in essence, futile.

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2.6 DESK WORK AND MASTER PLAN PREPARATION Upon completion of the fieldwork campaign in the autumn of 2014 all the collected data was archived and drawings scanned into a digital format for safe keeping. The following months were dedicated primarily to the transferring of the hand-drawn sketches to a CAD plan of the entire settlement and the surrounding territory with the intention of creating an accurate baseline and record of the village, from which to develop architectural designs. Due to the complexity and irregularity of the structures this process took approximately 5 months to complete. In parallel to the development of the CAD drawings, a number of sections were produced to highlight the lay of the land and changes in altitude which would influence the Master Plan as a whole in terms of accessibility, infrastructural improvements and the retention of privacy of the inhabitants.

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ethnography and urban morphology

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3 ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY AND MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

This chapter explores the past and present of the settlement of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn with the intention of establishing the main relevant tangible and intangible aspects of the site which are to be preserved into the future. This has been achieved by an in-depth examination of the region’s historic past and an a detailed ethnographic study of Misfāt’s modern inhabitants by Dr. Birgit Mershen. Additionally this section explores the current condition of Misfāt and addresses some of the main issues regarding preservation through the use of a number of analytical drawings.

3.1 MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN: REGION AND HISTORY Misfāt is a comparatively small settlement located in the administrative region of Wilayat AlHamra on the southern slopes of the Jabal Akhdar Mountains, about 15 minutes drive north of the town of Al-Hamra itself.

THE JABAL AKHDAR

The Jabal Akhdar forms the central limestone massif of the al-Hajjar Range which delineates the largest part of Northern Oman and divided the coastal regions from the interior. From the northwest this massif rises gradually to a maximum height of 3000m at the Jebel Shams. Towards the east the Jebal Shams falls off to a high plateau known as the Saiq Plateau which covers an area of around 500km2. The southern portion of this plateau lies at an altitude of around 2000m, while the northern section is about 500m higher on average. The slopes fall off towards the north and east,

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and on the southern section the change in level follows a more abrupt set of steps. This region of the Jabel Akhdar is crossed by large wādis which drain the mountain range into the Batinah Coast (towards the north) and the interior, providing the main source of water for the many oasis settlements which dot their flanks, and acting also as the main transit routes across the mountains. Though unforgivingly harsh and of very difficult access the Jabal Akhdar has been one of Oman’s oldest settlement regions due to its relatively reliable water sources which can be exploited without too much infrastructural investment. While the lower lying settlements on the edge of the desert may not have had to contend with complex topographies, ensuring a steady flow of water was usually accompanied by the construction of qanat-type galleries with which one could drain aquifers in the alluvium of the surrounding landscape. In addition to readily available springs and pools, the rocky outcrops and ravines of the mountains could also provide protected positions with good visual range into the surrounding territory, providing security for small communities. Their locations along valleys and wādis (the sole avenue into and across the mountains) gave them direct control of access and the resulting denial-ofpassage ability of local groups gave them a degree of power that was not necessarily reflective of their immediate size or wealth.

Most information on the inhabitants of Misfāt prior to the establishment of Al-Hamra is transmitted in an account known as the Tarikh al-‘Abriyīn by the ‘Abriyīn’s tribal chronicler Shaykh Ibrahim bin Said al-Abri (1959: 12f). According to this manuscript clans of the ‘Abriyīn had settled in Wādi Nakhr, northwest of Misfāt and Al-Hamra since the time when the Persians had been driven out of Oman by Malik bin Fahm of the Azd (ca. 196-231CE). From there some clans of the ‘Abriyīn are said to have moved to what is now Misfāt. The chronicler corroborates the assumption of some of the village elders in Misfāt (for example, Masud bin Said al-Abri, Khalfan and Masud bin Salim al-Hattali, Sulaiman bin Nasir al-Abri) that the village had been in existence long before the arrival of the ‘Abriyīn. He explains that as per the designations of certain falaj shares and localities the village previously belonged to other tribes and that at some unknown point in time and for reasons not known to him possession passed over to the ‘Abriyīn. According to Al-Abri this occurred at an unknown time in the distant past, long before the ascent of the Ya’ariba Imamate in the early 17th century (Mershen 2002). The names of earlier occupants of the oasis might live on in some of the toponyms referring to some of the oasis’ individual gardens (see toponymy plans). Currently the population of Misfāt is composed of three different clans of the ‘Abriyīn tribe and families belonging to the Hattali tribe.

Field Research Methodology

The clans, fakhayidh (sg. fakhida) of the ‘Abriyīn are:

The methodology for field research undertaken in the context of the current project was based on semi-formal and informal interviews with male and female interviewees, including village elders from different tribal clans, house owners, the rashid of one tribal group, the former master builder, men and women involved in ongoing tourism activities (management, service, guiding, food preparation). A number of interviews were voice-recorded and later transcribed and translated. Where this was not possible notes were taken. Apart from interviews, information was collected through participant observation, such as during Eid preparations and celebrations in family homes and in public.

1. Awlad Sayf (their rashid is Muhammad bin Harith al-Abri), 2. Awlad ‘Omran (their rashid is ‘Omran bin Muhammad al-Abri), 3. Awlad Sanad (with Ali bin Jabir bin Salim al-Abri as their rashid). The Awlad ‘Omran are in turn composed of three branches: 1. Awlad Zahir 2. Awlad Salim bin ‘Isa 3. Awlad Salim bin Humaid

3.2 THE POPULATION OF MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN HISTORICAL REMARKS AND TRIBAL COMPOSITION OF MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN

The oasis and settlement is called ‘the Misfāt (a toponym referring to the topography of the place) of the ‘Abriyīn’. The ‘Abriyīn residents of Misfāt do not claim to have been the first who settled the place, and they unaware of those who had established the oasis and settlement prior to their arrival;

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The Hattali families in Misfāt have one rashid: Masud bin Salim al-Hattali.

Shaykh Ibrahim specifies that before the onset of the Ya’ariba Imamate Misfāt was inhabited by the Awlad ‘Imran and the Awlad Ali bin Mas’ud clans of the ‘Abriyīn, the latter then having moved to Al-‘Araqi (Al-Abri 1959:14, 21, 26). He (ibid.: 30f) mentions that the first Abri scholar and the most famous of the Awlad ‘Imran was a certain Yusif bin Talib, who was from Misfāt and later

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moved to Bahla. He is thought to have passed away before the imamate of Nasir bin Murshid ( i.e. before 1033 AH/1624 AD). His son Shaykh Muhammad bin Yusif al-Abri was to build the eastern section of Bait al-Baytayn (C1/C6). Even before their tribal capital Al-Hamra was founded the ‘Abriyīn had their foot in the villages of Kuddam (the area that was to become Al-Hamra). Al-Abri recounts that Imam Nasir bin Murshid appointed one of the scholars of the Awlad Ali bin Masud clan of Misfāt, Shaykh Muhammad bin Ali bin Masud bin Lahi bin Qasim as wali of Qarriye Bani Subh, which was the largest and most important village of the area before Al-Hamra was built. It was his son, the scholar Bashir bin Muhammad bin Ali - appointed by Imam Sultan bin Sayf (1649 to 1679 AD) as wali of Sohar – who was to build the older, western part of Bayt al-Baytayn (ibid.: 21; see below).

DEMOGRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT AS PER THE OMAN NATIONAL CENSUSES

We lack concrete information about the size of Misfāt’s population in the early 20th century. J.G. Lorimer’s Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia, which in the case of many other settlements provides important information as to the number of inhabitants and livestock and tribal affiliation, does not mention Misfāt, and apparently subsumes its population under that of Al-Hamra.

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Misfāt did not exhibit any substantial population growth between 1993 and 2003. The Oman National Census of 1993 lists the total population as 580 inhabitants (incl. 11 non-Omani); while the National Census of 2003 enlists 592 (incl. 3 non-Omani) inhabitants. The census of 2010 however shows a population of 696 individuals including 32 expatriates, thus revealing significant growth. This apparent growth in population must be regarded as part of the expansion of ‘Modern’ Misfāt (Harat as-Siban) on the opposite side of the wādi and not as an expansion of the old hārah, which is seeing instead increasing abandonment.

3.3 THE OLD RESIDENTIAL QUARTER HARAT AL-BILAD OCCUPATIONAL HISTORY OF MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN

As ascertained from the interviews conducted locally, the inhabitants unanimously confirm the findings of architectural surveying with regard to the sequence of settlement in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn which developed in an east-west direction. The oldest part of Misfāt are the remains of a small settlement to the east of Al-Bilad.

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This oldest part is designated as Al-Jwar and is located above the ‘Ayn al-Lathba spring. Not much is left of this settlement and nothing is known about its inhabitants, but at present the ruins of Al Jwar are composed of the remains (foundations, walling) of buildings executed as dry masonry underneath the cliff face located above the spring. Below the house remains, the remains of terraces can be discerned. Those seem to have been agricultural terraces, an understanding that is confirmed by local people’s interpretation. The oldest still partially inhabited quarter of the oasis is Al-Bilad. People do not know to which century the first houses of this residential quarter can be dated. What everybody agrees upon is that the ‘Abriyīn had long been settled and farming in Misfāt (: Al-Abri 1959: 15), when the falaj of Al-Hamra was dug and the associated settlement started to be built in the mid-seventeenth century AD under the Ya’arubi ruler Sultan bin Saif (Sulaimani et.al. 2007:3). The next younger residential quarters are those of Al-Da’ayne and Ambarbu’ in the north, respectively north-west of Al-Bilad. Their oldest buildings date back to the late 19th or early 20th century. The most recent residential quarter in Misfāt is that of As-Siban on the southern side of the ravine dropping down into Wādi Misfāt. As-Siban has been steadily growing with villa type mansions as concrete structures since the 1990’s. This is where most inhabitants of Al-Bilad have moved. Several large private sablah buildings with enormous window openings overlooking the plantations

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are currently under construction next to the owners’ villas. Located in As-Safil above the Lejil as-Safil and two ablution facilities above the falaj is an old mosque, called Masjid as-Safil. The main access to the mosque is from the northeast, into the walled open courtyard of the mosque. A second wall opening in the southwest leads over a steep staircase down to the falaj, lejil and ablution facilities. The mosque is built from stone and sarooj with the roof resting on beams of olive tree wood. Masjid as-Safil has recently been restored by Ahmed al-Abri and is used by several residents of Harat as-Safil. Collectively termed Masjid al-‘Ali two small mosques are located close to one another along the main falaj channel northeast of the village. In front of the mosque furthest from the village is an inscription in one of the stone slabs of the stairs leading to the mosque’s terrace. The inscription has not been deciphered so far. A small mosque further up the falaj channel is named Masjid al-Qantara after the bridge (qantara) over the falaj channel. Located on the steep bank above the wādi in proximity to the spring ‘Ayn al-Lathba are the remains of Masjid al-‘Ayn. The people of the village consider it to be the oldest mosque in Misfāt, located close to the ruins of Al-Juwar quarter. The walls of the small prayer rooms built from unhewn rocks and rubble against the slope are preserved to a height of up to approximately one meter. No prayer

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Base plan

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niche (mihrab) is discernible. The currently used open-air prayer ground Musallat al-Eid is located in close proximity to the new residential quarter As-Siban on a hill overlooking the gardens. The enclosed musalla measures roughly 20m x 20m. It replaced previous smaller musallat, the Musalla in Ambarbu’, or the even earlier old Musallat al-Eid located above the main falaj channel between Masajid al-‘Ali and Masjid al-Qantara. The Musallat al-Eid has thus moved from northeast to southwest, from a location between the oldest quarter Al-Juwar and Al-Bilad, to Ambarbu’, just west of Al-Bilad, and now to a location just north of As-Siban. The Madrasat al-Qur’an, the Quran school, is next to Masjid al-‘Aqbe; accommodated in a long, narrow room with the characteristic row of large window openings. The previous Quran school was a shaded open space close to Masjid al-Qantara, in an area called Sinn ash-Shikla, after the tree carrying this name. close to Masjid al-Qantara. Cemeteries Islamic burial grounds constitute much of the western flank of the oasis extending approximately up to Qal’at Roghan. The graves closest to Al-Bilad are assumed to be very old and to date back to a pre-‘Abriyīn settlement population. Graves range from those dug wholly into the ground, to tombs elevated to a height of around 50centimeters. In addition, in several cases were caves used for burials and then blocked up with rocks. Social Spaces and communal halls There are several communal and private reception halls (sablah or majlis; pl. sabal/majalis) in the village. The currently used communal sablah used for meetings and various social functions, such as weddings and paying condolences, is located in As-Siban along the main road, just before the MOT’s camp site. This is a huge hall which has been constructed in 2010 as a joint venture of the entire village. Prior to its construction the first floor sablah adjoining Masjid al-‘Aqbe, built as a concrete construction in 1986, was the main village sablah. An earlier sablah, Sablat al-Hadayir (hada’ir, i.e. barns), was built in the year 1343/1924 during the era of Shaykh Ibrahim bin Said al-Abri. Its location is in the gardens below Sabah Dars al-Khisla, not far from Masjid al-‘Aqbe. It is also a first floor sablah which is accessed from an exterior flight of stairs. The sablah is built from stone and sarooj. Before its restoration it was roofed with judhu’ (quartered palm trunks). It is equipped with windows from all sides and thus overlooks the area used for trading and bartering, and some of the main tracks through the oasis. The ground floor of

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this building was used as a storage room for people who passed through, traders and others. The door carries an inscription with four lines of poetry verses. The above mentioned later concrete sablah next to Masjid al-‘Aqbe is located above the former ‘arish from palm fronds which was used as a sablah before the construction of Sablat al-Hadayir (Al Abri 2002: 41). Apart from the public sablah there is the private sablah or majlis (pl. majalis) that belongs to a house or a family, such as Sablat Bait as-Safil in As-Safil and Sablat Bait al-Baitain, in addition to the sablah of Muhammad Al-Abri in Ad-Da’ene overlooking Bait Al-Amba. Open Festive Space Festive seasons such as the two main religious festivals Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are occasions which are celebrated within the extended family and indeed the entire community. The related activities have spatial correlates. Those include both purpose-built facilities, such as the shuwa oven and surrounding open yard in Harat ash-Shuwa; as well as the temporary use of a place for a specific function, such as open areas where the razha dances are performed, or a particular sabah to accommodate spontaneously formed Eid drummers’ band. During the Eid al-Adha in 2014, it was observed that on the second day of Eid, two distinct razha groups competed for the attention of the audience: a smaller more spontaneous group composed of few young men celebrated in the area of the ‘donkey parking’ in front of Bab al-Mqobra, while the ‘official’ and larger razha group performed in the open place at the Ministry of Tourism’s picnic ground close to As-Siban. Groups of up to three drummers were observed during all Eid days, either sitting on the stairs leading to house B3 in accompaniment of the shuwa procedures, i.e. loading the oven pit on the first day of Eid, and digging out the meat parcels on the third day, or drumming while sitting on the dukkane, (built-in bench) in the Sabah Dars al-Khisla. Falaj related public installations Al-Lejil is a deep water basin which is filled especially in periods after rains, when there is an abundance and surplus of falaj water. The two lejil in Misfāt are Lejil al-‘Ali below Masjid Lejil al‘Ali and Lejil as-Safil, below Masjid as-Saifl. When full with water both basins become a popular swimming pool for the boys of the village. Public bathing and ablution facilities along the falaj are segregated into male and female facilities. The wuqab (sg.. wugba) are ritual ablution and bathing facilities for men. They are composed of small rooms without windows, which are located directly above the falaj, and are of open access.

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Accesses to settlement and dwellings

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There are two of them next to al-Lejil al –‘Ali, two next to al-Lejil as-Safil, and two next to Masjid al ‘Aqbe. The equivalent facility for women is called al-majaza. It is located where the main falaj channel reaches the village. The majaza and the surrounding area as well as the stairs and paths leading to it (Dabq al-‘Ali or Tariq al-Majaza) is strictly restricted to female access. Warning signs have been put up by villagers to prevent unaware visitors from entering. The majaza facilities are used by women for bathing, for ablution, as well as for washing clothes and dishes. Beyond those functions the majaza is a female meeting place, not unlike the sablah is for the men. The shari’a – i.e. the place for the collection of drinking water - of the falaj of Misfāt is located before the women’s mosque and majaza. Defensive installations: towers, gates The most visible defensive structure in Misfāt is the Qal’at Roghan, believed to have been built by the Persians – Roghan is assumed to be the name of a Persian commander at the fortress. It is a towering construction from stone and sarooj commanding the entire oasis. A large, rectangular and deep cistern, lined with sarooj, is dug into the ground at the southern foot of the fortress. Remains of walls surrounding the fortress from two sides indicate the existence of further built structures being part of a larger fortification now in ruins. Further fortification include: • Al-Sur, ‘the wall’, is the eponym of Harat al-Sur. The remains of the massive perimeter wall protecting the settlement’s northern flank are visible as foundations of houses along the edge of Harat al-Sur. • Al-Husn, ‘the fort’ is the name given to house F1 built atop a huge free-standing boulder, a construction of relatively recent origin, replacing an earlier building at the same location. • Burj al-Mqobra, is the name of the remains of a small tower on a boulder across Bab al-Mqobra. • The name of a tower, the remains of which adjoin Bait al-Amba, was not remembered. • Burj al-Nqefa is a round and crenellated watchtower located in the area carrying the same name, above the path leading from the village to the spring behind the Masjid al-‘Ali, overlooking the sarooj making area, Al-Mhabba. The lower part of the tower is solid and the entrance is located around one meter above the foot of the tower. • Burj al-‘Ayn is a round watchtower located on a free-standing boulder above ‘Ayn al-Lathba, the spring feeding the falaj. The lower part of the tower is filled up.

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Zoning

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• Burj al-Khatwa is a now ruined tower on the eastern bank of Wādi Misfāt, overlooking the gardens carrying the name ‘Al-Khatwa’. • Sabah al-Mqobra, the current main entrance gate, used to be an exit gate to the cemetery mqobra. Exposed and towered by mountains this gate, until about 1965, was closed with a heavy wooden gate, which was locked at 8.00 p.m., so as to safeguard the village from any assaults. • Sabah Dars al-Khisla, today the exit into the plantations, to Sablat al-Hadayir and to Harat asSafil, in former times this was the main entrance gate into the village. The gate room is lined with a bench. Within living memory of village elders (Hilal bin Zahir al-Abri and others), this entrance had never had a wooden gate, so that it could be closed at night. This is explained by the more controllable situation of this sabah. Before a stranger could reach there he would have been noticed by people working in the farms, or present in the mosque, sablah or surrounding houses. This does not exclude that there had been a gate in earlier times, such as before construction of houses in Al-Safala neighbourhood. • Sabah Harat al-Shuwa, is the covered passageway leading into Harat al-Shuwa. • Sabah Harat as-Sur is the covered passageway at the north-eastern perimeter of Harat as-Sur. Facilities related to agriculture and food processing, commerce, trade, and crafts Places and facilities used for agricultural activities and the processing of the crops include: • Threshing floors, fruit drying spaces, stone mills and wooden mortars. The threshing floor jannur is a relatively small, often roundish flat space where grain was threshed using the kirba, a palm leave stem to separate the chaff from the grain. In Misfāt there are several small threshing floors, none of which is used any more. The largest jannur was located in the gardens in proximity to Sabah Dars al-Khisla. Two small threshing floors were located within Al-Bilad, the first behind Sabah Dars al-Khisla, in front of house A5, the second in Harat al-‘Uqud, in the open space between houses H1 and H2. • Nadad (pl. nudud) is an installation, normally in a dark, little ventilated ground floor room of a house, consisting of low grooved benches with small glazed jars set into pits in the floor in front of the bench. A large number of storage sacks made from palm-leaves filled with dates are stacked on top of one another to squeeze out the date syrup, the ‘asal (literally ‘honey’), which then is collected from the glazed jars. While nudud are located inside dwellings and are private property, in Misfāt there are several nudud, which are used communally, that is people brought their date sacks, and the extracted ‘asal later on was distributed proportionally to an individual’s date sacks input (interview with Sulaiman Al-Abri, 9.10.2014). Such nudud are located in Bait

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Settlement components

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as-Safa (G1), Bait al-‘Aqd (D5), in Bait al-Baitayn (B5, C3) and in house A5 in Harat al-Shuwa (Al-Abri op.cit.: 17). • The shuwa pit dug in the middle of the open square of Harat al-Shuwa (also written shua’) is a large communal oven used twice a year for the roasting of the shuwa meat on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The oven is prepared with firewood on the day before the Eid. The fire is made in the morning of the first day of Eid. Around noon time the oven is loaded with the meat parcels of the individual families. The fire pit is closed airtight with judhu’ and green leaves. Loading the oven is a festive event accompanied by drums. The meat is left to slowly roast for two full days and only on the third Eid day the male villagers assemble at the shuwa pit for another festive event, the digging out of the parcels. • Stone hand-mills, called raha (pl. rahhat) composed of two stone disks joined by a wooden pole set into the central hole in the disks, are still abundant in the old quarter. They are either used as they are, as a mobile implement, or as permanent and immobile installations, built into a substructure. • A stone mortar moqa’a (pl. mawaqi’) used to pound spices, herbs, dried limes, garlic and other items, can be a mobile implement or else carved into immovable solid rock or rock surfaces. Many are communal and located in some of Al-Bilad’s sabahat, such as in Sabah as-Sur or Sabah al-Moqa’a and in front of one of the houses in Harat al-Shuwa. • The communal Shu’ oil processing facility is called Hasat al-Masati’ and consists of a large in situ rock boulder located next to the stairs passing between K1 and A1, A9, A8. It has a smooth surface with shallow cavities and is used by women for the extraction of Shu’ oil (hall al-shu’) from a dough prepared from the dried, soaked and pounded seeds contained in the long pods of the Shu’ tree (Moringa peregrina) which were then kneaded with water. • Weaver’s workshop of Ali bin Marhun al-Abri in Harat as-Sur, one of several weavers formerly existing in Misfāt Dun, used to weave goat hair bsat rugs, ‘udul for the transport of samad (manure), woolen mansul cloaks, khurj donkey bags, woolen siha rugs. • The ‘arsa – an open market area. By being located on a trade route called Sikket al-Bade between the Interior and the Batina, goods from Bahla and Al-Hamra went to Misfāt and from there to Nakhl or Rustaq. Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn was thus frequented by many travellers and traders, and in the past some buoyant exchange of goods took place at the village. While it never possessed a formal enclosed market, or suq, trading and exchange of goods took place in the ‘arsa, a small open area dotted with large smooth rocks, which adjoins the footpath west of Sablat al-Hadayir (J5).

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Dwelling clusters and individual houses

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• Designated as ghalat as-sablah, a room underneath the first floor sablah and an adjoining room were used as a storage room (makhzan) for travellers’ wares and luggage, while they were accommodated overnight in the sablah. Donkeys and draft animals were often stabled in front of those rooms. • Exchange with mountain shepherds shawawi or shuwan has always held a prominent place in the economy of the village. Today this exchange takes place in the open ground, east of the parking in front of Bab al-Mqobra. Here the shepherds keep their donkeys; unload the sacks with samad and other mountain goods they bring into the village; respectively load the donkeys with sacks animal fodder, rice, flour or other wares. The existence of a special suffet al-shuwan room in Bait as-Safa (G1) - a designated storage room where shepherds can keep their goods – reveals much about the importance and intimacy of the mutual relation between the villagers and the shepherds. • Al-Mahabba is a large, shallow depression outside the village just above the plantations after Masjid al-‘Ali. It is the designated place for the production of traditional sarooj mortar from dried loam cakes, palm tree trunks and white pebbles.

3. 4 THE FALAJ ORIGIN AND TYPE OF FALAJ

The falaj of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn, ‘Falaj al-Misfah’ (FO241) is of the ‘ayni type, a spring falaj that is fed by the ‘Ayn al-Lathba spring, located in Wādi Misfāt north of the oasis. According to the MNWR’s National Falaj inventory, the falaj’s main channel length from the spring to the shari’a in Al-Bilad is 907meters. The spring is located in a low cavern underneath the rocks. On the back of the rock sitting next to the spring is an inscription that is said to describe building measures in relation to the falaj (see below). Local people are unanimous in that the falaj of Misfāt has never run dry. And indeed, according to the MRM&WR’s data obtained from monthly monitoring, the Falaj al-Misfāt has the most stable flow rate of aflaj in the Al-Hamra area, which has been explained by a greater storage capacity of the limestone aquifer feeding the spring and falaj. Its channels water an area of approximately 11 hectar (Nash 2009:71, 72).

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Street pattern

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HISTORY OF FALAJ

the village not necessitating more than one falaj administrator.

The Falaj al-Misfāt is thought to have been in existence when the ‘Abriyīn clans settled in the oasis at an unknown point in history, long before the construction of the falaj and town of Al-Hamra in the mid-seventeenth century. The division of water rights, qasmet al-falaj, on the contrary only dates back to the late nineteenth century (1312 AH/1894 AD) and was necessitated by the extension of irrigated land (see also Nash 2007; 84) and increase of the number of trees. Before this the people followed the system of as-saqi, whereby the falaj irrigated one area of land after the other on a day-by-day basis. Until the qasmet al-falaj it was a strictly observed rule that the number of palm-trees could not be increased, new trees only planted to replace a dead or old tree.

The dawran of Falaj al-Misfāt is eight days and nights, respectively eight raddat (sg. radde, i.e. 24 hours). Each radde has two badat (sg. bade, i.e. 12 hours), one day bade and one night bade. The bade in turn contains 24 athar (i.e. c. 0,5 hours) and each athar equals 24 kiyas (sg. kis, i.e. roughly 1,25 minutes). Two further share units are used: the nusf bade (half bade, i.e. 12 athar); and the rub’a (quarter, i.e. 6 athar).

According to Hilal bin Zahir al-Abri (interviewed 4.10.2014) and former falaj wakil Sulaiman alAbri (interviewed 9.10.2014), the village elders (shiyab al-balad) deliberated on which system to follow for the division of water shares, and decided that qasmet Falaj al-Misfāt should follow the example of the Al-Hamra falaj division.

According to the interviews practically each Omani inhabitant of Misfāt (‘Abriyīn and Hatatila) owns some individual shares of falaj water. And there are many people from Al-Hamra and from other villages who also own shares. When discussing the ownership of falaj shares in Misfāt, Sulayman al-Abri, the former wakil al falaj outlined it according to the eight raddat of the dawran.

The initial distribution of the shares of the falaj dawran was proportional to the farmed plots owned by a person – to be more precise, as per each jil (the smallest plot unit where 1 to 3 palm tree can be grown) according to Hila bin Zahir; and as per number of palm-trees owned by a person at the time according to Sulaiman al-Abri. The number of jijlan (pl. of jil) or the number of palm-trees owned decided on the number of falaj shares a person received. Each jil or each single palm-tree was allotted three kiyas (or kisat) of water (that is c. 3.75minutes), a kis being the smallest unit in the dawran. The main channel of Falaj al-Misfāt consists of two sections: • Saqiyat ‘amid, running from the source of the falaj to the upper lejil • Saqiyat al-foq, running west from the upper lejil to the sundial in Ambarbu’ and from there to Sayban as-Safil.

ADMINISTRATION OF FALAJ

In Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn the management and administration of the falaj is basically a community affair, who appoints the wakil al-falaj the falaj administrator responsible for keeping the records, for the smooth day-to-day operations and arranging for any necessary repair or maintenance actions. He is the person who is knowledgeable about anything related to the falaj and an authority for settling falaj related disputes. As to the former wakil Sulaiman bin Nasir al-Abri, no falaj book exists. Falaj shares are known to the wakil and the proprietors. No other falaj officials (such as a further wakil or an ‘arif) exist in Misfāt, a situation explained by Harriet Nash (2009; 83) with the small size of

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DAWRAN AND OWNERSHIP OF SHARES

THE MUHADARA OR TIME KEEPING OF FALAJ SHARES

The time keeping of falaj shares in Misfāt is called muhadara and used to follow three different methods. During the day the so-called sahla or tasa system was used (for a discussion of the tasa time keeping (see Nash op.cit.: 50-51, Al-Ghafri 2004: 54, 56). The sahla is a small copper bowl. For the purpose of timing falaj shares its bottom is perforated with a small hole. This vessel is then placed in the halul, a larger ceramic vessel filled with water. The time it takes to fill the sahla completely with water is called an athar (Al-Abri 2002: 32; Al-Ghafiri ibid.). Later on the sahla system was to be replaced by the sundial, the loh mismar or mismar al-lamd, alternatively also designated as muhadara (see Nash 2007: 53, for a discussion of this latter term) where the timing of falaj shares is known by the shadow of a long stick falling onto twelve lines or markers on either side of the stick each representing 1 athar (Al-Abri ibid.). The sundial was located next to the old Musallat al-Eid in the Ambarbu’ quarter, a location that is in close proximity to the gardens, and which is sunlit from early morning to evening. During the night, falaj shares were timed by watching the stars arising over the eastern horizon. The terrace of the mosque was the preferred location for starwatching, but not the sole possible spot. Some of the important stars for time keeping were: Al-Ghurab, al-Sa’ud, al ‘Aqrab, al-Thurayya and al-Kuwi (Al-Abri ibid). Nash (op.cit.: 101) provides a table with the names of all stars formerly used for time keeping in Misfāt. Some of those stars also appear as names of the series of stone markers on the eastern horizon, which assist people in star watching. The markers ‘a’lam (sg. ’alam) are stone pillars of approximately 1,5 meters height. Al-Abri mentions that among others

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there are the ‘Alam Kuwi, ‘Alam Sa’ad, ‘Alam Aqrab (Al-Abri op.cit.: 33). Nash (op.cit.: 94: fig. 8.10, 102) writes that only four stone pillars are used for star-watching; however, she enlists five, namely: Chuwi (a Lyrae, i.e. Kuwi), Ath-Thurayya (the Pleiades) ash-Shubcha (Orionis, i.e. alShubka), al-Miyazin (Orion’s Belt) and al-‘Aqrab (Scorpii).

TOPONYMS OF FALAJ IRRIGATED CULTIVATION GROUND

The mawal (amwal), i.e. the agricultural and falaj irrigated land in the oasis is subdivided into named aereal units. These units refer to the suwar al-falaj, i.e. the water-gate, the opening in a channel used for redirecting the flow of water to a different branch of the channel. Those units are further subdivided into farms, and terraces identified by individual names. Even the smallest plot carries a proper name. During the field campaign (interview with Sulaiman al-Abri 9.10.2014, and subsequent inquiries with Ahmad Muhammad al-Abri, Haitham ‘Omran al-Abri), the names of the more than forty suwar related areal units have been recorded and roughly plotted on Google Earth. Those toponyms refer to: • Spatial/geographical features, such as Suwar al-Sharfa, Suwar al-Wādi, Al-Minzafa etc. • Falaj or plots, such as Suwar al Wuqifayn, Al-Dawahi. • Bio features such as Suwar al-Mashrasa, Wuqif ar-Raka, Matrah al-Judhu’. • Landmarks, such as Suwar al-Burj, Al-Masinsuha. • Waqf or private ownership Matrah al-Masajid, Mal al-Falaj, Wuqif al-Shaykh. • To particular tribes, such as Suwar Bani ‘Amr, Suwar al-Ghafiri, Bani Khusayb.

Toponyms in Misfāt, many of which clearly are of great antiquity and go back to a time when there had been tribes owning land in Misfāt which have long since disappeared from the oasis, are a source of historical information (Mershen 2010: 54) and will be studied in more depth.

3.5 THE AGRICULTURAL LAND AND ACTIVITIES DISTRIBUTION OF AGRICULTURAL TERRACES

The oasis farms extend in a northeast-southwest direction on a length of roughly one kilometre.

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They are spread along the entire western bank of Wādi Misfāt, starting after a short distance from Ayn al-Lathba, the northernmost part of the eastern bank; as well as on the northern and southern banks of a ravine running northwest-southeast, which coalesces with Wādi Misfāt at Siban asSafil. The farms on the southern bank on the ravine below the new residential quarter of as-Siban represent an extension of the originally farmed area, that took place after Qasmet al-falaj in the late 19th century. The smallest agricultural land unit in Misfāt is the jil (pl. jijlan), a small terrace providing space for one to three palm trees, a larger terrace is called wuqif (pl.wuqfan), while the dahiyye (pl. dawahi) is a farm composed of several terraces.

AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM

The traditional agro-ecosystem in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn is a mixed farming and pastoral economy which in many ways is similar to that of other Omani mountain oases (the system has been described in greater detail by SQU, College of Agriculture 1995; also Nagieb 2000 and 2004; Dickhofer 2009). Prior to the transformation processes affecting the Omani oases since the later part of the 20th century, agriculture was subsistence oriented where trees and other crops were grown mainly for self-consumption, with surplus yields being traded in surrounding markets.

MAIN AGRICULTURAL CROPS IN PAST AND PRESENT

Currently the main crops in Misfāt include tree crops, such as a number of date varieties, such as Khasab, Naghal, Khanayzi, Hilalai, Khalas, Sayli, Saydi, Qashsh az-Zabad, Barshi, Qashsh al-Basra, Burni and others (Al-Abri op.cit.: 13). Different citrus fruits are grown, including lime, safarjal, balinj, narinj; different varieties of banana (moz) and mango (amba), as well as papaya (fafay) are also cultivated. Annuals included maize (today mainly as a fodder crop), alfalfa, some grain, garlic, coriander and other green vegetables. In the past the cultivation of grain was of far greater importance than what it is today. Village elders Masud and Khalfan bin Salim al-Hattali (interview 15.10.2014) remember that much alas (emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccon) was cultivated in their youth. Alas, as they say, has greater nutritional value than burr (wheat). But the processing of emmer wheat is much more tedious. Before it can be milled in a stone hand mill, raha, it needs to be pounded in a large wooden mortar, called moqa’ so as to separate the grain from the chaff (see also Guarini 1987).

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OWNERSHIP OF AGRICULTURAL LAND

Landownership of farmland in Misfāt is said to have become very fragmented due to splitting up of properties among heirs. However, residents emphasize that currently all farmed land in Misfāt is owned by ‘Abriyīn from Misfāt and Al-Hamra, and by Hatatila families from Misfāt. In the past landowners also belonged to other tribes. The Ya’ariba for example are recalled to have owned falaj shares and land in Misfāt. Former falaj wakil Sulaiman al-Abri specifically mentions the family of a certain Salt bin Sultan al-Ya’arubi, who is remembered for his numerous offspring: forty children. Sulaiman explains that while the family lived in Jabrin, they possessed the suwar albada’a lands and falaj share in Misfāt, and are remembered for growing moz fard in their gardens. The existence of other tribes can also be deduced from the name Suwar Bani Amr, Suwar alGhafiri, Suwar Bani Khusayb. None of the three tribes denominating the aeral units in the farms are present in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn , neither have they been in the recent past. The Bani Khusayb are not even present in the wilayats surrounding Al-Hamra, and the land carrying their name today is a waqf holding. Bani Amr and Bani Ghafir today are present in neighbouring Wilayat al-Rustaq. While the Suwar Bani Amr gardens today are in the possession of a mix of landowners, the Suwar al-Ghafiri are owned by Hatatila. The Ya’ariba had been shareholders in Al-Hamra until towards the end of their reign, in the time of Imam Bal’arab bin Himyar and Sayyid Sultan bin al-Imam Muhenna bin Sultan. Then they sold all their belongings in Al-Hamra to the ‘Abriyīn. This major transaction of land in 1155 AH/ 1742AD is accounted for in Shaykh Ibrahim’s chronicle (Al-Abri 1959: 23f). That similar land transactions from Ya’ariba to ‘Abriyīn occurred in Misfāt as well, is likely and has been suggested by Wilkinson (1987: 112).

REMARKS ON THE CURRENT STATE OF AGRICULTURE IN MISFĀT

In the 21st century agriculture is no longer the main means of livelihood in the village. According to residents’ appraisal (interview with Yaqub bin Badr al-Abri, 10.10.2015) several factors account for its decreasing economic significance. Few local people are available to work the land on a regular basis and families increasingly rely upon the cheap expatriate labour force. At present most crops, such as dates and other fruit and vegetables, are grown almost exclusively for home consumption. An exception is some sale of forage crops to the shawawi communities. The formerly very important cash crop lime, however, has vanished from the gardens as a result of disease. Male residents prefer to seek employment with the government or private sector, easily earning them 500 OMR/month and on their part employ expatriate agricultural labourers for a fraction of their own

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salary. Despite the above development, despite the fact that the village has become connected to the modern road infrastructure and despite its proximity to the urban centres of the Interior, agriculture still is very much part of village life, with little land laying fallow, most plots being farmed, and falaj and terraces being maintained on a regular basis.

3.6 SIGNIFICANCE AND THREATS SIGNIFICANCE AND THREATS Misfāt Al-‘Abriyīn is an excellent example of an Omani mountain settlement and is representative of mountain settlements in other parts of the Arabian Peninsula. The following key significances could be established from the research undertaken. Misfāt Al-‘Abriyīn and its architecture is distinctive in its engagement with topography and shows clear morphological traces of how it negotiated the topographic challenge as the settlement expanded. The unique nature of the setting is due to the steep incline close to the source of a wadi, along which the settlement evolved. While bearing similarities with some mountain and piedmont settlements (e.g., Bilad Sayt, Saiq or Harat as- Saybani in Birkat al-Mawz) of Interior Oman (adDakhiliyah Governorate), the particularly steep incline introduces important typological differences and should be studied in greater detail to have a better understanding of the Interior house typology.

SETTLEMENT AND MORPHOLOGY Morphological traces at the present location of Harat al-Bilad show evidence of a settlement originating at the top of the hill in the area currently identified as Harat as-Sur, extending downhill through successive expansions that established various boundaries along the incline. The long passages aligned northeast to southwest are vestiges of these edges, indicating at least 2 to 3 – or even more – stages of the settlement’s development before the seventeenth century expansion containing Bayt al-Baytayn took place, which also established the main entrance, Sabah Dars alKhisla. The southernmost quarter, Harat as-Safil is likely to have been a later extension. Even later expansions of the old hārah took place with the establishment of Al-Da’ayne and Ambarbu’ quarters, possibly in the late-nineteenth or early-twentieth century. The morphological process of an ancient ridge-top mountain settlement extending downhill with main access from the lower end

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is thus consistent with Harat as-Saybani (Birkat al-Mawz). Accessibility was reversed with the introduction of vehicular access (i.e., changed to give access from the higher end).

FALAJ, SETTLEMENT AND ARCHITECTURE The close relationship between settlement development, the falaj system and architecture is another significant feature of Misfāt. The extensive investment in this distinctive falaj irrigation system during the Ya’aribah period will have resulted in the infrastructure running east-west along the southern edge of Bayt al-Baytayn, possibly extending as far south as Masjid al-‘Aqbe. The infrastructure along Harat as-Safil, could well be a later addition or a reorganization. To ensure uniform distribution capability, two major holding tanks (lejil) were constructed along with elaborate water distribution channels, as were public bathing facilities, mosques and associated ablution areas. Landholdings have changed over time, although some of the erstwhile landholders’ tribal names remain associated with land parcels providing toponymic interest. It is possible that large-scale transfer of landholdings took place towards the end of the Ya’aribah period.

DWELLINGS AND TOPOGRAPHY A number of significant dwellings – such as Bayt as-Safah and Bayt al-Baytayn – are excellent examples of how Omani families living within the Jabal al-Akhdar mountains engaged spatially in their dwellings with the dual demands of agricultural and pastoralist life. When combined with historical records and ethnographic data, they present important records of the historical evolution of Misfāt and the role its many residents played in Omani history. Dwellings also demonstrate a range of architectural qualities and measures in engaging with topography. These include: dwelling spaces offering breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape, complex spatial arrangements, connected dwelling development, extensive use of staircases, and distinctive relationship between communal spaces and dwellings.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE Qalat Roghan, an ancient defensive structure reputedly of Persian origin, towers over the settlement.

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Aside from it being a significant physical presence that is visible from a great distance, it carries the oral-historical significance of being constructed by a commander of the Persian (Sassanid?) forces, Roghan, presumably to overlook and guard the wadi system. This suggests a plausible Persian presence that extended well into Jabal al-Akhdar, and significant investment in military infrastructure. Imam Nasir bin Murshid (r. 1624-1649 CE) appointed one of the scholars of the Awlad ‘Ali bin Masaud clan of Misfāt, Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Masaud bin Lahi bin Qasim as wali of Qarriye Bani Subh, the largest and most important village in the area before Al-Hamra was built. His son, the scholar Bashir bin Muhammad bin ‘Ali - appointed by Imam Sultan bin Sayf (r. 1649 to 1679 CE) as wali of Sohar – was to build the older, western part of Bayt al- Baytayn.

SOCIAL, RITUAL AND TRADING SIGNIFICANCE The present settlement is an excellent example of a largely single-tribe focused settlement dominated by the ‘Abriyīn. The agricultural aspects of the settlement are complemented by the pastoral activities mainly associated with the Hatatila, a tribe of settled and semi-nomadic population who, like the ‘Abriyīn, are spread across villages and hamlets in the region. The rise of ‘Abriyīn power extends back to the early days of the Ya’aribah imamate, when disparate groups came together under the active encouragement of the imams and eventually helped build significant settlements such as Al-Hamra. Thus Misfāt forms part of an important eighteenth century Omani drive towards unity during the Ya’aribah period. Harat ash-Shuwa is a unique architectural ensemble surrounding an open space at its heart with a purpose-built tannur (roasting pit) facility for shuwa (roasting). The space is an important focus of rituals during the Eid festivities. This setting took advantage of natural boulders that originally defined the space to build the structures and has two defined access points. The temporary open market (arsa) that took place in the space north of the meeting hall, Sablat al-Hadayir, is a unique open space that periodically assumed a public character. Here travelling traders would decant their goods and turn the space into a temporary suq, storing their goods and possessions in the storage areas within the undercroft of the sablah. This, and the southern gate, Sabah Dars al-Khisla, combined to provide the face of the settlement. This has entirely reversed with the introduction of vehicular traffic from the north, making the original rear entrance, Sabah al-Mqobrah, the main one.

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EXISTING PRESSURES ON THE SITE’S SIGNIFICANCE Like many other settlement quarters of the Omani Interior, the gradual disappearance of a traditional way of life and the lure of modern amenities are perhaps the most significant threats to old Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. Only a small number of older residents continue to live in the village, while the majority have moved to the new Misfāt development, Harat as-Siban, across the wadi. Loss of clear ownership of both land and built properties resulting from an increase in mostly absentee stakeholders, as well as a lack of a sense of communal ownership of the settlement space and fabric has contributed to neglect and lack of maintenance of both private and community facilities. The falaj system is still very much active and well, ensuring that the gardens are appropriately watered. However, with population depletion and a shift towards fodder crops, the raison d’être of the falaj infrastructure is at stake. The day-to-day agricultural activities are presently undertaken by expatriate labour force, which has its limitations given their poor integration into the society and their knowledge of agrarian activities from a climate and culture distinct from Oman’s. There is a significant waste of agricultural produce. Pastoralist life and the associated crafts and activities are now limited in their significance to the settlement. Semi-nomadic and settled communities traditionally associated with such activities are moving on to contemporary engagements and trades (e.g., government administration roles, building and trading activities). Once again, increasing participation of an expatriate labour force could be discerned within this sector. Unmanaged tourism is also having a negative impact on the fabric of the settlement and the community. As a result of visitor influx, the wear and tear of the fabric has increased through erosion, vibration and other physical impact. Loss of privacy of the settlement’s present inhabitants is a significant concern, which is eroding the traditional way of life.

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4 STRUCTURAL FAILURES AND STATES OF PRESERVATION

4.1 STATE OF PRESERVATION AND FAILURE ANALYSIS An analysis has been carried out of the state of preservation of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn and of the failure types, both structural and non-structural, affecting the traditional building units that still retain, fully or partially, their original fabric. Overall the settlement comprises 80 units, of which 9 are new modern buildings and 2 are open spaces; these 11 units have been excluded from the analysis. Of the remaining 69 units only 45 were analysed, as fieldwork circumstances did not allow to make a complete and sound assessment of all traditional units. This figure includes units that, though not accessible, allowed us to gauge their state of preservation from the outside with a certain degree of accuracy. Figure on page 64 maps the state of preservation within the settlement according to 4 broad categories - adequate/presumably adequate, acceptable, inadequate, ruinous - and has to be read in conjunction with Figure on page 65-, which describes the state of preservation of the 45 units by: • indicating the degree of preservation of the building units; • showing it by means of sample photos; • suggesting actions to be implemented; • identifying and quantifying, in percentages out of the total of building units analysed, those falling into each state of preservation category. The following has to be noted in relation to the mapping:

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• units that could not be documented have been mapped as “not appraisable”; • units that were inhabited have been deemed and mapped as “presumably adequate”; • units consisting in new modern buildings and open spaces have been left unmapped.

Figure on page 66 maps the structural and non-structural failure types affecting the stone envelope of the units taken into consideration. Pathologies have been identified, listed and analysed under broad categories in order to accordingly devise conservation and rehabilitation strategies. Pathologies identified are the result of the combined action of “anthropic” and “natural” degradation factors. The former consist in the physical transformation of the original built fabric, e.g. through addition and juxtaposition of new build made of modern materials – concrete blocks and cement plaster – to the original built fabric made of stone masonry, sarooj mortar and palm tree wood floors. The latter include the action of rainwater, wind, water runoff, water stagnation around the buildings and infiltration from the roofs into the buildings, which then lead to erosion of wall tops and bases, wall surfaces and roofs.

4.2 GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO CONSERVATION AND REHABILITATION The following complementary and interconnected guidelines must lead any intervention to be carried out on the stone masonry fabric of the settlement for conservation and rehabilitation purposes: • authenticity, in both material and form which means that in the work of conservation of a structure which is part of a group, partially or fully, not only must the total authenticity not be diminished but the overall integrity of the group has to be enhanced too; • neutrality, which means that in the work of conservation of a structure its character must neither be enhanced nor degraded. Once a structure has been restored and therefore rehabilitated the best way to preserve it from future deterioration is to use it. Its continued utilisation, even if for a new purpose, will pose a need for regular upkeep which should in turn discourage neglect. The alteration or extension of a building structure for its adaptive reuse requires a degree of spatial flexibility which earthen construction has, given its informal and plastic nature.

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If reuse builds upon these intrinsic characteristics earthen structures are able to meet the requirements and standards of present-day uses without losing their essential qualities. With reference to the degrees of preservation of the settlement, conservation strategies will have to meet the following: • structures in an “adequate” state of preservation: refurbishment alterations will be carried out in a way that respects he scale, massing, form, materials and the social status of the structure as well as the architectural composition and skyline of the cluster to which it belongs (no new construction, demolition or modification which would alter the relations of mass and colour must be allowed according to art. 6 of the Venice Charter, 1964); • structures in “adequate”, “presumably adequate”, “acceptable” and “inadequate” states of preservation: the original fabric will be retained as much as possible to be consolidated, renewed and refurbished; • structures in “acceptable” and “inadequate” states of preservation: missing elements – walls, floors, ceilings, staircases – will be replaced with new elements clearly distinguishable by material, form, grain, construction or texture from the original structure. Replacements of missing parts must integrate harmoniously with the whole, but at the same time must be distinguishable from the original so that restoration does not falsify the artistic or historic evidence (Art. 12 of the Venice Charter, 1964). Any extra work which is indispensable must be distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp (art. 9 of the Venice Charter, 1964); • structures in “inadequate” and “ruinous” states of preservation: consolidation will be carried out by employing the most suitable available technologies at the time of intervention (where traditional materials prove inadequate, the consolidation of a monument can be achieved by the use of any modern technique for conservation and construction, the efficacy of which has been shown by scientific data and roved by experience, art. 10 of The Venice Charter, 1964).

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• repair must be preceded by investigation into construction aspects - soil content, clay type, pH value, sarooj composition in mortar and plaster, strength of materials - climate aspects - relative humidity and temperature both inside and outside the building units - environmental aspects - thermal conductivity of walls and temperature of floors - use aspects - changes made to the structure which might have caused failure; • repair must take into account the results of recording and documentation in terms of historical background, social status, spatial organization and construction of the structures; • repair must take into account social, cultural and economic driving factors such as the need for local employment, maintenance of tradition and training; • repair must achieve a balance between the materials required for the intervention and the requirements of tradition; • repair must be fully documented and archived throughout works.

GUIDANCE NOTES

1. For the purpose of having an as accurate as possible mapping of failure types, these have been identified only in building units documented both graphically and photographically, that have maintained their original fabric unaltered (“old buildings”) or have been modernized to a little extent (“modernized old buildings”). Under these circumstances the total number of mapped units is 10. 2. Only building units where each type of failure is clearly distinguishable and unequivocally classifiable have been included in the analysis and mapping. 3. Presumably all building units underwent a stage where each relevant failure type occurred, even though currently there is no clear evidence of it.

4.3 GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO REPAIR ACTIONS 4.4 STRUCTURAL AND NON-STRUCTURAL FAILURE TYPES The following methodological criteria must be met in implementing the general repair measures: • repair must be necessary, reversible, the minimum required to achieve the proposed result and compatible with the original fabric; • repair must be preceded by investigation of the reason for failure, so that recurring failure can be prevented by appropriately dealing with the causes of damage and making good effectively;

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Based on the above analysis, the following failure types have been identified and related repair measures suggested. It is important to bear in mind that repair measures refer to individual failure types in isolation; they are by no means to be looked at as resolving more complex situations where one particular failure may have developed as a consequence of and concurrently with others.

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State of Preservation

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SURFACE EROSION All units are, to a different extent, affected. External wall surfaces are generally more deeply affected than partition walls due to prolonged exposure to wind and rain action. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall vertical surfaces Action 1 (repair of non-structural voids): introduction of selected fillers, which exclude expansive clay fractions, such as sulphate-free pulverized fly ash (PFA)/lime mortar. Cons: the filler is different from the original thus posing problems of visual acceptability. Action 2 (repair of fabric losses): application of a sarooj render to the wall. Pros: the thin coat of material takes up shrinkage in the depth of the application, so the wall surface, drawing moisture from the applied material by capillary action, reaches a compatible state at the interface and, consequently, an adequate bond is formed under pressure of application. Notes: • where structural cohesion is important the introduction of fibreglass or other reinforcing rods can be considered; • where additional tensile strength is required, synthetic fibre may be introduced. During the process of introduction temporary support may be required and this should always be provided using a soft or compressive pad at the point of transfer of load.

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DETACHMENT OF COATINGS “A” The peeling off produced by this type of failure is accentuated on walls that are exposed to the weather, with a predominance of external walls. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall vertical surfaces Method (repair of fabric losses): application of a sarooj render to the wall. Pros: the thin coat of material takes up shrinkage in the depth of the application, so the wall surface, drawing moisture Notes: • where structural cohesion is important the introduction of fibreglass or other reinforcing rods can be considered; • where additional tensile strength is required, synthetic fibre may be introduced. During the process of introduction temporary support may be required and this should always be provided using a soft or compressive pad at the point of transfer of load.

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DETACHMENT OF COATINGS “B” Mostly walls rendered in a material different from the masonry underneath are affected. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall vertical surfaces Method (repair of fabric losses): application of a sarooj render to the wall. Pros: the thin coat of material takes up shrinkage in the depth of the application, so the wall surface, drawing moisture from the applied material by capillary action, reaches a compatible state at the interface and, consequently, an adequate bond is formed under pressure of application. Notes: • where structural cohesion is important the introduction of fibreglass or other reinforcing rods can be considered; • where additional tensile strength is required, synthetic fibre may be introduced. During the process of introduction temporary support may be required and this should always be provided using a soft or compressive pad at the point of transfer of load.

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COATING CRACKS Cracking of wall coatings is particularly marked on the inner faces of external and partition walls, which are less deteriorated by surface erosion. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall vertical surfaces Method (filling of non-structural cracks): application of a sarooj render to the wall, with characteristics, particularly moisture content, as similar as possible to the original cracked coating.

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WALL CRACKS Wall cracks are generally marked at wall junctions, around openings and niches and construction weakness areas. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of structural voids Method a (filling of structural voids where stones lack contact): tamping of stones and earth mortar (e.g. mixtures of fly-ash, brick dust and lime). Work phases to be carried out: 1. cut out cavity to adequate depth and regular shape; 2. dampen the backing of the cavity; 3. drive in natural or manufactured interlocking mechanisms, such as pieces of stone, helical bars and tiles, randomly regular and avoiding courses; 4. tamp in infill material in layers of maximum 100 mm. Notes: • the infill should be a material free of the problem of shrinkage and with characteristics of thermal movement, strength, resilience, loading and self-weight comparable with an earth structure; • materials to be used to produce it should meet the requirements of a synthetic gap filling component for earth structures, have an indefinite life and conform to the requirements of reversibility (by removal) and identifiability. Method b (filling of structural voids where stones are in contact): tamping of a plastic earth or sarooj fill depending on original material. Work phases to be carried out: 1. cut out cavity to maximum of half-depth of wall including the crack; 2. dampen the backing of the cavity; 3. lay in mesh (terylene, fabric, expanded aluminium etc.) against backing; 4. tamp in infill material in layers of maximum 50 mm. Notes: it is possible to provide shuttering behind which the earth is tamped in, to achieve effective consolidation. An alternative to tamping the fill against the mesh is tamping in a mix of terylene and chopped random fibres, in layers of maximum 50 mm.

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DETACHMENT OF BUILT FABRIC Detachment of sections of built fabric occurs predominantly at junctions of walls built with same or different materials. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall displacements Method (filling of structural gaps): non-invasive structural grouting through injection of limeor earth-based fluid mortars or adhesives to fill discontinuities and reintegrate detached wall sections.

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LOSS OF BUILT FABRIC Loss of stones occurs indiscriminately across the masonry structure. Loss of entire built fabric portions is pronounced in areas above ground level. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of missing elements Method (filling of structural voids): reinstatement of missing stones and injection of noninvasive structural grouting of lime- or earth-based fluid mortars or adhesives to fill voids and make insertions adhere to the original structure.

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5 PRINCIPLES AND APPROACHES TO HERITAGE CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT

INTRODUCTION In accordance with the Venice Charter on Conservation (1964) and the ICOMOS Conservation Charter (2004) this chapter sets out the ways in which the significant values of the settlement, its integrity, and the heritage and material culture are to be safeguarded within a context of sympathetic development. Following the establishment of a broad philosophy, a set of general policies for development and conservation are discussed. This is followed by a set of detailed guidelines for restoration, consolidation, rebuilding and redevelopment measures (cf. definitions below).

5.1 PHILOSOPHY OF DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION: PRINCIPLES The following are 10 key principles the Heritage Management Plan and associated Master Plan intend to embrace and develop further with special reference to the hārah (Table 5.1):

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PRINCIPLE NUMBER

DESCRIPTION OF PRINCIPLE

P1

Minimum intervention

P2

Reversibility

P3

Retention of buildings, settlements and context: conserve vistas, views, spaces and enclosures and sensitively interpret as necessary

P4

Anthropological (i.e., people centred) approach to heritage management and reuse

P5

Integration of the younger generation through reuse and interpretation of the site

P6

Private and public sector engagement – organisational and individual stakeholder cooperation

P7

A combined bottom-up and top-down approach via the Misfāt Community Cooperative

P8

Introducing functional diversity – possible/ compatible uses for existing buildings through innovative thinking

P9

Sustainable management and conservation

P10

New buildings not copy, replica or pastiche but interpretation: buildings ‘of their time’

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Protection and Conservation

5.2 APPROACHES TO DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION 5.2.1 THAT ALL SIGNIFICANT ASPECTS OF THE SETTLEMENT MORPHOLOGY, FORTIFICATION, TOWNSCAPE, STRUCTURES (INSTITUTIONAL AND RESIDENTIAL), IRRIGATION AND AGRICULTURE BE RETAINED, SAFEGUARDED, CONSOLIDATED, RESTORED AND WHEREVER APPROPRIATE REBUILT, TO PRESERVE THE IDENTITY, INTEGRITY AND AUTHENTICITY OF THE SITE.

The identity of the settlement depends on the retention of all significant material, socio-cultural and historic characteristics amidst development that is both necessary and inevitable. Development should not overwhelm the past; rather, development needs to be carefully managed and integrated with heritage to retain the identity of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn . The significant aspects have been identified in earlier chapters (3 & 4). However, further issues are expected to emerge from the necessary additional studies/analysis identified below to extend our knowledge of the infrastructural and socio-cultural aspects (§5.5).

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opportunities presented by the juxtaposition of traditional and modern contexts, as long as it does not compromise the essential integrity of the traditional settlement and its fabric.

5.2.4 THE USE AND APPLICATION OF TRADITIONAL METHODS AND TECHNIQUES OF CONSTRUCTION AND USE OF MATERIALS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS ARE TO BE ENCOURAGED.

This should especially be the case where a ‘significant’ component or fragment is required to be rebuilt or where the character and integrity of the structure would be lost through the use of new materials and/ or construction systems. It would also be possible to employ new techniques of construction to traditional materials or, in some cases, employing traditional construction methods to modern materials. Salvaged building materials and architectural components, wherever possible and relevant, should be reused. Such hybrid construction would still allow for making the clear distinction required under §5.2.3.

5.2.5 A LINK NEEDS TO BE ESTABLISHED BETWEEN MODERN-DAY ASPIRATIONS AND 5.2.2 THAT ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE SYMPATHETIC TO THE CULTURAL AND MATERIAL HERITAGE OF THE SETTLEMENT.

All development should respect and remain subservient to the rich cultural and material heritage of the Al-Hamra area. Development should not in any way become overbearing – urbanistically, architecturally and otherwise visually. Further studies identified below (§5.5) are crucial to establish a comprehensive picture of the dynamic nature of this heritage. This will demand a knowledge-based yet creative approach to establishing policies, strategies, master plan and all interventions. An experienced multi-disciplinary team, which will draw from latest methodology and techniques, should be entrusted with addressing all aspects of development, conservation and heritage management.

5.2.ALL NEW-BUILD AND EXTENSION SHOULD BE CLEARLY DISTINGUISHABLE FROM EXISTING AND ‘AUTHENTIC’ BUILDING AND SETTLEMENT FABRIC.

All alterations and additions should reflect the culture of its time and therefore should employ materials and construction systems relevant to the present. Hybrid systems engaging traditional materials and methods may be introduced to allude to the complex culture of today. The materials and construction methods chosen for new-builds and extensions should explore the full range of

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CONTINUATION OF AGE-OLD METHODS OF LIVELIHOOD AND CULTURE.

New programmes would need to establish the fine balance between the continued and very welcome existence of traditional life and those demanded by the globalised environment and societal change. Continued sustenance of the traditional ways of life gives the settlement its character and identity and is clearly an important socio-cultural and economic resource. Requirements emerging from societal changes driven by shifts in the globalised culture and economy, on the other hand, demands careful attention from the developmental perspective. Economics, employment, education, cultural and social development should be considered. Wherever feasible, traditional industry and economic methods should be safeguarded (e.g., agriculture, crafts, infrastructure – irrigation systems and tertiary sectors dependent on traditional economics and modes of production). The nature and scale of new programmes to be introduced should be considered carefully – what size of production, its appropriateness, etc. A large scale ‘modern’ industrial production is certainly inappropriate for small locations such as the hārah of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. However, a scaled down and modified or partial production might work, with a larger industrial component situated outside the vernacular environment. Decoupling of industrial production with careful consideration of impact of specific components of the processes might need to be carefully and creatively thought through. Cross programming should be considered to avoid zoned restrictions.

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Principles and approaches to conservation

5.2.6 A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE ADOPTED TO ACHIEVE A BALANCED AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE WHICH IS IN SYMPATHY WITH THE PAST.

Such studies should take the entire oasis and its setting into account. Development needs, therefore, would have to be established for the entire oasis and not for a constituent settlement in isolation. In the light of the research being currently conducted, the present report thus calls for a revision of existing regional planning strategies and policies to integrate heritage management as a crucial component of development. A regional approach should be adopted for the establishment of use patterns for settlements. It stands to reason that a Dakhliya-wide plan is needed to consider the range and hierarchy of settlements for reuse. The strategy should be drawn up keeping significance and aspirations in mind. A regional significance hierarchy should be established to ascertain the importance of settlements and should be aligned with national and regional development policy and growth plans. Regional development plans, therefore, should include a comprehensive understanding of the extant historical settlements and fabric. The region-wide strategy will help avoid duplication and repetition of provisions (e.g., too many museums). It will avoid stresses and strains on limited infrastructure and resources.

5.2.7 A FULL EVALUATION OF ALL CONVENTIONALLY AVAILABLE AND STANDARDISED STRATEGIES SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN BEFORE EMBRACING ANY OF THOSE AS ACCEPTABLE APPROACHES.

An example of this would be the often uncritical adoption of tourism as a universal panacea for heritage settlements. While this sector is certainly to play an important role, on its own it will fail to ensure sustainable heritage management. Less direct tourism might be worth considering – resulting in more ecologically and socially appropriate tourism. Tourism need to be also considered in terms of its very local nature – not just as international or Arab regional tourism (GCC/ Arab world); this is often overlooked. Increasing sensitive and sustainable local tourism (even within the governorate of e.g., Dhakhliya) would introduce a rich palette of experiences across visitor groups.

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5.3 GENERAL POLICIES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION The following general policies are envisaged to form the basic framework for development planning and conservation initiatives in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn.

5.3.1 ESTABLISHMENT OF A BUFFER ZONE TO SAFEGUARD THE SETTLEMENT, ITS INTEGRITY AND ITS VISUAL APPEARANCE.

This would ensure that the settlement retains its traditional context or limits/ prevents any further damage to it. Additionally, all significant visual corridors need to be conserved, retained and/ or opened up to optimise the significant character of the settlement. A detailed survey needs to be undertaken to identify all significant structures (mosques, sbal, dwellings, water and agricultural infrastructure, etc.) located within the Buffer Zone. Conservation and developmental policies and guidelines established for the settlement will apply to the Buffer Zone to retain integrity.

5.3.2 PRIORITISE ACTION ON ZONES AND STRUCTURES ACCORDING TO HISTORICAL AND STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE TO SETTLEMENT.

Settlement analysis and the Statement of Significance have identified important phases of settlement development and structures that are historically important. Such high-value structures and zones indicative of key phases of development need to be given action priority. Approaches to conservation and development (§5.2.6) have to be established in accordance with the priority list and the value assigned to structures.

5.3.3 ESTABLISH A PHASING PLAN FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION OF STRUCTURES. THE PHASING PLAN WILL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE PHYSICAL STATE OF STRUCTURES, PRIORITIES, APPROACH AND AVAILABLE RESOURCES.

The phasing plan needs to take into account the established priority zones and structures. However, a key issue in that is the physical state of individual structures, their ownership and approaches to conservation and development those would demand. Together, the phasing plan, required approaches and available resources would provide the premises of the Master Plan.

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5.3.4 ESTABLISH SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT WITHIN SETTLEMENT GIVING CONSIDERATION TO OWNERSHIP.

Detailed conservation and development guidelines will have to take into account the ownership and nature of occupation of all structures concerned. A few important issues of ownership and occupation may be highlighted here: Mosques (s. masjid, pl. masajid): While the mosques are used for prayer and congregation by the neighbourhood and the community, its day-to-day running is entrusted with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs. However, physical upkeep of any mosque more than 100 years old falls within the purview of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. All extant traditional mosques are in use and are in an acceptable state of preservation. Meeting halls (s. sablah, pl. sbal) and communal facilities: Male meeting halls are normally owned by a particular tribe. However, in this hārah there is also another distinctive type: those associated with dwellings as private reception lounges (s. majlis, pl. majalis) and under private ownership but also used by the tribe, of which there were comparatively few in Misfāt. While these lie in a state of disuse and dereliction, the socially and historically perceived and actual ownership issues are important considerations in the acquisition of these properties and in the preparation of guidelines and Master Plan. The ownership of other communal facilities, such as roasting pits (tannur), water access and bathing points along the falaj channels, etc., again, needs to be established. Dwellings: the majority of dwellings in Misfāt are still standing to roof height, with about one third of them being locked or inhabited. Throughout the remainder of the settlement, however, the majority of dwellings have suffered partial or total collapse due to the rotting of roof supports and the basal erosion of load bearing walls. In some zones (such as C and B), formerly built up spaces have been partially cleared to create open spaces that are publicly accessible. The status of these zones will have to be re-addressed in the course of Phase-II development.

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phase of the project, it should form part of a broader policy that incorporates the involvement of the private sector, the community and individual residents.

5.3.6 THE CONSERVATION APPROACH SHOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH INTERNATIONAL APPROACHES AND GUIDELINES AND WITH THE PHILOSOPHY OF DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION ESTABLISHED FOR MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN.

Consistent with international guidelines and definitions for conservation and development within historic contexts, the conservation and development proposal will adopt the following distinction in approaches: Restoration: those structures or components of structures that will need careful attention to return to their original condition and appearance. In Misfāt this approach will need to be revised as a substantial part of the hārah has already undergone intervention prior to documentation. Consolidation: physical addition and the application of adhesive or supporting material to retain the architectonic, visual and structural stability of the ensemble. It will also involve the removal of all debris and organic and inorganic waste deposited on site. Usable and significant architectural and constructional components will be salvaged and treated for reuse. Rebuilding: considerable reconstruction based on available documentation and conjecture to give the structure its earlier and more authentic appearance. Redevelopment: new build with an established and restricted context of architectural operation. In Misfāt this should be directed towards either, i) sites presently lying empty and earmarked for development or, ii) properties in such a state of severe dereliction so as to demand immediate clearance and redevelopment.

5.4 GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION

OF TOURISM TO ESTABLISH POLICY AND STRATEGY FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ALL RELEVANT LAND AND PROPERTIES CURRENTLY UNDER PRIVATE OWNERSHIP. ACQUISITION COULD WORK IN TANDEM WITH A STRATEGY TO INVOLVE THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

Acquisition of important properties is critical to the successful application of the Master Plan and phasing programme. All possible strategies and approaches related to acquisition, including a range of incentive measures, need to be given consideration. While acquisition is important for the early

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All guidelines for development and conservation have been developed consistent with the development and conservation philosophy and policies established above. The settlement has not been treated as a mere assemblage of built structures and artefacts, but specific attention has been given to the present state of life and future aspirations of the inhabitants, ownership status of structures and the opportunity for public-private partnership. The guidelines are put forward with a view that the private sector, owner-occupiers and individuals with ownership of properties within the two hārahs will take an active interest and part in the development and conservation initiative

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to move towards the holistic goal. A set of general guidelines for development and conservation in the hārah is followed by a set of more specific developmental/design guidelines applicable to specific sites, buildings and structures to be redeveloped or rebuilt. The dwellings are given special attention in the light of their numerical dominance, the opportunities they present, the concerning state of preservation, and their development and conservation potential. It is envisaged that the guidelines will be held under regular review and refinement as the project progresses.

5.4.1 GENERAL GUIDELINES

The following general guidelines will be applicable to all development and conservation measures: • The morphology of the original phase of the features, or the phases deemed to be of most significance, will be safeguarded and/ or highlighted to preserve the identity, integrity and authenticity of the site. • All reasonable attempts will be made to ensure the appropriate, and if possible, authentic reuse for any redundant components and features. It will be ensured that the new or continued inauthentic use of features does not distort or distract from the identified significance of older features or the wider traditional assemblage. • Traditional materials will be used wherever and whenever practicable during construction works within the settlement, whether the aim is to consolidate and/or to rebuild existing traditionally constructed buildings or in the construction of new buildings for domestic or commercial purposes. • Where rebuilding is required to preserve a building or structure of significance, all attempts will be made to clearly distinguish those reconstructed elements which are based on accurate archaeological and architectural documentation and those which are merely founded on conjecture. • Maximum understanding of the architectural features and social values will be achieved prior to any intervention – whether the aim is to consolidate, rebuild or redevelop – and this intervention will always be reserved to the minimum required to achieve those aims. Where analysis dictates that preservation in situ of a traditionally constructed building is unwarranted, then it will be preserved by record. This documentation will be approached as though one was recording an archaeological monument. • All measures will be taken to remove debris, hazardous construction, organic and inorganic waste from site. Adequate measures will be taken to prevent any future disposal of such waste on site and to manage and safely dispose of all household and commercial waste in future.

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All reusable building material and architectural components will be salvaged, catalogued and stored for reuse. • Any development in the area shall be according to the approved Master Plan.

5.4.2 DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR REDEVELOPMENT

The following general Design Guidelines will be adopted for all redevelopment within Misfāt al‘Abriyīn: • All efforts will be undertaken to ensure that existing vistas are retained and not blocked with any new construction. • Any new development should respect and respond to the topographic conditions. Inappropriate cut and fill of the site shall not be allowed. • All defensive features and traditional open spaces next to defensive features shall be retained. • All existing dead end alleys and internal courtyards shall be retained and no encroachments will be allowed.

• terracotta or wooden water spouts; • local timber for doors and windows; • traditional water proofing and protective materials.

Modern materials such as steel/aluminium/glass, etc., may be judiciously and appropriately used along with traditional materials in the development of proposed facility buildings. However, such design shall in no way distort the traditional setting, and the identity, integrity and authenticity of the area. For all buildings chosen for restoration, consolidation or rebuilding, care should be taken while positioning the doors and windows. In dwellings facing each other windows should be staggered so that no window opens facing another window. Similar principle may be adopted for the relative positioning of doors to ensure that no doors are directly facing each other, and views in from one dwelling to another is restricted.

• The traditional sinuous building line shall be maintained wherever possible.

Traditional arched recess or arched opening employing traditional decorative elements may be adopted in traditional dwellings. Timber doors and windows of appropriate traditional design and construction may be used.

• No development shall be higher than the property it is attached to or 8 metres whichever is lower.

Any ventilation and/or air conditioning equipment should not in any way impinge upon the visual integrity of the dwellings. Air-conditioning and ventilation equipment should be suitably obscured.

• The height, scale and composition of any new construction should be in conformity with the compositional order and rhythm of the adjoining buildings, unless photographic and other forms of documentation suggest otherwise.

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5.4.3 DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR COMMUNAL FACILITIES. THE GENERAL APPROACH TO ALL EXTANT COMMUNAL BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES OR FOR WHICH SOME PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (E.G., FOUNDATION, RUINS, ETC.) EXISTS, WILL BE AS

The traditional palette of materials and construction systems will be restricted to those found within Misfāt, such as the following: • stone for foundations and walls; • mud brick for walls; • mud plaster (clay/sarooj) for external and internal rendering; • clay/stone flooring; • timber or date palm beams, reed/date-palm matting, compacted mud for composite flooring and roofing;

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FOLLOWS:

• All extant significant components and elements which have suffered deterioration are to be restored and/ or consolidated. • All significant components and elements which have suffered significant damage or have disappeared but for which documentary evidence exists, are to be rebuilt. • All other components are to be rebuilt using either traditional materials or making clear their conjectural nature through the use of adapted traditional/modern materials/constructional systems, as deemed appropriate. • All communal structures for which some physical evidence exists will be retained and

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consolidated. • All communal buildings and structures are to be reused for communal or touristic purposes with appropriate programmatic strategy for adaptive reuse. • All communal facilities within Misfāt will be covered in Phase-1 of the HMP proposal and will have elaborate guidelines and constructional directives through the Tender Documents.

5.4.4 DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR DWELLINGS

Traditional construction (rented) An incentive-based approach has to be adopted to deal with and encourage maintenance and appropriate extension and rebuilding of traditional properties under ownership. This approach will have to take into account and offset the discouraging effect of the present poor level of rent.

Case B: Buildings (vacant/derelict) identified to be rebuilt 1. Footprint: The footprint of the building shall follow the existing plot boundary and shall not exceed the area of the existing dwelling.

The following approach is to be adopted for the various categories of dwellings. Clear guidelines will be established for all dwelling types.

2. Façade: The façade of the dwelling shall follow the line of the adjacent structure on the main street frontage.

Traditional construction (vacant and/or derelict).

3. Internal Spatial Configuration: The internal spatial configuration should be sympathetically retained wherever possible. For buildings subjected to adaptive re-use an indication of the original spatial configuration should be maintained with appropriate architectural treatment.

Ministry of Heritage and Culture, in conjunction with Ministry of Tourism, should establish policy and strategy for acquisition or ownership of all relevant properties under this category for consolidation and adaptive reuse. Phasing will be taken into account to establish whether the structures are to be demolished, receive façade treatment or have internal restoration and rebuilding. Traditional construction (owner-occupied) An incentive-based approach has to be adopted to deal with and encourage maintenance and appropriate extension and rebuilding of the small number of traditional properties under continued ownership (owner-occupied/absentee landlord). However, extension or rebuilding should be of traditional construction and guided by the following set of criteria.

4. Material of Construction: Modern materials such as steel/aluminium/glass etc. may be judiciously and appropriately used along with traditional materials. However, such design shall in no way disturb the traditional setting and the identity, the integrity and the authenticity of the area. 5. Height: The height of the new building shall not be greater than the height of the original structure and, if appropriate, consistent with the height of the neighbouring dwellings. 6. Architectural Elements: All individual architectural elements, such as carved doors, surface decoration, decorative motifs – internal and external – need to be carefully noted and restored/ retained.

Case C: Buildings (vacant/derelict) identified to be consolidated Case A: Guidelines for vacant sites

The conservation measures to be adopted for such buildings shall be determined on the basis of the extent of dereliction. If the building is of low heritage value and of high dereliction, it may be demolished and the land subjected to redevelopment. Otherwise the building may be consolidated or rebuilt.

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1. Footprint: The footprint of the building shall follow the existing plot boundary and shall not exceed the area of the existing building. 2. Structural Members: Structural elements employed for the consolidation of the building should be judiciously used so as not to impinge upon the visual integrity and authenticity of the building and the area.

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Principles and approaches to conservation

5.5 ADDITIONAL STUDIES AND ANALYSES The following additional studies will be necessary to complete our understanding of Misfāt. This is crucial to a holistic approach to addressing development and conservation within the settlement suggested earlier. For this, it is also important to undertake further complementary studies on the broader Al-Hamra region, and in particular the mountain settlement of Jabal Akhdar.

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Case E: Redevelopment

Building activity will only be permitted within defined areas and under strict development guidance. Defined areas shall be identified through study of available/ cleared property (existing) and the ones thought to be beyond repair and of low heritage value. Any new building shall be constructed as per the following rules: 1. Footprint: The footprint of the dwelling shall follow the existing plot boundary. 2. Height: The new building shall not be higher than the property it is attached to or 8 m. whichever is lower.

Case D: Modification/Extension of traditional mud structure Proposals for the modification or improvement of traditional buildings through extension or enlargement shall be permitted if the plans do not detract from the character of the hārah and strictly adhere to the following design criteria:

3. Material of Construction: Modern materials such as steel/aluminium/glass etc. may be judiciously and appropriately used along with traditional materials in the development of proposed facility buildings. However, such design shall in no way disturb the traditional setting and the identity, integrity and authenticity of the area.

1. General: The proposed extension should not lead to net loss of agricultural land nor should it lead to the demolition and/or damage of any adjoining traditional structure. 2. Location: The proposed extension shall be located at the rear or side of the dwelling. 3. Height: The proposed extension should not be higher than any of the neighbouring buildings or 8 metres whichever is lower. 4. Floor Space: For single storey extensions, the additional floor space to be created shall not be more than 50% of the existing ground floor area. However, for two-storey extensions, the floor area shall represent not more than 50% of the net area of the upper and lower floors. 5. Façade Treatment: The position and form of external features and openings within the proposed extension including the façade, walls, doorways, windows, floors and roofs shall be of a similar design and finish to the existing structure to limit visual intrusion. Any ventilation and/or air conditioning equipment should not in any way impinge upon the visual integrity of the dwellings. 6. Building Permits: In considering building permits for extension to existing dwellings the policies under Case B shall apply.

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6 TOURISM ECONOMICS STUDY

6.1 VISITOR NUMBERS AND SUSTAINABILITY - Quality before quantity

Consultations with leaders and representatives of the local community and members of the Misfāt Development Cooperative have indicated that the local stakeholders wish to manage the number of visitors who arrive at Misfāt in a sustainable manner. The concern is that overly large numbers of outsiders will disrupt the daily goings on and the privacy of the local stakeholders. The adverse impact of large tourist numbers on the heritage fabric of the settlement and the sustenance of its intangible aspects could also be significant. Tourism, it is proposed, is to be regarded as a complementary source of income rather than an exclusive one. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the overall touristic potential for Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn is of great importance for the local economy and that of the broader region. In this sense it is important to retain the exclusive character of the site rather than to attempt to create ‘mass-tourism’ for the sake of rapid gains. The highly sensitive natural and social balance of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn and its oasis are what create the great appeal of the site and it must be preserved at all costs if the revenue stream to be gained from tourism is to be sustained into the future. We estimate that a peak carrying capacity of around 600 persons per day could be managed sustainably during the peak season (October - April). An even higher figure of about 1000 visitors

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per day has been suggested during Eid festivities, which may be sustained over a very short window of 5 to 6 days. However, it is recommended that a lower number of daily visitors be considered for the optimal sustainability of the heritage fabric and given the current average annual visitation numbers. Of this, up to 175 would stay in the various overnight accommodations provided within and around Harat al-Bilad and Harat as-Siban. The intention is to cap the number of visitors that are within the settlement at any given hour to a maximum of 85 over 7 hours per day, though it is unlikely that many visitors will arrive before 10 am. At this rate the people are expected to spread out over the village and oasis without causing too much disruption to the local population while still being a sufficiently large number to fill restaurants, shops and other facilities to generate substantial revenue (see tables and breakdown at the end of this chapter). Consistent with the carrying capacity of the community, this number is deemed acceptable as a positive and structured growth over the average numbers of tourists currently visiting Misfāt on a daily basis. Towards the end of the lean season / beginning of the tourist season (e.g., October 2014), the visitor numbers counted were in the tens, significantly lower than the suggested figure. Without a doubt, substantial and effective marketing efforts will be necessary from the MoT and all stakeholders concerned to build up and sustain such a high number over an extended period of time. Exceptions in visitor numbers should be made for educational purposes such as school visits. We envisage a visit to Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn to be an educational experience for both the young and the old, Omanis and foreigners. In particular, children should be encouraged to learn about the traditional lifestyles and technologies of their ancestors. We feel it to be important to adopt a phased approach to the development of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn as tourist destination. The site development is to be implemented in three phases of two years each, with gradual increments of daily visitor numbers starting at 200 in Phase-1, moving on to 400 in Phase-2 and finally 600 in Phase-3, to address priorities, allow for the gradual adaptation of the community and facilities to the influx, as well as achieve an equitable distribution of resource allocation. We do not recommend aiming for a figure of 1000 daily visitors over the year. While we acknowledge that during certain festive days this number of people could be reached, a daily occurrence over any significant period of time is unsustainable for the built and intangible heritage of Misfāt and its community. This figure, currently unprecedented for sites of a similar character in the region, would also require large amounts of additional facilities and infrastructure which would adversely affect Misfāt’s unique character and thus erode the business case for the project. Reasons for which to avoid visitor numbers in excess of 600: • The small population of around 180 people currently inhabiting Harat al-Bilad, which would

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be completely overwhelmed. The community has voiced its opposition to such large number of foreigner influx; • 1000 daily visitors would require about a large number of additional parking spaces (c. 200), in addition to those for the local community; • the natural character and appearance of the village would be irreversibly eroded.

While it is difficult to make any certain projection in the potential rise of visitor numbers into the next decade, it is proposed here that if there is a significant rise in numbers MoT’s investment should be spread over various sites rather than concentrating on a single one. Thus, rather than expanding Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn to accommodate 1000 daily visitors it would be a better long term solution to distribute them over 4 separate villages at 250 each. The resulting preservation in quality and authenticity will permit premium pricing and greater revenue at a lower social cost. Additionally, it would spread gains and revenue over a region, rather than concentrating these into one single community and risking tensions with neighbuoring communities.

6.2 STUDY BACKGROUND AND CASE STUDY IDENTIFICATION This study, originally initiated by external consultants Bone Wells Urbecon, examined the costs and revenues associated with an increased number of visitors in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn – overnight accommodation, entrance fees and tourism products – which could be developed in the village, largely through refurbishment of existing residential properties and controlling vehicular access to the site. The study examined tourism trends in broad terms, since data was not available for specific settlements like Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. Some information was obtained from a small survey of households in the village, and another survey was undertaken of tourism operators, although the amount of information obtained was limited. A large number of the latter (listed in the website ‘destinationoman.com’) had telephone numbers which appeared to be unconnected, even in working hours, and many of those that were contacted did not have very good records for the number of tourists they served. Since the 2014 study was completed, the ArCHIAM research team at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has developed scenarios for tourism expansion at Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn which include a larger number of bedspaces, supporting infrastructure including physical development

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like car parking and a coach park, a hotel, facilities such as street lighting, cafés and restaurants, and social infrastructure like training, retail and meeting facilities and a children’s playground. The work benefits from extensive research of local settlements and preparation of plans with restoration proposals such as that undertaken for Mudayrib in the Sharqiya Governorate over 2013-15.

6. 3 STUDY CONTEXT – OVERALL GROWTH IN VISITOR NUMBERS The study of tourism development at Misfāt completed in 2014 showed the growth of tourism visitor numbers to Oman as a whole and to forts and castles over the period 2006-13. Table 1 below provides updates of visitor figures to over 2005-14. It can be seen how overall tourism traffic has been buoyant, with a doubling of total visitors and an increase in tourists visits to forts and castles of 83% over this period. There has, therefore, been a significant increase in the interest tourists have shown in visiting historic buildings.

2014 2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008 2007

2006

Total visitors (1) 2,224 2,162 2,064 1,395 1,502 1,587

1,615 1,360

1,385

All visitors to forts & castles (2)

257.6 208.0 186.2

176.8 201.6 196.2

216.3 207.5

203.1

Tourist visitors to forts & castles (3)

92.3

127.6

108.9

100.2 102.1

102.6

119.7

105.7

103.8

(3) as % of (1)

4.2%

6.0%

5.3%

7.2%

6.5%

7.4%

7.9%

7.5%

6.8%

Source: Ministry of Tourism - Sultanate of Oman 2014

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has appreciated that part of Oman’s attraction has been its legacy of historic artefacts, of which the existence of historic forts and castles has been a major attraction to visitors. However, since tourist visitors to forts and castles are a small proportion of total visitors, there should be scope to increase the numbers visiting this type of attraction.

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CURRENT POLICY AND PRACTICE REGARDING HISTORIC BUILDINGS AND SETTLEMENTS

In recent years the government of Oman has embarked on a large scale restoration programme for its historic forts and castles, such that many (e.g. Bahla, Nizwa and Jabrin) are now firmly on the tourism circuit as major attractions. While some of them could serve as tourism destinations in their own right, most of them feature as part of a tourism itinerary which provides experiences of travel into the mountains and visits to major towns. The number of tourists visiting old villages like Misfāt is likely to be far fewer, but the absence of records makes this difficult to estimate. The responsibility for restoration and tourism promotion for Oman’s heritage sites has been shared between the Ministries of Heritage and Culture (MHC) and Tourism (MOT), the former carrying out restoration and repairs and the latter providing staffing and managing the forts for tourist visitors. This is an ongoing programme, for example the restoration of the largest fort in the country, Bahla, was completed fairly recently by the MHC and has been handed over to the MOT. Forts and castles are important both for the preservation of Oman’s heritage and for the attraction of tourists, and considerable lessons have been learnt and progress has been made in their restoration (e.g. Biancifiori 1994). They have become a very important part of Oman’s tourism offer, appreciated by more educated and higher income visitors, which Oman is targeting The Sultanate’s government has recognised the tourism potential of its historic forts and castles and has made substantial investments in their repair and rehabilitation. The Ministry of Tourism now publishes a specific brochure on forts and castles with summaries for 16 of them. Visits to these are now an integral part of many tourism itineraries, with local tour operators offering guided tours around inland Oman which include such visits. These sometimes include visits to old settlements but only to a limited extent, and if they are on an existing tourism route. From discussion with tour operators and our observations, there are a number of reasons why historic settlements in Oman have been relatively neglected from a tourism perspective. These include lack of knowledge about their history and characteristics on the part of tour operators and the practical problem of lack of accommodation. This is particular difficulty where old villages and some towns do not lie on the main tourism and highway routes. Nizwa and Bahla for example have hotel accommodation but they are on major roads.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR TOURISM

al-‘Abriyīn would investigate how such historic areas and buildings could be promoted as a natural extension to the more established attractions of historic forts and castles. Thus tourists would still come to visit the major historic forts, but their experience would be greatly improved by the opportunity to look at some older historic areas of towns and villages. There are, moreover, possibilities for reuse with new activities and sensitive interventions that would enable them to be conserved. Careful, on-going maintenance by the local communities themselves and their renewed interest in preserving their built heritage – indications of which are beginning to emerge in settlements such as Al-‘Aqr in Bahla and Al-Wusta in Al-Hamra – could be an important part of the restoration and conservation programme.

6.4 MISFĀT AL-’ABRIYĪN AS A CASE STUDY Misfāt exhibits and number of features ans characteristics which make it an ideal case for sensible touristic development. The principal ones among these are the following: • has a significant number of old buildings and areas which would be attractive historic sites following rehabilitation; • is fairly accessible in relation to existing tourism routes; • has experienced some population loss through residents leaving the village for Muscat and larger towns for employment; hence provision of tourism facilities could create new employment opportunities and help to reduce or reverse depopulation; • there is one existing accommodation facility in the village (Misfāt Old House), which provides an example for similar small scale facilities to be developed; • a café and gift shop is currently under construction, which would provide an opportunity for additional tourism expenditure and employment creation.

As described in previous chapters Misfāt has an important historic and heritage background while having many buildings in poor physical condition. Accordingly building renovation has the dual potential to improve the quality of the local environment for residents and provide tourism opportunities and interest for visitors.

The restoration of historic settlements has been given much less attention than forts and castles, but they provide a potentially large and valuable addition to tourist interest. The study for Misfāt

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PHYSICAL CONTEXT

With about 500 inhabitants, Misfāt village (see Figure 1) consists of several areas of housing located in hilly surroundings with steep slopes some of which date back 800 years. Close to one of the three main settlement areas on a prominent outcrop can be seen the remains of an ancient Persian castle (Figure 2) strengthening the general impression of an historically interesting area. The traditional building is characterised by densely packed stone and mud brick buildings overlooking stepped agricultural terraces. This setting is distinctive and naturally attractive to tourists. The condition of buildings is mixed, with a considerable number of newer housing with modern driveways close to much older and often derelict properties, with debris and waste strewn around. The owners of many of these have deserted the village and gone to live and work in Muscat. However, with reasonable proximity to larger towns such as al-Hamra, Bahla and Nizwa, and to other tourist attractions such as al-Huta cave and Jabal Shams (for trekking), the village possesses locational advantages for tourism development that many other small settlements do not. In particular the many paths across the mountains offer trekking and climbing opportunities, a tourism sector which is rapidly growing in Oman.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITIES

Electricity was only introduced in 1996, and the village has limited space for parking. There is no tourist accommodation apart from Misfāt Old House and, other than two basic food outlets serving local villagers, no shops or restaurants and cafés. However, following the setting up of a local company to promote facilities for both local inhabitants and visitors, a café is being constructed as a first step towards this. To conclude, Misfāt has a historic and heritage background while having many buildings in poor physical condition. Accordingly building renovation has the dual potential to improve the quality of the local environment for residents and provide tourism opportunities and interest for visitors.

LOCAL RESIDENTS – COMMUNITY SURVEY

In addition to the ethnographic survey and interviews carried out to consolidate the understanding of Misfāt’s social and cultural history, a number of surveys were conducted to learn more about the local community’s hopes and expectations for the future of their settlement. This was supplemented by discussions with Ministry of Tourism (MOT) officers and Oman tour operators – the latter discussed in Section 5 of this report. Accompanying the consultant, Roger Bone, was a former employee of the Ministry of Tourism and village resident, Ahmed al-Abri, who has developed the

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settlement’s first bed and breakfast accommodation – Misfāt Old House – and has experience with tourism activity like trekking. A number of interviews were carried out with the assistance of Mr al-Abri to translate. A short questionnaire was prepared (see Appendix 3) seeking the views of local people on the future of the village – what they would like to see – and whether with regard to tourism they would be interested in making an investment, such as the provision of accommodation. Respondents were also invited to provide comment on what they would not like to see as a consequence of additional tourism numbers. There was considerable unanimity in village residents’ responses. Most important, assuming safeguards, nearly all respondents would welcome more tourists coming to see the village, and the village being ‘put on the map’. They did want to see more facilities in place, including more shops like a small supermarket; better parking, for visitors and locals; public toilets; a barber shop; a museum; a library; and a health centre. Nearly all interviewees wanted to see, predictably enough, renovation and improvement of village housing. Encouragingly, all the respondents said they would be willing, in principle, to invest in facilities supporting tourism and would be happy to take up jobs like being a guide. Many were willing, in principle, to invest in provision of accommodation facilities. There was also unanimity that increased tourism should respect local culture and that visitors should be modestly dressed, e.g. without women in shorts, avoid leaving garbage, and preferably not smoking. Unsurprisingly, residents did not want to see alcohol being brought into the village or drunk. There was criticism of tour operators from a number of respondents that the operators had little knowledge of the history or culture of the village. It was interesting to note that most of the respondents had jobs outside the village, such as working for Government Ministries or the army. This underlines the lack of employment provided by the village itself, although the presence of many non-Omanis such as Bangladeshis working in agriculture indicates that this sector does provide jobs but the income derived from it is too low to attract Omanis. To provide further information on the village’s physical characteristics a complementary assessment will be done by Manchester Metropolitan University. This will include mapping of village boundaries and street and path layout, recording key land use features such as the falaj system, walls and gates, mosques, souqs, fortifications, etc. It will include an inspection of the condition of existing buildings, and identification and mapping of inhabited buildings. The survey will also include natural features, e.g. oasis palms, and their condition. As far as possible, building ownership will be identified. For Misfāt village the survey will note the physical relationship to the nearby

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village of al-Kanateer. Existing infrastructure provision – electricity, water supply, sewerage – will also be noted as well as transport links. The heritage context will also be noted, e.g. any potential implications relating to UNESCO classifications and standards. Following completion of the survey, discussions will be held with other parties like tour operators to agree on the main features of interest to tourists.

VISITOR DEMAND – TOUR OPERATORS SURVEY

Tour operators were identified from the ‘destinationoman.com’ website which provided names, locations and contact details including telephone numbers for 34 operators. These were contacted by the Consultant in Muscat. Many of the telephone numbers provided yielded a basic overview of the activity. The questionnaire prepared for the tour operators survey is included in Appendix 3. The questions covered ownership, staffing, existing tourism itineraries, and routes taken, identifying the accommodation arrangements made and, as far as possible, frequencies and visitor numbers. Operators were also asked about the potential interest in smaller scale accommodation such as family run bed and breakfast accommodation. Queries were also made regarding facilities needed such as toilets, cafés and restaurants, etc. Additionally, tour operators were asked their views on how existing itineraries should be developed to include visits to the case study villages. The survey was not intended to generate specific visitor numbers but enable scenarios of visitor traffic and itineraries to be developed. The average number of years that the operators surveyed had been in existence was 16, with the average number employees being 23. Asked how many tourist customers were served in a year, several operators found it difficult to estimate but the average stated was about 1,000. These were commonly carried in 4-wheel drive vehicles that could accommodate 6 persons but a variety of vehicles were used, including coaches where larger parties of 10-30 were carried. Peak season for most operators was October to March, with April and September shoulder months having somewhat more visitors than the summer period May to August. Most visitors were from Europe, with tourists from GCC countries including Oman concentrated over Eid and other holidays. As expected a variety of tours were available, including Muscat city tours and one day excursions, along with multi-day trips, many passing through Nizwa. Also frequent were visits to Sur and speciality tours such as ‘wādi bashing’, turtle watching, camping, and trips to further locations like Salalah. Visits to forts and castles were most frequently made, as expected, where these were located along main routes, like Bahla.

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Tour operators were asked about visits to Misfāt. Although a small sample, it was noticeable that operators had limited information about the village, and therefore any steps to make it a regular tourism destination need to include provision of much more information and publicity by government to tour operators. With this in place, and adequate accommodation provided, together with visitor facilities like gift shops and cafés, most operators confirmed that tourist itineraries could include a stay in Misfāt. Examples quoted included Bahla Fort and Nizwa where there was good provision of cafés, handicraft shops etc. Although a small survey the responses obtained indicate that tour operators would be willing in principle to include at least an overnight stay in Misfāt, while the experience of Misfāt Old House suggests that stays of several days are quite frequent. Many independent travellers were staying there for several days.

EXISTING ACCOMMODATION PROVISION AND PLANS FOR EXPANSION

In Misfāt itself there is currently only Misfāt Old House – a small development of some 12 bed rooms and 25 beds in a number of buildings with restaurant facilities and a social/meeting room. Some other accommodation facilities such as “The View” small hotel are located in nearby areas. Further away there is hotel accommodation located in or near larger towns like Nizwa and Bahla. Taking account of the attractive physical setting, and the numbers of tourists encountered in the Misfāt area, there is clearly potential for attracting a significant increase in visitors if additional accommodation is provided in the village. The importance of accommodation for harnessing tourism benefits cannot be over-emphasised. Provision of cafés, restaurants and gift or handicraft shops is important but the main economic benefits of tourism are generated from the provision of visitor accommodation which generates more significant tourist expenditure and income. The type of accommodation is important: modern hotel development tends to involve repatriation of much of the income generated to owners and investors located far from the hotel location and accordingly provides relatively reduced local income and employment. In this respect the Misfāt Old House serves several purposes, not simply providing economic benefits but also giving visitors a better understanding of local culture.

PROPOSALS FOR ADDITIONAL ACCOMMODATION

In addition to the already existing Misfāt Old House we are proposing the creation of two new overnight facilities in Old Misfāt, and integrating these into the already existing fabric of houses. Units E7 and the cluster around the Harat as-’Shua lend themselves ideally for the integration of

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B&B type accommodations at 15 and 35 beds respectively. Phase one will see the opening of the E7 15 bed B&B while the Harat ash-’Shua hostel will become active during phase two. A large pot located on the eastern end of Harat as-Siban is owned by MoT and scheduled to house a hotel of around 100 beds. The size and scope of this project, coupled with the only gradually growing number of visitors, will also require a phased development of the size catering for gradually increasing numbers of visitors.

6.5 REVENUE AND EMPLOYMENT Assumptions The ArCHIAM team envisage that the number of visitors over a whole day would reach a maximum of 600, of whom 175 would be staying overnight. This is based on an hourly capacity within the village during peak hours, with a number involved in local tours, and a number staying in the hotel and other accommodation, so that the number walking around the village would be substantially fewer. The present number of visitors is understood to be considerably fewer (no more than 40 daily visitors off-season, and probably around 300 during peak season) although no specific count has been made. During specific days, such as Eid, up to 1200 people can visit the settlement, and provision has been made for the extra parking space this would require at the Misfāt Visitor Centre. Although Misfāt as a tourist attraction would be of interest to visitors throughout the year, visitor numbers will be subject to a degree of seasonality, given the climatic variation. Data is available for visitor numbers for forts and castles. Thus according to the Ministry of Tourism’s figures for overall visitor traffic to forts and castles, which, in view of their historic appeal, probably provide a better indicator of the potential visitor pattern for Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn than overall Oman tourist numbers. For 2014 the broad pattern of forts and castles tourist visitors was: Main season: October-April

12,845 per month (total for 7 months 89,900)

Off season: May-September

1,923 per month (total for 5 months 9,600)

In the case of Misfāt we expect that with appropriate marketing and a long term strategy involving travel agents and tour operators the off-peak season can be reduced to the months of June, July and August (90 days). Monthly off-peak numbers are roughly 15% of peak numbers. For Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn’s main season visitor traffic the scale of off-peak visitor traffic is assumed to be 20% of peak season levels, given its historic attraction. Hence compared with main season visitor traffic of maximum 600 per day (see above) average off-peak visitor traffic is assumed to be some 120 visitors per day.

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Employment generation The projected creation of extra accommodation, the cooperative, shops, visitor centre and tourism activities is envisioned to generate 26 additional jobs during phase 1, expanding beds to 50, and a doubling of coffee shop/gift shop revenues. Additional sources of employment are expected to be the Misfāt Cooperative, the visitor centre, drivers, guides, etc. Additional employment generation by the hotel and these other facilities has been estimated as follows: i.

bed & breakfast accommodation = 8FT employees;

ii.

hotel 100 beds – assumed employment = 20FT employees;

iii.

medical centre – assumed employment = 3 FT employees;

iv.

cultural centre – assumed employment = 2 FT employees;

v

residents co-operative – assumed employment = 5 FT employees;

vi.

shuttle bus – assumed employment = 6 FT employees;

vii. visitor centre - assumed employment = 3FT employees; (Restaurant and gift shop employment included in initial employment generation assumptions). Total employment generation from the additional facilities is thus estimated at 40.2 FT equivalent, which in addition to the 8 generated from existing facilities, amounts to 44 FT equivalent jobs. Part time employments generation, which is set to become substantial in later phases, is integrated in the running/maintenance costs of the settlement.

6.6 ECONOMIC PHASING Revenue generation and net profits From the outset the master plan proposes to enhance the tourist experience to reflect introduction of entry fee. The initial facilities introduced would include the urgent restoration and rebuilding of gateways and key structures, introduction of shuttle service, information points and restaurant and restroom facilities. The first relevant source of income at Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn is expected to be the Visitor Centre which acts as a buffer for the visitor stream and offers a shuttle service to the settlement in addition to a

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ENTRANCE FEE

Total visitors per day Total cars per day Main season - operating at 80% Low season - operating at 20% Main season - operating at 80% Low season operating at 20% Main season - rev at entrance per day (5 OR pp; 3 OR per car) Low season rev at entrance per day (5 OR/p; 3 OR/car) Main season rev at entrance p/a (OR) Low season rev at entrance p/a (OR) Total revenue at entrance p/a (OR)

Year 1 200 50 160 40 40 10 920 230 248,400 20,700 269,100

Year 2 200 50 160 40 40 10 920 230 248,400 20,700 269,100

Year 3 400 100 320 80 80 20 1,840 460 496,800 41,400 538,200

Year 4 400 100 320 80 80 20 1,840 460 496,800 41,400 538,200

Year 5 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 6 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 7 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 8 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 9 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 10 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 11 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 12 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 13 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 14 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

Year 15 600 140 480 120 112 28 2,736 684 738,720 61,560 800,280

B&B ACCOMODATION

Total bedspaces Main season (270 days) occupancy - 80% Low season (90 days) occupancy - 20% Assumed cost per person/bed per night (OR) Main season rev (270 days) Low season rev (90 days) Total revenue from overnight stays p/a (OR) Net profit at 30%

25 20 5 25 135,000 11,250 146,250 48,263

25 20 5 25 135,000 11,250 146,250 48,263

40 32 8 25 216,000 18,000 234,000 77,220

40 32 8 25 216,000 18,000 234,000 77,220

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

75 60 15 25 405,000 33,750 438,750 144,788

HOTEL

Total bedspaces Main season (270 days) occupancy - 80% Low season (90 days) occupancy - 20% Assumed cost per person/bed per night (OR) Main season rev (270 days) Low season rev (90 days) Total revenue from overnight stays p/a (OR) Net profit at 30%

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

25 20 5 50 270,000 22,500 292,500 96,525

25 20 5 50 270,000 22,500 292,500 96,525

50 40 10 50 540,000 45,000 585,000 193,050

50 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 40 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 10 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 540,000 1,080,000 1,080,000 1,080,000 1,080,000 1,080,000 1,080,000 1,080,000 1,080,000 1,080,000 45,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 585,000 1,170,000 1,170,000 1,170,000 1,170,000 1,170,000 1,170,000 1,170,000 1,170,000 1,170,000 193,050 386,100 386,100 386,100 386,100 386,100 386,100 386,100 386,100 386,100

VILLAS

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Total bedspaces Main season (270 days) occupancy - 80% Low season (90 days) occupancy - 20% Assumed cost per person/bed per night (OR) Main season rev (270 days) Low season rev (90 days) Total revenue from overnight stays p/a (OR) Net profit at 40%

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

10 8 2 75 162,000 13,500 175,500 70,200

TOURISM PRODUCTS

Tourism Economics Study

Main season commercial use days p/a Low season commercial use days p/a Average rev p/p (OR) (Shops, Souq) Main season rev p/a (OR) Low season rev p/a (OR) Activity related rev p/a (OR) (Equipment, guided tours, etc) Total revenue p/a (OR) Net profit at 20%

270 90 15 648,000 54,000 16,800 718,800 143,760

270 90 15 648,000 54,000 16,800 718,800 143,760

270 90 15 648,000 54,000 21,000 723,000 144,600

270 90 15 648,000 54,000 21,000 723,000 144,600

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 25,200 961,200 192,240

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 25,200 961,200 192,240

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

270 90 20 864,000 72,000 29,400 965,400 193,080

TOTAL REVENUE P/A (OR) TOTAL NET PROFIT P/A (OR)

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1,134,150 1,134,150 1,963,200 1,963,200 2,960,730 2,960,730 3,549,930 3,549,930 3,549,930 3,549,930 3,549,930 3,549,930 3,549,930 3,549,930 3,549,930 192,023

192,023

388,545

388,545

600,278

600,278

794,168

794,168

794,168

794,168

794,168

794,168

794,168

794,168

794,168

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restaurants, coffee-house and shop. Income from visitor access charges is estimated from visitors paying the shuttle bus fee, fixed at OR 5 for all visitors plus and additional surcharge of OR 3 for cars. The nominal maximum of visitors assumes four 50 seat coaches and 140 cars arriving at the Visitor Centre over the course of the average day. For visitor levels of 600/day main season and 120/day off-season they would be for main season nominally 200 x 270 days (Sep-May) in the first two years would yield an annual revenue of OR 269,100, rising to OR 800,280 by the 5th year. This level of per-person yield is currently unprecedented in Oman, but it is estimated that with an effective marketing campaign and the retention of Misfāt’s natural beauty such figures can be reached and surpassed by phase 3. Simultaneous to the establishment of the MVC is the creation of additional B&B bedspaces within Harat al-Bilad on top of the already existing 25 beds available today at the Misfāt Old House. Here the phasing assumes a gradual growth of 25, 40 and 75 bedspaces of the three phases (5 years) respectively. At the end of year 1 a net profit at 30% of OR 48.263 is assumed with a projected net at 30% is projected at OR 144,788 by year 5. The boutique hotel which MoT is expecting to create on the Eastern edge of Harat as-Siban is not expected to go into service before year three initially catering to 25 bedspaces and at annual net 30% profit of OR 96,525, eventually boasting 100 beds by year 5 and generating OR 193,050 at 30%.

6.7 CAPITAL COSTS AND INVESTMENT AMORTIZATION In the early stages of the development project the primary investment necessary in Misfāt al‘Abriyīn is infrastructural and concerned primarily with the construction of the Misfāt Visitor Centre to control access to the site. Simultaneously it will be necessary to prepare the site for visitors through clearance and safing of spaces. Additional costs to be carried out during the early stages are the restoration and consolidation of relevant buildings and the implementation of new usage programmes such as restaurants, additional B&B, shops and energy infrastructure (discussed in greater detail in Chapter 9 Master Plan). Investment will need to continue over phases 2 and 3 in order to establish the maximal sources of revenue that will eventually form the foundation of the Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn community business model. The model is geared towards gradual and sustainable growth with a view towards broad community participation. In particular the Misfāt Community Cooperative is expected to ensure the fair and effective implementation of this Master Plan or derivatives thereof. It is expected that after phase 3 (i.e. year 6) the initial investments will be turning over net gains of OR 3,081,480 annually, leading to a full amortization of a initial investments by year 11.

In conjunction with a women’s community area located in immediate vicinity of the already existing Misfāt School, Ministry of Tourism has proposed the construction of a number of villas to be available for holiday makers to rent over selected periods of time. These would provide the privacy and homely environment often desired by families at a more cost effective rate than a hotel, and are expected to begin generating revenue by year 2. Ten villas at an assumed cost of OR75 per bed/night could produce OR 70,200 of net profits at 40% per annum. Additional tourism products are outdoor related activities such as trekking, camping, rock climbing and others. Equipment rentals, guided tours as well as the renting of camping spaces are projected to produce annual revenues of around OR 961,200 by phase three at a 20% net profit due to its service intensive nature. The Misfāt Community cooperative will be responsible for managing the proceeds it draws from the sites and businesses under its management. As already previously stated, the members of the Coop are also shareholder and, as such, should be paid dividends in the net profit of the coop’s revenues.

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Unit cost (OR)

Phase 1 (years 1 and 2)

Phase 2 (years 3 and 4)

Phase 3 (years 5 and 6)

Phase 4 (years 7 and 8) 20,000 OR

OLD MISFAT AL-'ABRIYIN

Site preparation Car parking & vehicular infrastructure

Old

30 /m2

Pedestrian pathways

Old

18 /m2

Graded paths

Old

3 /m2

Solar energy

350 /unit

and storage

1155 /unit

Restoration

350 /m2

Consolidation

350 /m2

Reconstruction

350 /m2

Adaptive reuse

500 /m2

New build

500 /m2

Total

3,720 m2

3720 m2

111,600 OR

111,600 OR

3,910 m2

3,910 m2

70,380 OR

70,380 OR

996 m2

996 m2

2,988 OR

2,988 OR

23 bldgs

16 bldgs

28 bldgs

67 bldgs

34,615 OR

24,080 OR

42,140 OR

100,835 OR

1,080 m2

290 m2

2980 m2

4,350 m2

378,000 OR

101,500 OR

1,043,000 OR

1,522,500 OR

1,890 m2

1,020 m2

240 m2

3,150 m2

661,500 OR

357,000 OR

84,000 OR

1,102,500 OR

415 m2

910 m2

438 m2

1,763 m2

145,250 OR

318,500 OR

153,300 OR

617,050 OR

1,165 m2

3,234 m2

606 m2

5,005 m2

582,500 OR

1,617,000 OR

303,000 OR

2,502,500 OR

30 m2

30 m2

15,000 OR

15,000 OR

2,001,833 OR

2,418,080 OR

1,625,440 OR

/

MODERN MISFAT AL-'ABRIYIN

Car parking & vehicular infrastructure

New

30 /m2

Pedestrian pathways

New

18 /m2

New build

New

500 /m2

RUNNING COSTS

Total 12 seaters

Staff

2,410 m2

3,570 m2

5,745 m2

6,750 m2

11,725 m2

72,300 OR

107,100 OR

172,350 OR

202,500 OR

351,750 OR

600 m2

750 m2

1,000 m2

8,730 m2

2,350 m2

10,800 OR

13,500 OR

18,000 OR

157,140 OR

42,300 OR

1,395 m2

4,555 m2

6,450 m2

12,400 m2

697,500 OR

2,277,500 OR

3,225,000 OR

6,200,000 OR

780,600 OR

2,398,100 OR

3,415,350 OR

359,640 OR

3 units 45,000 OR

30,000 OR

30 pp

44 pp

44 pp

44 pp

432,000 OR

633,600 OR

633,600 OR

633,600 OR

5 /m2

30,330 m2

30,330 m2

30,330 m2

30,330 m2

Pedestrian

3 /m2

303,300 OR

303,300 OR

303,300 OR

303,300 OR

780,300 OR

966,900 OR

936,900 OR

936,900 OR

3,562,733 OR

5,783,080 OR

5,977,690 OR

1,296,540 OR

TOTAL CAPITAL COSTS

6,644,050 OR

2 units

Vehicular

Total

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15,000 /unit 7,200 /year

Road maintenance

6,062,365 OR 50,000 OR

Site preparation

Coaches

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6.8 CAPITAL COSTS, PRIVATE INVESTMENT AND RESIDENTS’ COOPERATIVE

Costs (OR)

Revenues (OR)

The goal of the economic model proposed here is the eventual self-sufficiency of the Misfāt Residents’ Cooperative, an initiative supported by a significant cross-section of the local community resident in both Old and Modern Misfāt. Accordingly, a staged revenue generation strategy through the introduction of ‘entry fee’ by access control, additional short-stay accommodation provision,

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development of new tourism products, and various other means have been proposed to recoup initial capital investment and achieve full capital amortization. In this regard it is important to emphasise the need for enabling the community with decision-making autonomy to access available private, regional and international funding and collaboration opportunities, as well as a ‘soft-touch’ approach to ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks. However, initial capital investment is vital for safeguarding Misfāt’s heritage and ensuring sustained revenue generation. The reason for Misfāt’s continued attraction as a tourism destination is its preserved mountain oasis life that displays a unique combination of built heritage, agriculture and animal husbandry practices,

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Year 12

Year 13

Year 14

Year 15

ENTRANCE FEE B&B ACCOMODATION HOTEL VILLAS TOURISM PRODUCTS

269,100 146,250 0 0 718,800

269,100 146,250 0 0 718,800

538,200 234,000 292,500 175,500 723,000

538,200 234,000 292,500 175,500 723,000

800,280 438,750 585,000 175,500 961,200

800,280 438,750 585,000 175,500 961,200

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

800,280 438,750 1,170,000 175,500 965,400

TOTAL REVENUES

1,134,150

1,134,150

1,963,200

1,963,200

2,960,730

2,960,730

3,549,930

3,549,930

3,549,930

3,549,930

3,549,930

3,549,930

3,549,930

3,549,930

3,549,930

OLD MISFAT AL-'ABRIYIN MODERN MISFAT AL-'ABRIYIN RUNNING COSTS

1,000,917 390,300 390,150

1,000,917 390,300 390,150

1,209,040 1,199,050 483,450

1,209,040 1,199,050 483,450

812,720 1,707,675 468,450

812,720 1,707,675 468,450

0 0 468,450

0 0 468,450

0 0 468,450

0 0 468,450

0 0 468,450

0 0 468,450

0 0 468,450

0 0 468,450

0 0 468,450

TOTAL COSTS

1,781,367

1,781,367

2,891,540

2,891,540

2,988,845

2,988,845

468,450

468,450

468,450

468,450

468,450

468,450

468,450

468,450

468,450

NET GAINS

-647,217

-647,217

-928,340

-928,340

-28,115

-28,115

3,081,480

3,081,480

3,081,480

3,081,480

3,081,480

3,081,480

3,081,480

3,081,480

3,081,480

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and associated social events and cultural rituals that sustain the crucial intangible dimension of heritage. The initial capital investment would be directed, in part, towards the urgent safeguarding of this threatened heritage. An important component of this is the urgent restoration and rebuilding of the heritage fabric – the fundamental tourism resource – within civic spaces to ensure a safe environment for the residents and tourists. In addition, initial capital investment is envisaged to provide essential tourism (including alternative energy) infrastructure within the Old Village.

105

thus be adequately empowered to fulfil this mandate. It is expected that after phase 3 (i.e. year 6) the initial investments will be turning over net gains of OR 3,081,480 annually, leading to a full amortization of initial investments by year 11.

Keeping in mind that the goal of the economic strategy is the full amortization of capital investment, we propose that this initial capital investment is secured in the form of loans extended either by a central government source or from the banking and/or private sector through Private Finance Initiatives (PFI), underwritten by the government. Additional funding could be secured from regional and international sources, such as the UNESCO and various charitable organisations with focus on heritage preservation and sustainable development (see Appendix A). It may be worth considering if a ‘National Heritage Park’ status could be extended over a wider area around Bahla WHS incorporating Al-Hamra and Misfāt to allow access to match-funding opportunities from international heritage trusts. A complementary strategy for raising the initial capital would be to float Misfāt itself as ‘heritage and tourism stock’ to attract potential stakeholder investment. Also, corporate social responsibility (CSR) opportunities should be carefully considered for the region and, where possible, approached for support. An example of these would be the leasehold development of the Misfāt Visitors Centre, and possibly the boutique hotel, which would ensure a longer-term revenue source and reduced running costs from the outset. Various interventions, such as infrastructure, water and energy, conservation, restoration and rebuilding, housing development, and agriculture and animal husbandry, already fall within the remit of various ministries and public authorities entrusted with the general enhancement of standard of living and quality of life. Such authorities are envisaged to invest in the usual manner in wider infrastructural development. This includes, for example, the road and car-parking infrastructure proposed around the Old Village, a non-touristic provision focused on the needs of the local residents to have a safe environment and assured car parking. Possible private and public investment possibilities are presented in Table-1. Investment will need to continue over phases 2 and 3 in order to establish the maximal sources of revenue that will eventually form the foundation of the Misfāt al-‘Abriyin community business model. The model is geared towards gradual and sustainable growth with a view towards broad community participation. The revenue generated by the Misfāt Residents’ Cooperative is to initially complement loan investment, which is envisaged to increase gradually in its investment share over the subsequent years and phases. Eventually, the Misfāt Residents’ Cooperative is expected to ensure the fair and effective implementation of this Master Plan or derivatives thereof, and should

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INTERNATIONAL

NATIONAL

REGIONAL

LOCAL

Funding & Support Bodies

MISFAT_HMP_BOOK.indb 106

URL

Misfat Community Cooperative

Revenue Stream from: Visitor Entry fees Over-night stays at B n' B Restaurants and eateries Crafts and souvenier sales Agricultural production Villa Rentals Trekking tours Camping spaces Guided tours

AGFUND - Arab Gulf United Nations Development Fund

Arab Gulf United Nations Program for sustainable human development

http://agfund.org/activities/initiatives/civil-society/

Wamda Labs

Entrepreneurial funding schemes and sustainable Development support. Focused on clean-tech, alternative energy sources and renewables.

http://www.wamda.com/topic/fundraising-support/government-support-orgs

Regional Municipality

Carries out infrastructural development and maintenance such as transport, utilities, flood protection, etc.

Oman Development Bank

Provides loans of up to 10 years to enhance development of various sectors of the economy. Working alongside the government principles, ODB upholds the mission of diversifying the sources of national revenue by providing finance to corporate, medium enterprises, small projects for the key sectors such as, Industrial, Agriculture and Livestock, Tourism, Educational, Medical, Professionals and Handicrafts

http://www.odb.com.om/DevelopmentLoans.aspx

Al-Raffd Fund

Provides loans and start-up funding to SMEs and businesses to promote the growth of Oman’s private sector and support Omanization.

http://alraffd.gov.om/?page_id=880&lang=en

SMEF - Small & Medium Enterprises Development Fund

Entrepreneurial funds for small and medium enterprises to promote the growth of the private sector and support Omanization

http://smefoman.com/financing.html

PACI

Support for the development and preservation of crafts

www.paci.gov.om

Oman Research Council

Provides technical expertise as well as funding support for community development and technical innovation

https://home.trc.gov.om/tabid/151/language/en-US/Default.aspx

UNESCO - International Fund for the Promotion of culture

An open access support and funding network for the promotion of cultural development around the world

http://en.unesco.org/ifpc/http://en.unesco.org/ifpc/

OECD

International Financing for sustainable economic development in European partner regions.

http://www.oecd.org/development/financing-sustainable-development/

Global Heritage Fund

A non-profit NGO that has set itself the task of providing support, funding and master planning for heritage sites on a global scale

http://globalheritagefund.org/index.php/who-we-are/beyond-monuments/

EIB - European Investment Bank

The EIB finances projects in most sectors. To be eligible projects must contribute to EU economic policy objectives such as CO2 reduction, clean tech, SME support

http://www.eib.org/projects/cycle/applying_loan/index.htm

GEEREF - Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund

Bringing clean power to developing countries fighting climate change with equity investments

http://geeref.com/about/investment-strategy.html

BCA - Business Call to Action

Partnership opportunities for companies developing innovative business models that offer both commercial success and development impact. Value of Funding: project specific

http://www.businesscalltoaction.org

International Cooperative Alliance

An international network of cooperatives and community led innitiatives that provides support and knowhow in the establishment and day-to-day management of cooperatives.

http://ica.coop/en/co-op-decade/calls-support

CLIFF- Community Led Infrastructure Finance Facility

Working through long-term partnerships, CLIFF offers affordable finance for lowincome housing and infrastructure projects in the Global South. Value of funding

http://reall.net/

The Agri-Tech Catalyst

Global Funding for collaborative projects, taking innovative ideas from any sector or discipline to tackle challenges in agriculture.

https://interact.innovateuk.org/competition-display-page//asset_publisher/RqEt2AKmEBhi/content/agri-tech-catalyst-early-and-latestage-awards-round-5

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Phase 1 (years 1 ‐ 2)

OLD MISFAT AL‐'ABRIYIN

Car Parking, Vehicular  infrastructure & Pedestrian  infrastructure 

MODERN                     MISFAT AL‐'ABRIYIN

Municipality - Oman Development Bank Cooperative Revenue

Consolidation & Safing

Restoration &  Reconstruction

MHC - Oman Development Bank - PFI - UNESCO IFPC

MHC - Oman Development Bank - PFI UNESCO IFPC - Cooperative Revenue The Research Council (TRC)

Business creation

Al-Raffd Fund - Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI) - SMEF - Wanda Labs - PFI

Cooperative revenue - Al Raffd Fund - PACI - SMEF Cooperative revenue - Al Raffd Fund - PACI - SMEF Wanda Labs - PFI Wanda Labs - PFI

PFI - Housing loan - Oman Development Bank TRC Cooperative Revenue

PFI - Housing Loan - Oman Development Bank UNESCO IFPC - TRC - Cooperative Revenue

PFI - Housing Loan - Oman Development Bank UNESCO IFPC - TRC - Cooperative Revenue

Sustainability & Waste

Oman Development Bank - Al-Raffd Fund Wanda Labs - TRC - GEEREF

Cooperative revenue - Oman Development Bank Wanda Labs - TRC - GEEREF

Cooperative revenue - Oman Development Bank Wanda Labs - TRC - GEEREF

Agricultural Development

Oman Development Bank, SMEF, PACI, Agry-Tech Catalyst

Cooperative revenue - Oman Development Bank SMEF - PACI - Agry-Tech Catalyst

Cooperative revenue - Oman Development Bank SMEF - PACI - Agry-Tech Catalyst

TRC - Sultan Qaboos University (SQU)

Cooperative revenue - TRC - SQU

Cooperative revenue - TRC - SQU

Oman Development Bank - Al-Raffd Fund Municipality

Oman Development Bank - Al-Raffd Fund Municipality - Cooperative revenue

Oman Development Bank - Al-Raffd Fund Cooperative revenue

Al-Raffd Fund - PACI - SMEF - Wanda Labs

Al-Raffd Fund - PACI - SMEF - Wanda Labs Cooperative Revenue

Al-Raffd Fund - PACI - SMEF - Wanda Labs Cooperative Revenue

Municipality - Oman Development Bank

Municipality - Oman Development Bank

Municipality - Oman Development Bank

Oman Development Bank - PFI - Housing loan

Oman Development Bank - PFI - Housing loan

Oman Development Bank - PFI - Housing loan

Oman Development Bank - Municipality

Cooperative revenue - Oman Development Bank

Cooperative revenue

Cooperative revenue - Municipality

Cooperative revenue

Cooperative revenue

Municipality

Municipality - Cooperative revenue

Municipality - Cooperative revenue

MHC - Cooperative revenue

MHC - Cooperative revenue

MHC - Cooperative revenue

New Build

Visitor Centre Business creation Car Parking & transport  infrastructure New Build

RUNNING               COSTS

Phase 3 (years 5 ‐6)

Municipality - Ministry of Heritage and Culture (MHC) Oman Development Bank - Other Private Financing Initiatives (PFI) - UNESCO IFPC

Education & Training

Coaches Staff Maintenance of  Infrastructure  Maintenance of Heritage

MISFAT_HMP_BOOK.indb 107

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7 MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYĪN COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE

7.1. INTRODUCTION The inhabitants of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn and associated stakeholders have started an initiative named the Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn Tourism Association which has tasked itself with advising and guiding the implementation of the Tourism Master Plan. A number of direct discussions and consultations with the Association have taken place (see documents in Appendix 3) and the results thereof form the core aspirations of this document. We propose that the Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn Tourism Association expands its remit from mere guidance to taking a leading role in the day-to-day management and administration of Misfāt’s economic potential as a cooperative members association. Around the world it is becoming increasingly common for people and their communities to create new enterprises that they own and control and also meet the needs and aspirations of their community. These new enterprises range from consumer cooperatives, which are owned and run by their customers, through worker cooperatives owned and run by their employees to enterprises which, whilst not cooperatives, have a strong mutually supportive relationship with the communities in which they trade. In this document we use the term ‘community’ to refer to people in a particular place such as a town or region, but it should be stated that community enterprises can also be spread out with those involved belonging to a “community of interest”.

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This chapter outlines the responsibilities, structure and operational logic which we propose for the Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn community cooperative. The primary goal of this organisation should be to ensure the fair sharing of resources and revenues among the local stakeholders as well as guaranteeing the continued maintenance of the oasis and settlement to provide a unique visitor experience. As the particulars of the day-to-day functioning of this institution will need to be decided by the stakeholders themselves, this chapter is to be understood in a suggestive sense, rather than a prescriptive one. The skillsets required for the running of the Cooperative range from basic secretarial to administrative and managerial. The running of the treasury requires a good understanding of finance and business administration, while the individual committees should be composed of individuals who can exhibit a level of competence in their allotted resort.

7.2 THE MISFĀT COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE

MISFAT COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE

RESPONSIBILITIES AND GOALS The development of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn and its environs into a major tourist destination provides a great opportunity for showcasing Oman’s traditional lifestyles and vernacular settlements to foreigners as well as Omanis. Additionally it promises to provide the local community with a sustainable source of income which, if adequately re-invested, would ensure the continued habitation of the settlement and its maintenance. The main responsibilities of the cooperative should be considered to be the following: • ensure the fair and balanced sharing of resources among the local stakeholders; • take charge of the continued upkeep and maintenance of both the buildings and the oasis; • manage the visitor stream; • protect the stakeholder’s interests; • provide a market for local produce and crafts; • provide employment opportunities for locals;

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• provide the best possible experience to visitors; • engage in training and education for the continued survival of traditional skills in agriculture, building and craft manufacture; • engage in outreach projects to disseminate the acquired experience and knowledge for the establishment of similar organisations elsewhere in the region. The main goals of the cooperative should be: • creating a self-sustained and stable local economy based on visitors and local production; • promote the notion of ecological and economic sustainability to other communities; • retain the ancient knowledge associated with agriculture, construction and the manufacture of crafts.

7.3 CORPORATE STRUCTURE The proposed structure of the Misfāt Cooperative is that of a community enterprise, effectively running the cooperative as a for-profit institution. Members (see below on membership models) elect from among themselves a board of directors who in turn appoint the various committees charged with the main responsibilities of the cooperative: tourism, housing, agriculture, labour, construction and maintenance, finance. The committees are to be advised by a steering committee composed of a number of institutions (both governmental as well as educational) which may participate and guide in specific decisions and their implementation. Additionally the board of directors is to employ a general manager for the day-to-day running of the cooperative. The manager may be a community member or an external individual, but he/she is to be paid a contractually fixed salary. In addition to over-seeing the administrative functioning of the cooperative the manager will also hire professional staff as necessary to serve the community’s needs and requirements.

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7.4 MEMBERSHIP The most common type of membership model for cooperatives around the world is an investment based model whereby members buy shares in the coop to join the organisation. The business model could/should follow that of a shareholder company with dividends paid out to members quarterly commensurate to initial investment. In order to guarantee a political balance among members of the cooperative a maximum and minimum membership investment limit should be fixed, e.g. OMR 500-25.000 per member upon joining. This model has the following benefits: • the greater the number of members the larger the capital resources of the coop are; • members will have a stake in the coop and will consequently be working towards its success; • if the co-op grows so will the value of the shares, providing additional investment capital.

At the time of writing the MCC was said to already have a total of around 40 members though, as we understand, not organised is a formal manner. The goals and duties of the Misfāt cooperative are in essence to ensure the fair and sustainable development of the settlement by making the principal stakeholders (the inhabitants of the village) decide the policies and measures they themselves will implement. Remit: To manage tourism, preservation and agriculture in Misfāt. Proceeds from: • visitor entry fee • short stay accommodation • restaurants and eateries • agricultural produce • market sales and stall rentals from non-coop members • crafts

Funds to be managed, allocated and distributed by the community itself, and re-invested into the

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community. Re-investment quota of proceeds should not lie below 75%.

time to do it in a way that allows the separate work to be co-ordinated and mutually supportive.

We recommend to join the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) for support, exposure and training.

It is, however, difficult for every aspect and detail of the start-up to be decided in large meetings. This challenge is often addressed by creating smaller sub-groups which focus their work on a particular aspect of the start-up such as finance or legal structure. There is often a core or “steering” group which oversees the whole start-up process. This core group also organises meetings of the whole community or prospective membership in order to report back on progress and to continue the planning process. The core group also tends to co-ordinate and monitor the activity of the various sub-groups and, in some cases, is made up of representatives of each of the sub-groups. Very often the core group becomes the first governing body of whatever formal structure is created for the organisation. However this phase is co-ordinated, it is important that people know where they and others fit into the process – clarity of roles is critical.

According to our current information the cooperative currently has around 40 members from among the inhabitants and principal stakeholders within the community. While there are numerous models to be followed from international examples, we recommend the following structure to ensure multilevel participation.

7.5 RESPONSIBILITIES There is a lot of work to do in the early stages of creating a community enterprise. It is important that work is distributed effectively and equitably amongst those with the ability, experience and

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In all of this it is important that individuals do not take on too much work or responsibility. Sharing responsibility for tasks makes them more likely to be achieved and gives the group ownership of the results of the work.

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8 PRIORITY MEASURES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

- Innovation as tradition

8.1 INTRODUCTION As has already been alluded to in other points in this report, settlements of the type and size of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn have in many cases been abandoned in Oman. A broad range of social, economic and environmental factors are responsible for this gradual decline in Oman’s rural population and with it come the disappearance of ancient lifestyles and traditions. Addressing these factors must therefore be the first step in guaranteeing a successful and sustainable future for the settlement, and it is expected that the model here developed for Misfāt is to be broadly applicable to many of the hundreds of similar settlements throughout the Sultanate and the broader region. The specific approaches to design and implementation of the suggested measures will be discussed in the Master Plan chapter (Chapter 9). This chapter deals, instead, with a broader discussion of the measures necessary to retain or create a higher quality of life within Misfāt and environs in order to retain the local population and prepare the site for larger numbers of visitors.

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8.2 CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn poses a number of important challenges as well as opportunities with a view towards both conservation and development. While it is clear that the fundamental aspects of the traditional lifestyle (privacy, agriculture, self-sufficiency, etc.) are to be preserved, a range of contemporary improvements will be necessary to both complement the life of the inhabitants of Misfāt and enhance the experience of the visitors. In this sense there are a series of priority improvements which are considered by us to be essential and which must necessarily come before the whole-sale marketing of Misfāt as a tourist destination. Included in this plan for priority developments are the provision of modern sustainable utilities, sanitation, improving the transport infrastructure and providing high-speed telecommunications.

8.3 BUFFER ZONES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION The visual aspect and the good condition of the oasis and its environs are one of the principal reasons for the appeal and touristic potential of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. It is therefore in the interest of the inhabitants to protect the area from further increased urban development and unregulated growth. Three levels of protection have been identified in the course of this study, each one addressing separate issues and aspects of protection. 1) Environmental protection zone This zone comprises the irrigated areas of the Misfāt settlements as well as the upper and lower reaches of the wādi. The outlined area contains a complex ecosystem that is partly dependant on the continued functioning of the falaj and the cleanliness of the water. Additionally, the oasis is one of the main points of interest of Misfāt and its preservartion should therefore be considered a priority. 2) Development Buffer Zone This second level of protection is intended to safeguard the immediate environs of Misfāt from rampant construction and visual deterioration. The concern is the possibility that the protection of the view of Misfāt will ignore the view from Misfāt. For this plan a total of 6 GPS located

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viewsheds were generated in a GIS suite to outline a 3km visual radius from inside Harat al-Bilad. No additional urban development is to take place within this visual radius. 3) Restricted Development Zone This, the most extensive, protection area runs the distance from Al-Hamra in the south to the watershed of the Jabal Akhdar mountains on the north. The intention is to forestall the urbanisation of the mountain regions and to pave the way for a (as yet non-existent) Jabal Akhdar Nature Reserve.

8.4 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION POLICY Basing ourselves on the European Landscape Convention of 2004 we feel that it is, as a first step, necessary to recognise landscape in law; to develop landscape policies dedicated to the protection, management and planning of landscapes; and to establish procedures for the participation of the general public and other stakeholders in the creation and implementation of landscape policies. It should also encourage the integration of landscape into all relevant areas of policy, including cultural, economic and social policies. We propose that the Jebel Akhdar mountains be accorded the status and treatment of a nature reserve, and that its cultural landscapes, visible in the villages and oasis which dot the flanks of its great peaks and valleys, be protected as cultural artefacts. Landscape is more than just ‘the view’. It is about the relationship between people, place and nature. It is the ever-changing backdrop to our daily lives. It can mean a small patch of urban wasteland as much as a mountain range, and an urban park as much as a lowland plain. Landscape results from the way that different components of our environment – both natural and cultural – interact together and are perceived by us. People value landscape for many different reasons. It is therefore important to understand what the landscape is like today, how it came to be like that and how it may change in the future.

Experience Landscape is more than the sum of physical features that make up our environment. How we perceive the landscape can have an important influence on how we use or value its character and resources.

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History

particular landscape.

The landscapes of the Jabal Akhdar have been shaped by human activity throughout history. It is therefore important to understand past patterns, the extent to which they have survived and how different stages in history have contributed to the character of today’s landscape.

Natural Form

Land Use Land use includes all of the various uses that people make of the landscape, such as settlement, farming and field enclosure, energy production and animal husbandry. The character of the Omani landscape is particularly influenced by the present-day pattern of these features, as well as their historical legacy. Wildlife The variety of plants and animals in Oman’s landscape has been shaped over thousands of years by a complex set of social, historical and economic factors, all operating against the physical backdrop of the landscape itself. The types and abundance of wildlife and the habitats of which they form a part can play a significant role in shaping the character - and in some cases the function - of each

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Natural form includes geology, landform, hydrological and drainage systems, soils and vegetation cover. The shape of the land, or landform, is often the main influence on the character of the landscape, especially in upland areas. Wādis and drainage systems also have an important part to play in shaping the landscape, whilst geology, soils and vegetation cover can determine the ‘usefulness’ of the land for agriculture, settlement and other functions.

8.5. ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT CLEARANCE AND SAFING OF STRUCTURES

• The current condition of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn as a semi-inhabited settlement means that modern

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utilities, such as there are, have been integrated in a haphazard and informal manner. Water conduits, power cables and telephone lines have been laid on the ground or along walls and obstruct the passages and the views of the settlement. They also pose a hazard when walking around the settlement during darkness and twilight hours. • Structural defects and ruinous buildings pose a danger to people walking the streets of the settlement. Performing essential maintenance in consolidation foundations and collapsing roofs should be carried out immediately to guarantee both the safety of the people as well as preserving the architecture. • The lack of an efficient waste disposal system and adequate plumbing means that many of the abandoned and ruined houses are being used as rubbish heaps and informal toilet facilities. Rotting waste attracts vermin and pathogens, posing a health hazard, and the resulting smell is very unpleasant, especially during summer, the hottest time of the year.

In addition to laying utilities underground, providing essential sanitary facilities for both inhabitants and visitors and stabilising buildings in danger of collapsing, it will also be necessary to clear the roofscape of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn in order to return its visual appeal. Satellite dishes and TV aerials should be removed, hidden or painted in an acceptable colour and water tanks ought to be removed and substituted for one single cistern on the upper reaches of the settlement. This should act as a reservoir of the community and located in such a manner as to provide sufficient water pressure. While bringing Misfāt closer to expected standard of living which many Omanis have become accustomed to in recent decades it will be necessary to safeguarde the heritage of the community. Growing numbers of visitors and possibly also of permanent population will introduce added pressures to the settlement which will need to be addressed before they become problematic. Prime among these are the following:

TRANSPORT

One of the most immediate issues that need to be sensibly resolved for Misfāt (both Old and Modern) is vehicular access and parking. Currently both inhabitants and tourists park their vehicles next to the settlement and impede each other’s ease of transit. If numbers of both visitors and inhabitants are expected to rise this situation must be addressed as soon as possible. In discussion with the Misfāt Development Committee, a solution was proposed which foresees controlling access to Misfāt via a Misfāt Visitor Centre, located on the drive up from al-Hamra. At this location visitors could park their cars in a shaded area, and then be shuttled up to the village by

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the locals against a fee. This solution would result in the following: • providing a mechanism of control for the numbers of visitors who enter the settlement at any one time; • establish a fee system which provides a source of income; • ease traffic and parking issues; • provide a visitor information centre with guides; • allow for the arrival of larger buses without having to reach the settlement proper. Additionally it will be necessary to improve parking facilities at Misfāt, with the provision of more level ground, loading and off-loading space as well as shading.

SANITATION (WASTE AND SEWAGE)

Sanitation and waste disposal are already some of the most pressing issues in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. Household waste and garbage is routinely disposed of in abandoned buildings and ruins, attracting rats and other vermin. Apart from being a health hazard, the sight and smell of garbage detracts enormously from the visitor experience and the general quality of life in the community. It is therefore necessary to establish a functional garbage disposal system and to provide the settlement’s inhabitants with the necessary means to maintain their village in a good condition. While regular household waste should not pose too great a problem in terms of disposal and recycling, human waste and sewage pose a number of challenges. These are set to increase with the influx of visitors and the growth of the settlement. The construction of a large-scale sewage treatment plant is not desirable for the following reasons: • requires large amounts of water; • construction is very costly, disruptive and highly visible; • requires constant maintenance and monitoring; • requires construction of costly and disruptive drainage infrastructure; • complex terrain makes it difficult to find a good location.

An obvious and cost effective solution to this problem is the construction of biogas digester cesspits (Sasse 1998) which can dispose of large quantities of human and organic waste without a major

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infrastructural investment. Misfāt al-‘Abriyin is ideal for this kind of application: • the units can be located close to existing houses and public toilets, therefore not requiring a large and complex drainage network; • the units require no pumps or electric power as pressure to move the water is generated by the expanding gas itself; • biogas digesters need no extra water apart from household grey water; • the cesspits can be buried in the ground and are invisible; • the processed water, while not drinkable, is rich in nutrients and can be used agriculturally; • the biogas produced in the fermenters can be used domestically for cooking and/or heating, producing the equivalent of 0.43Kg LP gas daily; • silt and mud remains can be used as fertilizer on the fields.

The AGAMA-6D produced by Biogaspro (pictured above) is a ready-made unit which can be connected to already existing piping, capable of dealing with up 50Kg/day of human/animal waste. With a single digester having a loading capacity equivalent to the waste of around 20 people per day (5 households), it is possible to sustainably and cleanly dispose of the waste of visitors and inhabitants without the creation of a centralised sewage treatment plant.

UTILITIES

While Misfāt is itself connected to the water mains and electricity grid the settlement can act as a showcase for new technologies that can be tested locally in a low-risk situation, and exported to other settlements. These improvements should be carried out independent from the touristic development of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn, though they doubtlessly complement the aims of establishing a sustainable economy for the region. Domestic water management The aim of the master plan proposition is to ensure sustainable management of water resources at Misfāt Al-‘Abriyīn. This includes the management of additional wastewater generated through the introduction of tourism infrastructure and provisions, as well as the proposed return of erstwhile residents to Old Misfāt and the long-stay visitors renting family accommodation within the village.

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The key issues of a sustainable wastewater management strategy and its implementation are concerned with both the preservation of available fresh water resources, as well as the effective management of generated wastewater. These would involve: • restricting per capita consumption of water (i.e., reduce demand) within new tourism provisions and accommodation; • developing strategies for phased reduction of consumption within the domestic sector at Modern Misfāt; • ensuring sustainable management and use of ground water resources and its replenishment to prevent aquifer depletion; • developing appropriate methods of wastewater treatment; • ensuring effective use of water within the agricultural sector to yield high return to water investment; • considering the introduction of tougher water tariff system to reduce unnecessary consumption.

Oman’s per capita water consumption is high, at about 180litres/day, exceeding that of Japan and the European Union. However, it can be safely assumed that the per capita consumption within the tourism sector accommodation (boutique hotel and short-stay accommodation) is unlikely to be as high as that. As it is, about 90% of water use in Oman lies within the agricultural sector, indicating the need for strict conservation measures in the irrigation of arable land. The domestic and touristic demand, however, is likely to push water consumption up, increasing the need for wastewater treatment and optimal utilisation of treated wastewater, stormwater and effluent. Wastewater treatment needs to ensure that further contamination of groundwater or freshwater supply is eliminated. Keeping the above in mind, a number of improved localised or on-site wastewater treatment methods could be considered, instead of, or in adition to, the anaerobic gasification process suggested above. These fall into ‘inverted trench’ and ‘aerobic treatment unit’ categories, which combine traditional wastewater treatment systems (e.g., standard septic tanks) with low-cost improvements to significantly reduce groundwater contamination. These treatment systems could be used in conjunction with composting toilets to further reduce the treatment load. Further attention should be given to the conservation and recycling of irrigation water by controlling the use of water for irrigation purposes (reviewing the traditional falaj water distribution mechanism), and providing holding tanks (this tradition exists in many Omani agricultural communities) to store and treat water post-irrigation. Stormwater diversion, storage and reuse could also be considered, especially at locations where it does not lead to effective aquifer recharge.

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Agricultural water management One of Oman’s most famous heritage aspects is the ingenuity and intelligence with which water was traditionally managed. The complex systems that were developed in order to source, transport and distribute the water resulted in the now famous falaj networks which allowed the creation of Oman’s great oases. The successful management of the water resource is the principal reason for the existence of Oman’s famous cities, and therefore forms the bedrock of the economy of the interior. Innovation is at the core of the traditional falaj technology. Modern techniques of water management, storage, power generation and water heating will significantly reduce water loss. Considering that agriculture accounts for around 90% of Oman’s annual water consumption the preservation of this resource is of the greatest importance to the future of the nation and, by extension, the oasis environment. It should also be stated at this point that the lush, cool and green oasis environment of Misfāt is the main attraction for visitors to the site. Therefore ensuring its continued growth and productiveness is the most important aspect of development in Misfāt.

Inverted trench (Ecomax)

While Misfāt is currently connected to the water mains the production and transport of this resource is extremely costly, inefficient and wasteful. Suggested improvements are: • Restoring and tightening the lock and sluice systems which control water flow to the fields. Currently the use of old clothes, rocks and mud to block water flow on over 200 sluices results in the evaporation and waste of hundreds of litres of water per day. • Covering and shading the long falaj channel along the wādi. Here too the sun heats the channel leading to evaporation and water loss. • More efficient drainage and runoff systems would allow for the capture and storage of rainwater for domestic and agricultural usage. • Domestic wastewater purification and recycling can be achieved with simple methods employed all over the developed world. • Especially within the green areas of the oasis, the air holds a high amount of moisture (up to 80%) and is therefore ideal for harvesting with atmospheric water generators. These can be solar powered and with a daily production of around 15L can cover the drinking water needs of an average household.

Aerated treatment unit (Biomax)

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• Soil aggregates such as Geohumus®, MaaGran® and clay pellet substrates vastly increase the moisture retention of the soil and therefore requiring up to 75% less water.

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• Drip irrigation systems may be used in some areas to expand agricultural areas or to maintain humidity in fallow fields without significantly raising water usage.

With the systematic application of all above measures water consumption in Misfāt could be reduced by a minimum of 30-40%. Conversely, this figure could also equate to an expansion of oasis land by 40%. Energy Oman is a country standing in a torrential rain of infinite free energy. Oman has a high ratio of “sky clearness” and receives extensive daily solar radiation ranging from 5,5-6 kWh/m2 a day in July to 2,5-3 Kwh/m2 a day in January, giving it one of the highest solar energy densities in the world. Considering an average power usage of 10 kWh per household a total of about 10m2 of solar panels would be necessary to cover the needs of most individual households. Solar water heaters could be used additionally to further reduce the reliance on external power-supplies and help reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. Indeed, it is perfectly feasible to make the whole of Misfāt energy independent making the village a model community in sustainable development.

SOLAR POWER

Solar water heating: A number of studies have revealed that the average Omani household expends approximately 12% of its electricity consumption on water heating. The readily available and affordable solar power technology is ideal for the sun-drenched communities in the Omani hinterland. The increased efficiency of modern solar panels ensure that a comparatively small surface is needed to cover the energy requirements of a given household. The high inclination of the sun for most of the year (41o max) allows the panels to be mounted nearly flat on the ground so that they do not obstruct the aspect of the houses. The current domestic demand of the average traditional-build Omani house is around the 16MWh annual, which translates into an average figure of 43.83 kWh daily. The majority of this energy cost is created by AC units associated with cooling the home. This cost can easily be reduced by 100% using solar power, as the hours of maximum temperature coincidence with the hours of maximum solar irradiation. At an average annual solar irradiation index of 7.08 Kwh/m2/day in Misfāt this results in approximatively 6m2 of photovoltaic panels per house at a cost of ca. OMR 350.

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to be placed into the falaj with no additional modification, and they can produce approximately 1.52.5Kw. Coupling 5-10 of these systems one behind the other into the falaj would allow covering a substantial part of Misfāt’s energy consumption without major infrastructural interference. Energy storage

Three different solar power generation models are conceivable for Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn in order of complexity and cost: 1) selection of a site outside and apart form the settlement which acts as a solar power farm with all the panels concentrated in one location. The advantages of this system are the following: • ease of maintenance and construction on level ground; • choice of site for maximum solar exploitation; • choice of site for minimum visual obstruction; • no need to ‘cover’ or hide the panels on the roofs of Old Misfāt; 2) semi-centralised distribution of power generating panels onto a selection of structures within the settlement, with the following advantages: • 4 or 5 of the most suitable roofs can be selected to concentrate solar panels; • reduced infrastructural cost for power distribution;

As part of a reduction of the reliance on fossil fuels and other outdated technologies, the in-home storage of energy opens up a gamut of opportunities for the off-grid settlements that still exists in their hundreds all over the Sultanate of Oman. The cost of providing electricity to the tens of thousands of people living in remote areas via enormous over-land electricity pylons across the countryside is not to be measured only in the millions of Omani Rial for construction. The real cost lies in the destruction of the landscape and the associated reduction of quality of life and general appeal. From the point of view of tourism this should be a concern. The most cost-effective solution currently available is the domestic storage of solar energy with Li-ion batteries. Tesla Energy® manufactures and sells a 10kWh battery, which includes the complete package for solar power storage at US$3000. Two of these wall-mounted units can easily provide the electricity needs of a large family home, raising the living standards of hundreds of rural communities across the country without the need to construct thousands of miles of energy transport infrastructure.

8.6 SERVICES (MEDICAL, COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL, RELIGIOUS)

3) complete distribution of panels of each user’s roof for individual generation and consumption: • complete independence of each household; • lowest infrastructural requirements; • may disrupt the visual aspect if not adequately disguised or hidden. Micro-hydro The long falaj channel running from the source to the village offers a number of simple and lowcost opportunities for power generation. Due to the low flow-rate and equally low head of the incline along which the water flows, no large speeds or pressures can be achieved, so a zero-head system could be employed. Coil turbines such as those produced by Hydrocoil® are small enough

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The consolidation of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn as a self-sustaining and healthily growing community is predicated upon the availability of the basic needs for the local population and its visitors. As such we propose the creation of the following services in the community and its immediate vicinity: • provision of a small medical centre for A&E care and preliminary attention and pharmaceutical care; • the creation of a small commercial space in modern Misfāt with small shops and/or a supermarket; • with a view towards a growing population in Modern Misfāt it may be necessary to provide more or larger prayer spaces in the vicinity of the community, including the ‘Id celebrations;

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• additional childcare facilities and an expansion to the school.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Oman already has exceptionally good internet and cell phone coverage in many rural areas, but we suggest that the creation of public Wi-Fi hotspots in some of the open spaces such as the Siqat Tawi, Harat al-Shua’ and outside the souq will serve as a catalyst towards the usage of the spaces. The necessary terminals and signal boosters of a 20m range are readily available and can easily be installed in a well-hidden manner so as not to disturb the visual aspect of the area.

8.7 SIGNAGE Signage is a key tool for the management of responsible access to heritage sites. Signage would be a simple and effective method of communication between the Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn residents, the government and other stakeholders, who own and manage the site, and the visitors who access the site and its surroundings for touristic, natural, environmental and heritage experience. Falling into 3 key categories – advisory, directional and interpretive – signage will provide: • the necessary welcome to the site; • codes to uphold residents’ privacy; • encouragement to experience significant qualities of the site through its interpretation; • establish vital guidance to safe experiencing of the site and its attractions.

Advisory signage will provide general information regarding what to expect, destinations and attractions, facilities and support, general guidance on responsible access, behaviour and experiencing, and how to access more focused information. To make people make their own judgement and choice, typically such signage will take the form of popular and accessible Arabic and English text, and simple diagrammatic maps, illustrations and universal signage to convey the information. Such signage will help visitors with general information and guidance regarding safe use of the site, and to be aware of hazards within the specific natural and heritage circumstances of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. Tourist-related facilities will be appropriately highlighted, providing a sense of their networked nature across the site. As Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn is an inhabited site, the importance of

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providing general guidance towards responsible behaviour within an Islamic context needs to be highlighted here.

Standard Hazard Warning Signage

Unobtrusive waymarking carved into stone

Directional signage will identify defined routes and trails, and support visitors to and along the routes. However, it will also identify routes and areas which are beyond public access, either for the privacy of local residents or for ensuring visitor safety. Given the fluid nature of settlement use by its residents over the annual and diurnal cycle and the state of preservation of the heritage fabric, such directional signage would require reviewing on a regular basis. Providing direction to tourist facilities – rest rooms, sitting areas, refectories, etc., and waymarking – will be part of the directional signage, as will be any definite restrictions regarding barring of access/passage due to considerations of visitor safety and hazardous conditions, as well as to ensure the privacy of the local residents. The latter forms a key consideration of the signage rationale and has been highlighted by the local residents as a critical issue for consideration. Consideration of areas where strict privacy would need to be observed is integral to the master plan development. Accordingly, the master plan has sought to consolidate areas of private dwellings, ensuring that privacy could be observed with effective and minimal signposting. Interpretative signage will provide information regarding the significance of the site and its touristic, urban, landscape, architectural and intangible qualities. This set of signage will provide information regarding the history and social character of the site (e.g., development of Misfāt over time, its social makeup, the diverse economic communities that constitute it), specific events and rituals (e.g., shua’a rituals), and architectural and urban characteristics that make the site unique (e.g., specific dwellings and their history and character, falaj irrigation system, expression of the social structure in architecture, urban components of the economy and livelihood, etc.). The intention of signage is to make the system as unobtrusive as possible. Waymarking could be simplified in the form of painting coloured marks on rocks and walls, or etching them into the hard surface, methods previously used in Misfāt aAl-‘Abriyīn and other locations with success. Quick Response (QR) smart codes printed on the signage could make use of additional information, accessible via smartphones. Smartphone technology could be used to provide an augmented experience of the site to visitors, especially those with limited mobility and other impairments.

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9 DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLAN

9.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter is divided into three sections (Regional Master Plans, Modern Misfāt and Old Misfāt) dealing with three levels of master planning. The first section deals with the broader region and the integration of the various sights of touristic interest that should be regarded as part of the tourism economy. The community of Misfāt is clearly divided into two separate entities, of which one is the old harah (Old Village) with its vernacular settlement core located above the wādi, close to the oasis. The other is the new part – Modern Misfāt, which has sprung up in recent decades and is broadly located on the escarpment to the south of Old Misfāt. The two are connected by a 600m stretch of tarmacked road along which there is little to no development. The latter consists of mainly spread-out modern housing development, but also contains a number of civic facilities, such as an open-air congregational mosque for Eid prayers and a large sablah or meeting hall, to the east of which is football ground. The sablah and the playground, as well as a site belonging to MoT to the north – usually designated as the ‘Camping Site’, comprise a key nodal development within modern Misfāt. Further to the southwest is the secondary school for Misfāt and the cluster of surrounding villages built to standard school design guidelines. The modern housing development extends uphill south of the playground as far as the top of the ridge and is visible from Al-Hamra located at the base of the hill. MoT owns two other sites at the eastern end of the modern settlement; one of these is a small site close to the edge of the valley overlooking Old Misfāt, identified as the ‘Viewing Point’ and the other, a large site extending east-west, is designated as an ‘Accommodation Site’.

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Jebel Shams

Jebel Shams Resort

Balad Seyt

The View Hotel Wadi Ghul

Misfat al-Abriyin

Al-Hamra Al-Hoota Cave

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9.2 REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN As part of a tourism Master Plan of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn it is necessary to take into account the already existing sites of interest in the broader region, and develop a strategy as to how these can be included into the visitor experience. For this Master Plan we envisage Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn to act as one of several hubs in the region from which a range of other sites can be explored. These include locations of cultural, historic and natural interest and all lie within approximately one hour’s drive from al-Hamra, or a day’s hike into the mountains, depending on preference. Some of the sites listed below have not yet received adequate attention or preparation to receive visitors.

SITES:

Al-Hoota Cave The al-Hootah cave is one of the most famous cave sites in Oman and could receive large numbers of visitors, though it is currently closed for maintenance work. The site in itself is easily accessible from the Nizwa - Al-Hamra road and should therefore form part of the regional attractions and add to the variety of sites reachable from Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn.

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Coleman’s Rock (Hasan Bani Salt, al-Zahirah) The large boulder located on the Nizwa - Al-Hamra road and known internationally as Coleman’s Rock is one of Arabia’s most important rock art monuments (Yule, 2001). Despite being of great antiquity and invaluable scientific value this monument was not adequately protected and has thus suffered significant damage from vandalism and ignorance. We propose that, in addition to providing more information and protection towards this monument, its existence be better advertised and included into the visitor experience to the region.

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Balad Seyt This mountain settlement has over the last decade received substantial interest from the scientific community due to its remote location and uniquely well-preserved agricultural farmlands. The techniques and crops utilised in the region as well as the extraordinary and picturesque placement of Balad Seyt makes it an ideal destination for hikers interested in traditional lifestyles and breathtaking landscapes.

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Al-Hamra Al-Hamra is the largest settlement in the immediate vicinity of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn and a necessary way-point on the way to almost all the locations here listed. Despite its antiquity, interesting architectural heritage and well-preserved oasis environment the town does not currently cater adequately to visitors in terms of accommodation, tourism information and amenities. The town of Al-Hamra exhibits a fascinating social and architectural history as well as a well preserved oasis, all of which lend themselves ideally to touristic development. Furthermore, its central location on the route to various sites of interest add additional weight to the site’s potential.

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Bahla Bahla is likely to best known of the sights in the area due to its UNESCO World Heritage Status and the recently restored iconic fort, visible from miles around. The town already sees large numbers of visitors each day and a small but growing tourism-related economy has begun to develop there. This could quite easily be expanded upon with some adequate guidance from the relevant ministries and the implementation of the measures proposed in ArCHIAM’s development plan for al-‘Aqr (2012). The number of hotel beds in Bahla has increased markedly over the past few years, and the town is now capable of supporting substantial visitor numbers.

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Jebel Shams Probably the crown jewel of the Jabal Akhdar and its highest peak the Jebel Shams has long been a preferred destination for visitors to Oman’s Interior. Two resorts cater for visitors to the area, and it is recommended that no further exploitation of the area should take place. Nevertheless, the provision of basic facilities at the peak will need to be arranged with an increased number of visitors. Additionally we propose the creation of trekking paths and routes to connect the Jebel Shams with the surrounding villages, and especially with Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. Secure and well documented climbing routes will attract outdoor tourists.

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Jabreen The Castle of Jabreen (also spelled Jibreen, Gabrin, etc.), a 17th century fortress, was build during the Ya’rubi period and has recently been lavishly restored to receive visitors. It already forms part of the touristic periplus of the Bahla region, therefore it could aid in the tourism development of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. The relatively remote location of Jabreen means that the closest opportunities for overnight accommodation are located in Bahla, located about 20 minutes drive away.

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9.3 MODERN MISFĀT (HARAT AS-SIBAN) Harat as-Siban is the principal entry point into the Misfāt area, and as such must be prepared to receive larger numbers of visitors. In addition to a series of sites owned by MOT, earmarked for touristic and community development, this Master Plan also includes the cration of the Misfāt Visitor Centre (MVC), located on the slope of the mountain ascending towards Misfāt after passing through al-Hamra (23°07’46.31” N 57°18’01.13” E). The site is chosen keeping safety in mind, at a point where the access road enters the longest straight stretch with very little inclination. Consisting of a checkpoint, a coach and car park, tourist information point, shops and resting facilities, this site will act as a filter point preventing all tourist vehicular access to the village. Instead, more sustainable transport alternatives (modern

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and traditional alternatives could be made available) will be provided by the Misfāt Residents’ Cooperative (MRC) at a small cost, enriching the tourist experience. Visitors would be able to avail safe parking, and access information, refreshment and rest facilities, in addition to experiencing the breathtaking views downhill towards Al-Hamra and across the Jabal Al-Akhdar ranges. In accordance with the proposal to limit the number of visitors who are inside Old Misfāt at any given hour of the day to 75 (excluding 175 overnight stays), the visitor centre will serve as a buffer point to control the rate of arrivals while also providing an opportunity to take in the extraordinary view, have a refreshment or perhaps use the facilities. This will also reduce the strain on the infrastructure in Old Misfāt. The maximum of 175 overnight visitors are not counted towards the hourly cap as they are likely to be spending the daylight hours outside of the settlement, either hiking in the mountains or exploring the sights of the surrounding territory in Bahla, Jebel Shams, Nizwa, etc.

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MISFĀT VISITOR CENTRE

This location was chosen by the local authorities to house a series of facilities and parking spaces in order to control access to the village, moderate traffic and charge an entrace fee to tourists and visitors. The proposed Misfāt Visitor Centre is to be composed of the following:

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• toilets; • viewpoint; • boom gate with keycard access for community members.

• space for two 50-seat coaches; • hard top parking for 30 cars, with graded spaces for an additional 80 vehicles for peak days such as Eidt; • Parking and transit space for up to five 12-seat shuttle buses to transport visitors to and from the old village of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn; • facilities for up to 100 people at peak times, though this number is unlikely to be reached at the outset; • souvenir and crafts shop; • coffee shop/restaurant;

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The design of the MVC is unobtrusive and nestles into the landscape in such a manner as to least disturb the visual aspect of the mountain and surroundings. This includes the parking areas, which are to be sunk into the ground by approximately 2m. By locating the parking areas on the uphill side of the road and the facilities on the downhill side we can best hide the large number of vehicles in the landscape. Traffic along the main road will continue unhindered by creating an underground passage under the road which connects the parking areas with the visitor centre proper. We propose the MVC use primarily solar energy for electricity and hot water as this will reduce infrastructure costs and serve to showcase Oman’s (and Misfāt’s) modern commitment to sustainable technologies. Management and proceeds should be handled by the Misfāt Community Cooperative.

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HOTEL SITE

MOT holds a large site on the east end of Harat as-Siban which is earmarked to becoming a hotel site (23°08’07.05” N 57°18’41.69” E). The prominence and exposure of this plot provide the area with excellent views both of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn and the far landscape towards the south. Unfortunately this also means that any major construction on this location will be equally visible from afar, and in particular from inside Old Misfāt. In accordance with our Buffer Zone guidelines (Chapter 6 Tourism Economic Study) any construction on this site must be carried out in such a manner so as to not obstruct the views towards it. For this we use the slope of the terrain to sink structures into the ground and use walls of local stone as view-breakers. Retaining the materiality of the surrounding landscape will camouflage the architecture against the backdrop. An additional concern is the preservation of the privacy of the adjoining dwellings, which is to be achieved also by view-breaking walls, vegetation and the use of sheltered courtyards The site could be developed in such a way as to provide up to 100 beds, though in order to retain exclusivity and generate a higher profit margin we propose to reduce this number to around 80. As part of this enterprise we propose the establishment of a restaurant, open-air coffeeshop and viewing terrace to appreciate the surrounding views.

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CAMPING SITE (COMMUNITY AREA)

The area previously designated to becoming camping site, located at the centre of Harat as-Siban has already been substantially developed (23°08’15.79” N 57°18’24.11” E). Some basic facilities have been built in addition to a picnic area and a parking that occupies a large area. It is proposed that the ‘Camping Site’ is given over to the local community. The site would provide a communal, leisure and commercial hub for modern Misfāt, consisting of provision stores, a park for local children and residents and other civic amenities (e.g., health clinic, citizen’s advise centre or a ‘onestop’ shop for information). The site is expected to continue as the location for Azwah and other festive celebrations, giving popular access to the site during such occasions. The site does not lend itself particularly well to the camping experience, being, as it is, surrounded by residential houses and having no views or natural shade. In this sense we propose to re-use this large space and turn it over to the local community. Its central location and easy access make it ideal for the creation of a retail area, with small shops, a supermarket, landscaped park and a medical centre in addition to a children’s play area. Complemented by the already existing football ground immediately adjoining this area, and the new communal meeting hall (sablah/majlis) we envisage

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the growth of a lively community space for all ages at the heart of Harat as-Siban. The public space will employ high-quality design to enhance its civic nature, taking into account the diverse range of activities that represent life in this community, and one which also anticipates the future of this culture and society. A range of shading devices will ensure gradation of civic space that employs modulation in light and airflow to define ambient environments. Appropriately positioned seating areas will provide opportunities for rest and reflection. The material employed will combine traditional and modern material to produce a hybrid experience that best evokes a community in transition. Additionally we propose to locate a helicopter landing site at this location for emergency evacuations. The closest large-scale hospital with an intensive care unit is located in Nizwa, at over 1 hour’s drive. Rapid emergency services provision in the case of illness or severe trauma is of great importance for a tourist transit site such as Misfāt al-‘Abriyin, in particular considering the average age (59 years) of the current visitor demographic.

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LABOURERS HOUSING

The development of Old Misfāt will, in all likelihood, see many of the expatriate labourers currently living there being expelled in favour of more lucrative usage of these dwellings. While this will be difficult to avoid, we propose the creation of living accommodation of appropriate standards and quality for this community of workers. Its proposed location – discussed with the local community – is within walking distance of both Modern and Old Misfāt (23°08’29.42” N 57°18’23.34” E). The site located on higher ground across the main road from the modern Eid prayer enclosure (Musallat al-Eid), offers excellent views. Carefully considered design will need to ensure high environmental standards and protection from the elements at this somewhat exposed site. High

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environmental standards are especially required given that the local community proposes also to relocate their cattle, which these workers also tend, in proximity to their new accommodation. It is proposed that the workers’ accommodation is designed as single or double storied structures surrounding courtyards to provide introspective environments. Semi-enclosed but shaded spaces would provide extensions to the living and sleeping quarters. The labourer’s dwellings are to be robust, permanent and modern structures with running water, electricity and sanitation to international standards. If cattle sheds are located in proximity, measures need to be taken to ensure that environmental standards are not compromised.

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SCHOOL SITE (WOMEN’S AREA)

Located immediately to the south of the school on the outskirts of Modern Misfāt is a large plot which was originally earmarked for the creation of a youth hostel. While the establishment of a youth hostel at Misfāt al-‘Abriyin is in principle welcomed by the community, its appropriateness at the location was questioned, given its detrimental potential to infringe privacy of the housing development that has taken place there. It was also felt that there was a lack of appropriately private community facilities for women in the settlement. It is therefore proposed that the erstwhile youth hostel site be converted to contain a number of ‘town houses’ (10) which provide accommodation to mainly Omani families desirous of enjoying the

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natural splendor of Misfāt al-‘Abriyin in private. The location of these ‘town houses’ in proximity to residential quarters will allow privacy. In addition it is proposed that a range of communal, training and leisure facilities catering for the fast expanding young women of the community be established. Such facilities could consist of function/meeting hall, sports and bathing facilities, shaded exterior spaces, and learning and training facilities, alongside a Qur’anic school and prayer space. This facility for the women will complement the community facilities developed further uphill catering mainly for men, but also a wider cross section of the community. A nursery or day care centre could be located in either one of the two sites.

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9.4 OLD MISFĀT (HARAT AL-BILAD) The approach adopted for the master planning is one of selective intervention, in which various potential sites are considered based on their significance in the settlement’s morphology. In addition, structures and spaces of historic, architectural and civic significance are prioritized. For example, the key entry points to the settlements – the two gateways located at the NW and NE ends of the settlement (Sabah al-Maqbarah and Sabah as-Sur) – are accompanied by significant clusters of structures which are to be restored/ rebuilt. These two nodes are considered carefully within the Master Plan in their (internal and external) context. However, as evidence would suggest, these two gateways may only have been the back entrances, providing ease of access to the cattle grazing area beyond the cemetery and for the Hattali community, who lived close to the NE end of the settlement, and had hamlets extended across the hills in that direction. The main entrance, instead, was on the south side through Sabah Dars al-Khisla facing the sablah, Hadayir, around which occasional open-air markets were held with the arrival of travelling traders. Such ethnographic detail therefore turns the focus of the Master Plan to the seemingly insignificant area surrounding the sablah and the southern gateway into the older (upper) settlement quarter. A key aspect of the Master Plan is addressing the parking problem posed by both the rising number of vehicles owned by local residents, as well as, crucially, the additional pressure resulting from the influx of tourists and the current unplanned parking provision. To address this a number of measures are undertaken. Tourist car parking is entirely removed from the Old Village and restricted to the parking provided at ‘Entry Point’ downhill (see above). Shuttle transportation, in the form of a mini-bus service operating between this control point and the Old Village, would bring in tourists to the settlement. An off-road short-stay parking facility for the mini-buses (4 nos), as well as, longerstay car parking facilities for local residents have been created for this purpose by repositioning boulders and removing rocks from two areas along the northern edge of the road to the west of the settlement entrance. Additional parking space has been created near the wādi-end of the road. The spill-over car parking during Eid and other festivities for visiting extended family members is designated near the Eid congregational mosque.

TRANSPORT AND TRANSIT The Transport and Transit Master Plan is based upon the wishes of the community to control access to the Misfāt area from the main road leading up the mountain from Al-Hamra. Leaving their cars and coaches at the Misfāt Visitor Centre tourists will arrive in the settlement in regulated stream

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that will cap the numbers of people within the settlement to around 75-100 maximum at any given hour. The parking areas at Harat al-Bilad (Old MisfÄ t) account for five 12 seater shuttle buses plus 1520 additional parking spaces for cars. A paved road will lead up unit E7, proposed for short stay accommodation, to provided additional parking for 2 cars and loading/unloading space. Additional space for 25 cars is provided in area ‘Q’. Visitor transit within Harat al-Bilad is to be controlled in order to protect the privacy of the residents and reduce the stress and strain of large numbers of outsiders on the community. The difficult terrain and sometimes steep passages through and around the settlement have led to the use of donkeys as transport animals to carry heavy good within the oasis and the village. We propose that this practice be continued and expanded towards the carrying of luggage for elderly or otherwise incapacitated tourists.

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INTERVENTION TYPES AND EXTENT The current condition of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn , while overall quite good, does warrant some form of intervention on nearly every building, ranging from basic maintenance to restoration and complete rebuilding of structures. Notably, those structures currently inhabited (such as in area C) are as expected also to be the best preserved and will require little intervention other than the hiding of utility lines and other external features. Other structures, such as those inhabited by labourers, may exhibit relatively few structural faults, but they lack all modern facilities and are often in a deplorable internal condition. Those buildings that have been abandoned for prolonged periods of time exhibit serious signs of decay and occasional ruin. The collapse of roofs has accelerated the degradation of walls and foundation leading in some

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cases to the complete collapse of the structure: B1, A12, A13, A14. In these cases reconstruction or a complete new build may be required. An additional conservational issue often encountered in Misfāt and many other settlement of a similar type in the region is the use of modern materials and building techniques on traditional sub-structures. While in principle the conjunction of traditional and modern elements is perfectly acceptable, this should be done in a responsible and structurally sound manner. One common problem is the use of concrete roofs on mud-brick buildings. Unless done in a professional manner the heavy weight of the cement roof invariable leads to the crushing and warping of the structure below. In these cases a degree of retrofitting and strengthening of the building will be necessary.

t

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9.5 MASTER PLAN FOR HARAT AL-BILAD (OLD MISFĀT) The proposal is based on a strategy of integration of tourism with the management of Misfāt’s significant heritage and the need for development that builds on the key economic pillars of such mountain communities – agriculture, animal husbandry and associated crafts. Tourism experience, it is envisaged, would be diversified by integrating and further developing traditional modes of production into the 21st century. Conceptually, the Master Plan for the Old Village develops three focal activity/experiential areas with emphasis on food, agriculture and animal husbandry, centred on a hub supporting the Misfāt Residents’ Cooperative (MRC) and the tourism infrastructure. This hub is formed by restoring, rebuilding and redeveloping two ancient dwelling clusters of Misfāt, Bayt as-Safa’ (G1-G2) and the eastern section of Bayt al-Baytayn (C1, B5-B6-B7), as well as the large dwelling H1. This ‘introspective’ hub will be complemented by having an outdoor hub in the open space surrounding the sablah, Sablat al-Hadayir. The food experience will be located in Harat ash-Shuwa, the animal husbandry around the entrance, Sabah as-Sur, and the agricultural experience in Harat as-Safil. MoT owns two properties along the southern edge of the main access road (K1 and K2), of which K2 has been restored/rebuilt and designated as ‘Information Point’. MoT intends to develop K1 as a restaurant. While accepting the broad use pattern, this Master Plan proposes that a more detailed understanding of the usage be established, i.e., what kind of information centre would this be and how would it differ from other information points distributed across the old and the new areas, or what cross-programming would be necessary to make this or the restaurant building viable? Developing tourism capacity by providing additional accommodation within the Old Village is an

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important priority. This is considered in relation to the carrying capacity of the settlement in terms of its spatial structure and its infrastructure, as well as accommodation provided in Modern Misfāt (‘Accommodation Site’) and elsewhere in the region (Al-Hamra, Bahla, Nizwa, etc.). The current hostel accommodation in the Harat as-Safil area has been successful and could support expanded capacity in the quarter, should properties become available. However, other areas of potential accommodation expansion have been considered and identified. This includes the refurbishment and reuse of E7 – a large two-storeyed house of modern construction currently lying disused. It is proposed that appropriate facilities and access be provided and the building converted to shortterm accommodation. E7 could thus provide an alternative to the hostel accommodation for those who might find the trek down to Harat as-Safil physically challenging. While E7 would provide excellent views across the wādi, appropriate measures would also need to be taken to protect the women’s washing areas from view, located along the falaj below. In addition, the Master Plan aims to encourage currently inhabited residential areas to be further consolidated with erstwhile residents deciding to return to live within the harah or to develop their properties as ‘second homes’ to return periodically. It is plausible that such accommodation could be rented out though the MRC who act in the capacity of an agent facilitating continued inhabitation. The largest cluster of dwellings inhabited by Omani families in Zone ‘C’ towards the eastern end of the upper harah, with smaller groups of active dwellings in zones ‘A’ and ‘E’. By consolidating these inhabitation zones, and extending these where necessary (F1, F2, H5, E8, E5), it is proposed that a continuous strip of inhabited dwellings is formed along the northern edge of the settlement, giving the settlement a stronger sense of inhabitation. Also, dwellings in Zone ‘D’ are proposed as additions to the currently inhabited ‘C’ dwelling cluster to make a stronger inhabited presence at the eastern end of the harah. It is proposed that accommodation of acceptable standards be planned for expatriate agricultural workers who currently inhabit a number of dwellings within the settlement.

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HARAT ASH-SHUA’

Harat ash-Shua’ is regarded as a key point of interaction between the local population and the visitors, providing a rich and active tourism experience. As it is, this defined courtyard setting provides excellent experience of the Shuwa rituals and festivities that take place during the Eid festival. It is a setting that requires immediate preservation, which could only be sustained through innovative and continued use. A number of properties within Harat as-Shuwa has been identified for potential development into accommodation with around 35 beds (B2-B3-B4 – the ‘western’ section of Bayt al-Baytayn, and A5), along with others which could provide hands-on experience of the local crafts (culinary, agrarian handicrafts, etc.) and spaces where interaction could take place. A youth club is therefore proposed within the courtyard (A6-A7) along with Omani food experience provided through a ‘disaggregated’ restaurant within the courtyard. Along with Harat as-Shua’, the buildings C1 and B5-B6-B7 are to form the touristic focus of the upper (older) settlement quarter. Collectively the eastern part of the large dwelling cluster, Bayt al-Baytayn, that dates back to the seventeenth century, will form the touristic hub consisting of a repository/museum and a range of facilities supporting the visiting tourists. The hub will extend beyond Sikkat at-Tawi to include the other large twin-house, Bayt as-Safa’ (G1-G2), which will provide a holistic experience of life in a mountain settlement within an original setting. The Master Plan proposes using different forms of paving in order to distinguish the public transit areas from the private accesses to houses. In this sense patterned concrete and stone are to be used for the public areas, while wooden decking will provide the visual and physical threshold for the private spaces.

BAYT AL-BAYTAIN

The clusters of monumental dwellings known as Bayt al-Baytayn (C1-B5) offers itself to becoming a cultural centre for the comminity and visitors of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. The grand architecture with large open interior spaces provides space for functions, exhibitions and meetings. Partial

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reconstruction will be necessary in order to make these structures usable again, though their overall aged character is to be retained. Innovative lighting techniques such as mirror lanterns and light wells can be used to bring natural light into the interior of these structures without the need of additional external opening, therefore preserving the original inward-looking character of these dwellings.

SIKKAT AT-TAWI

Sikkat at-Tawi forms a central square to Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. It is the point at which all paths converge and, as such, it forms an important focal point for both the community and visitors. The surrounding buildings are some of the oldest and grandest in the village and provide a grand

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architectural backdrop to the main thoroughfare of Harat-al-Bilad. The site offers the potential of being a point of connection and communication between locals and outsiders, and we propose the creation of shaded seating area with benches and tables. The provision of public free wi-fi may serve as an additional catalyst for the usage of the space.

MAIN GATE AREA (BAB AL-MKOBRA) AND FRONTAL ASPECT

One of the most fascinating and visually appealing aspects of the settlement of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn is how the generations of builders in the community dealt with the complexity of the terrain and the irregular topography. The insertion of houses into rock crevasses and onto high cliffs lends the site a unique character which it is essential to preserve.

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Unfortunately over the past 30 or so years there have been multiple additions and ‘modernisations’ carried out on many buildings in cement and concrete block which severely disrupt the traditional aspect of the site. While the use of modern materials in not in principle problematic, it should be done with the utmost care and with a view towards complementing the traditional fabric rather than obliterating it. In this sense we propose the deconstruction of some of the modernised elements, and in other cases to reconstruct façades in either traditional materials of integratively designed modern fabrics. The road leading up along the northern edge of the settlement is to be paved in patterned concrete so as to improve grip, prevent slippage and slow the water runoff during heavy rains. It will provide sporadic vehicular access to proposed accommodation site E7 (15-20 beds) and the main parking area close to the settlements main gate (F4). The ground floor of F4 could be turned into a small guard house for a night watchman.

MISFĀT COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE /HEADQUARTERS

H1 is designated as the administrative headquarters and meeting point for Misfāt Residents’ Cooperative (MRC). H1 would have the potential for extension into H2, should more space be necessary for additional seminar/workshop rooms. In restoring and rebuilding these buildings it would be possible to ensure that the complex passages and urban space structure surrounding it are preserved. The buildings itself is divided into the section, the latter pertaining to unit H2 which is located across a lane but connected to H1 via an overhead passage.

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H1 is a two storied buildings with relative large rooms and generous spaces which lends themselves ideally for office and meeting rooms. While substantial renovation and modernisation of the building is necessary, we propose to retain the general dimensions and layout of the structure. Additionally we propose the insertion of a roof access, to create a shaded terrace and view point.

SOUQ

The touristic focus of the lower settlement quarter (Harat as-Safil) will be the open space surrounding Sablat al-Hadayir, once the congregation space for travelling traders who would periodically visit the settlement, and a space that was effectively the settlement’s original ‘front’ or ‘face’, which is to be developed into an open-air market (mainly for tourists but also selling provisions relevant to local residents) with the sablah providing a meeting/resting/information point. The stalls are to be semi-permanent structures in which cooperative members can sell their produce

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and crafts while additional spaces can be rented out to non-cooperative members for a fee. The intention is to provide a true functional market which is geared towards both the local community as well as the visitors. The location, outside the main residential area, guarantees protection from noise and interference, and we recommend that for the transport of heavier goods to, and from, the main vehicular access areas the use of donkeys should be continued. This can also be expanded to the transport of luggage for elderly or incapacitated tourists.v The sablah’s undercroft could provide permanent storage space for stowing away merchandise and equipment, while the adjoining structure could provide space for more protected commercial outlets. Further south, J8 – a traditional house remodelled significantly using modern construction – will be developed into short-term accommodation to consolidate this use within Harat as-Safil. The lower level of this property, accessed from the lane on its north, would provide toilets and resting facilities for tourists. To its east, Sablat as-Safil (J13), a private meeting hall of unique formal features, could be converted into a Qur’anic school for boys. It is envisaged that J11 and J12 would be developed as small-scale agricultural industrial production centres, producing and packaging condiments based on the local agricultural produce.

CAMPING AREAS

As had already been considered in previous plans for Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn, we feel that it is important to retain the opportunity for locals and visitors to camp out in the open and to be more closely connected to the natural environment. Unlike the current effort in dedicating the centre of Harat as-Siban to this goal, we propose that the path along the wādi, leading toward the mountains and Balad Seyt, be prepared for campers. The infrastructural cost and requirements are to be minimal, consisting primarily of small plots of prepared and flattened ground with a picnic bench, preconstructed fire place and a well-hidden dry toilet. Running water can be provided from the falaj

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which flows nearby. Provision is to be made for three plots capable of housing two tents each. In total allocated space should not exceed that for 10 campers at a time. All materials to be used in the construction of these facilities are to be locally sourced and should blend in perfectly with the surrounding context.

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9.6 PHASING OF STRUCTURAL INTERVENTIONS The Master Plan proposes a phased approach towards its realisation. From a heritage conservation perspective, phasing is designed to prioritise the buildings and sites that are of significance as well as under the threat to collapse and disintegration. This would ensure that the urban fabric and townscape is appropriately preserved and no further damage to it takes place. From a tourism development point of view, phasing will ensure tangible difference to the tourist experience, developing sites of tourist attraction, and a planned approach to developing sustainable tourism capacity. Generating revenue is an important route to self-sufficiency, an aspect that has been considered carefully in the phasing plan. The optimisation of tourist carrying capacity of Misfāt al-‘Abriyin, as indicated elsewhere, is reliant on the optimal tourist population density the proposal aims to achieve. However, this is also dependent on a supporting transport, energy and waste disposal infrastructure, the phasing of which has to be carefully considered to aid capacity building. The Master Plan therefore proposes a phasing in 4 key stages (Phase 1-4) that address the above concerns and priorities. The economic assessment of the proposal – both capital investment and revenue generation – takes into account these phases, which are delivered over an 8-year period, with each phase lasting over a 2-year period. The phasing considers all components of conservationrelated activities (restoration, consolidation, reconstruction and adaptive reuse, defined elsewhere) in Old Misfāt, new developments associated with tourism capacity expansion within the new area of Misfāt (as-Siban), and infrastructural measures connected with heritage management, community capacity enhancement and tourism development across the traditional and modern settlement areas. The tourism economic assessment of the proposal and its phasing is discussed in detail in Chapter 6 Tourism Economics Study, especially illustrated through the tables presented in that chapter. Phase-1 Transport infrastructural considerations form an import part of this Master Plan, not least because of the tourism focus. In order that tourism becomes sustainable, managing vehicular access to both the new and the old parts of the village is important. Currently, there is inadequate parking provision for the small number of local residents at old-Misfāt and for the relatives and friends who visit the village during festivals, celebrations and bereavements. Road infrastructure leading to pedestrian pathways within the settlement, and pedestrian security measures require upgrading. Within Modern Misfāt developments, a key priority is to establish a traffic control point to manage incoming vehicles, as well as to be able to charge a tourist ‘entry fee’ as a source of revenue generation. This would be possible if suitable car and coach parking facilities could be established

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at the site identified as the control point, downhill from the settlement. Considering these, Phase-1 proposes to invest in the development of the vehicular and pedestrian infrastructure as a priority. Other infrastructural investments are also proposed as part of Phase-1. This relates to the development of energy and waste management infrastructures investing in solar power generation and storage, and biogas production units. Investment in solar power would, in the first instance, remove all tourism related facilities away from the power grid (23 proposed in Phase-1), adding no extra load to the regional power load. Biogas generation facilities, likewise, will allow a more sustainable management of human and agricultural waste. The touristic development of MisfÄ t’s heritage environment will also require the development of an interpretation plan to guide and inform visitors. This should be done together with the cooperative and explanatory materials, exhibitions, etc should be housed in the documentation centre housed in B5. Phase-1 also involves the development of key sites of significance within Old MisfÄ t. However, given the state of preservation of most structures the approach to their eventual adaptive reuse is a staged process. In Phase-1 a number of buildings are to undergo initial consolidation before

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their significant remodelling could take place in Phase-2. Likewise, other properties will variously undergo reconstruction and restoration before these become ready for adaptive reuse. This includes: two large dwellings collectively known as Bayt as-Safa’ – to be partially restored and partially adapted for reuse; the initial consolidation of the Bayt al-Husn, under threat of collapsing. Both properties are proposed for conversion into a visitor attraction providing experience of life in mountain settlements. The two gateways (sabah) into the settlement from the north and northeast (Mqobra and Sur), as well as the gateway on the south (Dars al-Khisla) require urgent attention to avoid collapse and loss of character, but importantly, to avoid any casualty. Properties flanking the two north gates are to be put into adaptive reuse to further support this following initial consolidation and some restoration (Mqobra: A2 & F4; Sur: E4, E5, E6 & E2). Bayt al-Baytayn, another cluster of dwellings, the eastern part of which is proposed for reuse into a visitor experience consisting of a museum/gallery, interpretation centre and other tourist facilities, is proposed for consolidation in Phase-1. To enhance capacity in accommodation within the old village, the adaptive reuse of houses E7 and A4-A5 will begin in this phase. The sablah Hadayir also requires urgent attention to prevent it from collapsing. Bayt Ambah (A13, A14) will undergo significant consolidation to prepare it for future reuse as a trekking and camping centre in Phase-2. Within Modern Misfāt, the focus in this phase will be the development of the Visitors’ Centre – a key source of income generation for the cooperative and for enhancing tourist experience. In addition, the site owned by MoT next to the school will be developed into 10 townhouses for

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mainly Omani families, and educational, training and recreational facilities geared towards the women of the community (the ‘villa site’). An additional women’s congregational facility will be developed in Old Misfāt along the falaj, close to the women’s washing area. The new ‘boutique’ hotel construction will be phased in, with the initial building of a 25 bed facility in Phase-1, followed by another 25 in Phase-2 and a final 50 in Phase-3. Phase-2 In Phase-2 the key infrastructural emphasis will be on providing vehicular/ road and pedestrian infrastructure for the community centre and completing any outstanding infrastructure for the Visitors’ Centre. Additional investment in solar power will take extra 16 buildings off the power grid. This is completed with the conversion of the remaining 28 buildings in Phase-3 (virtually all private dwellings), making Misfāt al-‘Abriyin entirely reliant on alternative energy. The restoration and adaptive reuse of Harat as-Shuwa – including the consolidation of part of Bayt al-Baytayn (B2, B3, B4) into high quality bed-and-breakfast, is to take place in this phase. The consolidation and restoration of properties to the east of Sabah as-Sur (E1, E3, E12) prior to their incorporation into a centre of weaving and pastoral crafts is proposed. The conversion of two key properties in this phase into a youth club (A6, A7) will allow greater interaction between the younger generation and tourists, enhancing the latter’s experience and providing a tangible reason

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for greater attachment of the youth to the settlement. Another group of building in Harat as-Shuwa (A10, A11, A12) are to undergo consolidation. The front part of Bayt al-Baytayn (C1), as well as Bayt al-Husn (F1), will be put to reuse. J14 will undergo consolidation prior to its use as a centre for agricultural crafts. Bayt Ambah (A13, A14) will be adapted for use as a centre for trekking and camping. In Modern Misfāt the focus will be on the continued development of the second phase of the ‘boutique’ hotel (25 rooms), as well the focal community facility providing commercial, health and recreational and parking provisions. It is envisaged that the 10 townhouses would be completed by this phase and will begin generating revenue. Phase-3 Infrastructure and road development related to the ‘boutique’ hotel continues in Phase-3, in conjunction with the development of pedestrian pathways and communal spaces within Modern Misfāt. As indicated earlier, the remaining 28 buildings in Old Misfāt could be taken off the power grid by making them entirely reliant on solar power. A major focus of this phase in Old Misfāt is the restoration of dwellings under private ownership, with a view to: a) keeping them under the same use; b) reviving their use as dwelling for the use of returning Misfāt residents; or 3) for Misfāt residents residing elsewhere as second homes. In the case of J4, restoration will make it available for Bayt al-Baytayn will undergo adaptive reuse as the tourist/ cultural centre following previous consolidation, as will Bayt as-Safil in Harat as-Safil. The ‘boutique’ hotel construction is to finish with the final 50 beds being installed in this phase generating revenue in Phase-4.

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MisfĀt al-‘Abriyīn - Heritage Management and Development Plan SHEET 2

Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn

SHEET 3 K2

MASTERPLAN DESIGN

A14

ET HE

1

S

K1 A8

A12 A11

B1

A9

A10

F1

A2

A7 B2 J10b

F4

J9

A5

B4

J10a

F1

A3

A6

B3

A4

F3

G1 F2

B5

C1

J8 J5

B6

J6

E10

G2

B7

H5 H2

H1 C2

C6

D5

E11 E9

H3

H6

E8

E8

J13

J12

J11 J14

C3 J4

C4

J12

I1 I2

J3

D1 C5

H4

D3

E7

E12

E1 I9

E3 I5

I3

J1

I6 I4

J2

E6

E4

D4 D2

E5

E2

I7 I8

SHEET 4

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MASTERPLAN DESIGN SHEET 1

J5

J2 J4

J13 J6 J11

J3 J14 J10a

J9

J12

J12

J8

J10b

P2

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MisfĀt al-‘Abriyīn - Heritage Management and Development Plan MASTERPLAN DESIGN E7

SHEET 2

E6

E11 E5 F3

E4

E8 E9 E8

E2

E10

E12 F2

H5

H2

H1

F1

H4

H3

E1

H6

G2

K1

D4

F4

D5

D3

G1

D2

K2 A1 A2 A9

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A3

C2 A4

D1 C3

C1

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H4

H3

H5

185

E1

F2

SHEET 3

H1

F1

H6

G2

D4

F4

D5

D3

G1

D2

A1 A2 A9

A3

C2 A4

D1 C3

C1 C5

A7

A8

C4

A6

B7

A5 A10

B5

A11

C6

B6

B4 B3

A12 B2 A14 A13

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MisfĀt al-‘Abriyīn - Heritage Management and Development Plan A5

A4

MASTERPLAN DESIGN

F3

G1

F2

SHEET 4 E10

G2

B5

H5

E11

C1 H2 B7

E9

H1

C2

H3

D5 H6

C3

E8 H4

D3

E5

C4 D1

E12

D4

E2

E6

E4

E7

E1

I1 C5 12

D2

P1

I9

E3 I5

I3 J1

I6 I4

I7 I8

J2

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Historic Towns and Urban Areas (Washington Charter 1987). Washington, DC October 1987. ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), 1999. Charter on the Built Vernacular Heritage. Mexico, October 1999. ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), 2003. Principles for the Analysis, Conservation and Structural Restoration of Architectural Heritage. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (The Venice Charter 1964). 2nd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Venice 1964. Jokilehto, J., 2006. Considerations on authenticity and integrity in world heritage context. City & Time, 2 (1), 1-16. Izkawi, Sirhán b. SaΚid b. Sirhán b. Muhammad al- (attributed; Ross, E.C. tr.). 1874. Annals of Oman, from the Early Times to the Year 1728 A.D. (Kashf al-Ghumma: al-JāmiΚ li akhbār alumma). Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 2(2): 111-196. KanaΚan R. 2008. The carved-stucco miΉrābs of Oman: form, style and influences. In Salimi, A. al-, Gaube, H. & Korn L. (eds), Islamic Art in Oman: 230–259. Muscat: Ministry of Heritage and Culture & Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs. Kervran, M. & Bernard, V. 1996. MiΉrāb/s Omanais du 16e Siècle: Un Curieux Exemple de Conservatisme de l’Art du Stuc Iranien des Époques Seldjouqide et Mongole. Archéologie Islamique 6: 109-56. Lorimer, J.G. 1908; 1915 (1970 reprint). Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, ΚOman and Central Arabia: I (Historical and Genealogical. 1915); II (Geographical. 1908). Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing. Lowick, N. 1983. The Sinaw Hoard of Early Islamic Coins, Journal of Oman Studies 6: 199-230 Mershen, B. 2010. Unveiling the Past: The Role of Oral History in Understanding Oasis Development. In A. Buerkert and E. Schlecht (eds.) Oases of Oman. Livelihood Systems at the Crossroads. Muscat: Al Roya Press and Publishing House: 52-55 ___. 2004. Abandoned settlements in Oman as heritage resources – rehabilitation and adaptive re-use. Pride, 2004, 66–74.. ___. 2004. Ibn Muqarrab and Naynūh: A Folk-tale from Кīwī. Journal of Oman Studies 13: 91-97. ___. 2001. Observations on the Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Rural Estates of the 17th through Early 20th Centuries in Oman. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 31: 145-160.

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___. 1998. Settlement Space and Architecture in South Arabian Oases - Ethnoarchaeological Investigations in Recently Abandoned Settlement Quarters in Inner Oman. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 28: 201-213. Miles, S.B. 1919 (1920 reprint). The Countries and Tribes of the Persian Gulf I. London: Harrison and Sons. ___. 1910. On the Border of the Great Desert: A Journey in Oman. Geographical Journal 36(2 & 4): 159-178 & 405-425. ___. 1877. On the Route between Sohár and el-Bereymí in ΚOmán, With a Note on the Zatt, or Gipsies in Arabia. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 46(1/1): 41-60. Ministry of Heritage and Culture. 1995. al-QalaΚ w’al-hisn fīl ΚUman. Muscat: Ministry of Heritage and Culture. Nagieb, M. 2004. Naehrstofffluesse und pflanzengenetische Ressourcen in zwei Bergoasen noerdlichen Omans. PhD thesis, Kassel: University Press.

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___. 2000. Beschreibung und Funktionsweise einer Bergoase in Oman unter Anwendung eines geographischen Informationssystems. Unpublished MA thesis, Kassel University. Nash, H. 2007. Stargazing in Traditional Water Management: A Case Study in Northern Oman. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 37: 157-170. Peterson, J.E. 1987. Oman’s Odyssey: From Imamate to Sultanate. In Pridham, B.R. (ed.) Oman: Economic, Social and strategic Development: 1-16. London: Croom Helm. ___. 1978. Oman in the Twentieth Century: Political Foundations of an Emerging State. London: Croom Helm. ___. 1977. Tribes and Politics in Eastern Arabia. Middle East Journal 31 (Summer): 297-312. ___. 1976. The Revival of the IbāΡī Imamate in Oman and the Threat to Muscat 1913-20. Arabian Studies 3: 165-188. Peyton W.D. 1983. Old Oman. London: Stacey International. Potts, D.T. 1990a. Arabian Gulf in Antiquity I. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ___. 1990b. Arabian Gulf in Antiquity II. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ___. 1985. The Location of Iz-ki-e. Revue D’Assyriologie et D’Archéologie Oriental 79(1): 75-76. ___. 1983. Barbar Miscellanies. Potts, D.T. (ed.). Dilmun: New Studies in the Archaeology and

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Early History of Bahrain. Berliner Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient (BBVO) 2: 127-139. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.

___. 1983b. Traditional Concepts of Territory in South East Arabia. Geographical Journal 149: 301-315.

Sālimi, A. al-. 2002. Different Succession Chronologies of the Nabhānī Dynasty in Oman. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 32: 259-268.

___. 1978 Islamic Water Law with Special Reference to Oasis Settlement. Journal of Arid Environments 1 (1): 87-96.

Scheer, H. 2006. The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future, London: Routledge

___. 1977. Water and Tribal Settlement in South-East Arabia: A Study of the Aflāj of Oman. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Scholz, F. 1978. Sultanate of Oman, Aerial Photographic Atlas: Natural Regions and Living Areas in Text and Photographs II. Stuttgart: Ernst Klett.

___. 1976. Bio-bibliographical Background of the Crisis Period in the Ibadi Imamate of Oman (End of 9th to End of 14th Century). Arabian Studies 3: 137-164.

Schreiber, J. 2007. “Transformation Processes in Oasis Settlements in Oman” 2005 Archaeological Survey at the Oasis of Nizwā: A Preliminary Report. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 37: 263-275.

___. 1976. The IbāΡī Imāma. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 39: 535-551.

Skeet, I. 1974. Muscat and Oman: The End of an Era. London: Faber and Faber. Al Sulaimani, Zaher bin Khalid; Helmi, Tariq and Nash, Harriet 2007. The Social Importance and Continuity of falaj Use in Northern Oman. International History Seminar on Irrigation and Drainage Tehran-Iran May 2-5, 2007 Sultan Qaboos University 1999. Oasis Settlements in Oman Documentation and Research Project, Pilot-Study 1999-2000, unpublished report. Thompson, R – Mallowan, Q. 1933. The British Museum Excavations at Nineveh, 1931-32, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 20, 71–186 Warren, J., 1993. Earthen architecture. The conservation of brick and earth structures. A handbook. ICOMOS Specialized Committee on Earthen Architecture. Warren, J., 1999. Conservation of Earth Structures. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. Wellsted, J.R. 1838. Travels in Arabia I: Oman and Nakab El Hajar. London: John Murray. Wilkinson, J.C. 1993. Frontier Relationships between Bahrain and Oman. (Khalifa, A. al- & Rice, M. (eds.). Bahrain through the Ages: The History. London & New York: Kegan Paul International. 548-566. ___. 1990. IbāΡī Theological Literature. In Young, M.J.L., Latham, J.D. & Serjeant, R.B., (eds.) Religion, Learning and Science in the ΚAbbasid Period. Cambridge. ___. 1987. The Imamate Tradition of Oman. Cambridge. ___. 1983a. The Origins of the Aflāj of Oman. Journal of Oman Studies 6(1): 186-189.

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___. 1975. The Julandā of Oman. Journal of Oman Studies 1: 97-108. ___. 1974. Bayāsira and Bayādīr. Arabian Studies 1: 75-85. ___. 1973. Arab-Persian Land Relationships in Late Sasanid Oman. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 3: 40-51. ___. 1972. The Origins of the Omani State. In Hopwood, D. (ed.). The Arabian Peninsula, Society and Politics: 67-88. London: George Allen and Unwin. ___. 1971. The Oman Question: The Background of the Political Geography of South East Arabia. Geographical Journal 137: 361-371. ___. 1969. Arab Settlement in Oman: The Origins and Development of the Tribal Pattern and its Relationship to the Imamate. Unpublished D.Phil thesis. Oxford. ___. 1964. A Sketch of the Historical Geography of the Trucial Oman Down to the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century. Geographical Journal 130: 337-349. Willems, D. 2000. Les Mosquées dans l’Émirat de Fujaïrah. Archéologie Islamique 10: 169-194. Yule, P. 1999, Studies in the Archaeology of the Sultanate of Oman, Leidorf : VML ___. 2007. Sasanian Presence and Late Iron Age Samad, Some Corrections. http://archiv.ub.uniheidelberg.de/propylaeumdok/volltexte/2008/121/pdf/Yule_sasanian_oman01.pdf. Accessed on 2nd April 2010. ___. 2005. The Samad Culture – Echoes. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 35: 303315. ___. 2003. Beyond the Pale of Near Eastern Archaeology: Anthropomorphic Figures from al-Aqir

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near BaΉlā, Sultanate of Oman. Stöllner, T., Körlin, G., Steffens, G. & Cierny, J. (eds.). Mensch und Bergbau. Studies in Honour of Gerd Weisgerber on Occasion of his 65th Birthday: 537-542. Bochum: Deutsch Bergbau-Museum. ___. 1999a. The Samad Period in the Sultanate of Oman. Iraq 61: 121-146. Yule, P. (ed.). 1999b. Studies in the Archaeology of the Sultanate of Oman. Rahden, Westf.: Verlag Marie Leidorf. Zadok, R. 1981. Arabians in Mesopotamia during the Late-Assyrian, Chaldean, Achaemenian and Hellenistic Periods Chiefly According to the Cuneiform Sources, ZDMG 131, 42–84.

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a2 APPENDIX 2: USAGE AND CONDITION OF UNITS

UNIT

STATE OF PRESERVATION

STATE OF USAGE

STATE OF MAINTENANCE

CONDITION

ACCESSIBILITY/ DOCUMENTATION

A1

presumably adequate

inhabited by expatriate workers

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A2

presumably adequate

inhabited by expatriate workers

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A3

acceptable

uninhabited

not intervened upon

old building

accessible documented

A4

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A5

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A6

not appraisable

uninhabited

intervened upon

old building

not accessible not documented

A7

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A8

not appraisable

inhabited by locals

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A9

presumably adequate

inhabited by locals

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

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193

A10

inadequate

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A11

inadequate

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A12

inadequate

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A13

inadequate

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

A14

ruinous

uninhabited

--

old building

accessible not documented

B1

ruinous

uninhabited

not intervened upon

old building

accessible documented

B2

presumably adequate

inhabited by expatriate workers

--

old building

not accessible not documented

B3

presumably adequate

inhabited by expatriate workers

--

old building

not accessible not documented

B4

presumably adequate

inhabited by expatriate workers

--

old building

not accessible not documented

B5

inadequate

uninhabited

not intervened upon

old building

accessible documented

B6

--

used

--

open space

not accessible not documented

B7

--

used

--

open space

not accessible not documented

C1

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

C2

presumably adequate

inhabited by locals

--

old building

not accessible not documented

C3

presumably adequate

inhabited by locals

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

C4

presumably adequate

inhabited by locals

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

C5

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

accessible documented

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MisfÄ€t al-‘AbriyÄŤn - Heritage Management and Development Plan

C6

presumably adequate

inhabited by locals

--

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

D1

presumably adequate

inhabited by locals

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

D2

presumably adequate

inhabited by locals

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

D3

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

D4

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

D5

not appraisable

presumably used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

E1

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

E2

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

E3

not appraisable

presumably used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

E4

acceptable

unihabited

intervened upon

old building

accessible documented

E5

not appraisable

presumably used

--

old building

not accessible not documented

E6

not appraisable

presumably used

--

old building

not accessible not documented

E7

--

inhabited by locals

--

new modern building

not accessible not documented

E8

not appraisable

inhabited by expatriate workers

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

E9

not appraisable

inhabited by locals

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

E10

not appraisable

inhabited by locals

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

E11

--

inhabited by locals

--

new modern building

not accessible not documented

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Appendix 2: Usage and condition of Units

E12

not appraisable

unihabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

F1

inadequate

uninhabited

intervened upon

modernized old building

accessible documented

F2

presumably adequate

inhabited by expatriate workers

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

F3

--

inhabited by locals

--

new modern building

not accessible not documented

F4

not appraisable

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

G1

not appraisable

inhabited by expatriate workers

intervened upon

old building

not accessible not documented

G2

acceptable

uninhabited

intervened upon

old building

accessible documented

H1

acceptable

unihabited

not intervened upon

old building

accessible documented

H2

not appraisable

unihabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

H3

not appraisable

presumably used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

H4

not appraisable

unihabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

H5

presumably adequate

inhabited by expatriate workers

--

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

H6

not appraisable

unihabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

I1

adequate

used

--

modernized old building

accessible documented

I2

adequate

used

--

modernized old building

accessible documented

I3

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

accessible documented

I4

--

used

--

new modern building

accessible documented

MISFAT_HMP_BOOK.indb 195

195

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MisfÄ€t al-‘AbriyÄŤn - Heritage Management and Development Plan

I5

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

accessible documented

I6

--

used

--

new modern building

accessible documented

I7

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

I8

--

used

--

new modern building

not accessible not documented

J1

--

used

--

new modern building

not accessible not documented

J2

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

J3

acceptable

uninhabited

not intervened upon

old building

not accessible not documented

J4

--

inhabited by locals

--

new modern building

not accessible not documented

J5

acceptable

unused

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

J6

adequate

uninhabited

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

J8

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

J9

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

J10a

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

J10b

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

J11

inadequate

uninhabited

--

old building

not accessible not documented

J12

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

J13

adequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

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Appendix 2: Usage and condition of Units

J14

inadequate

used

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

K1

not appraisable

scheduled for redevelopment by MoT

intervened upon

modernized old building

not accessible not documented

K2

--

scheduled for redevelopment by MoT

intervened upon

new modern building

not accessible not documented

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197

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198

a3 COMMUNITY CONSULTATION & FEEDBACK

INTRODUCTION Extensive community consultation was undertaken to discuss approaches to and contents of the Master Plan. This was undertaken throughout the life of the project and through wide-ranging means and employing diverse techniques. During survey and documentation a range of formal and informal discussions took place with members of the community as part of the architectural, historical, ethnographic and touristic data collection. These provided useful insights into the desires and aspirations of the community, as well as what they held as being important. Two formal questionnaires were circulated by the architectural and tourism research teams aiming to capture formal views on expectations of members of the community from the project. The tourism research team undertook survey of tour operators to gauge stakeholder views on tourism potential. Completed survey questionnaires were returned; in addition, the local community submitted a detailed statement by listing their expectations (Arabic original and English translation included as appendices). The views expressed through formal and informal interviews and through written statements have been carefully considered and, wherever relevant, incorporated into the proposal. A series of verbal and visual presentations to stakeholder communities have taken place at different stages of the project. Initial presentations to the Ministry of Tourism were followed by presentations to the community. The initial presentation made in October 2014 and ensuing discussions were captured through video recording and revealed important issues that were incorporated into the draft Master Plan. Following a presentation of the draft Master Plan to MoT, further presentations were made to the local community, as well as to the local stakeholder ministerial body in endAugust. The presentation to the local community was attended by a large selection of the stakeholder

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community resident in Misfāt, as well as currently living outside. The meeting with the ministerial stakeholders was held at the wali’s office in Al-Hamra and was presided over by the naib wali and attended by representatives of the local municipality, Majlis ash-Shurah, and other local ministerial bodies. Both presentations were attended by representatives form the Ministry of Tourism and Sheikh Dr Mahmoud Al-‘Abri. Both presentations were very well received by the stakeholder communities. This is highlighted in the following excerpt from a letter of support received from Sheikh Dr Mahmoud: “l think the Master Plan is excellent and the meeting with community was great and it had achieved a consensus agreement on the plan. It is a universal plan and it has considered all aspects including involvement of social society, sensitivity of the culture and development of the village.” However, consistent with views expressed by the local community, Sheikh Mahmoud also reiterated the desire of the community to have greater involvement in the management and investment in the project. His view is also consistent with this teams’ view that Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn should be considered in conjunction with the wider region and the Wilayat of Al-Hamra, and that financial reciprocity should be established between their various components. Recommendations from the meetings have been incorporated into this final draft.

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199

RESPONDENT 1

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appendix 3: community consultation

201

I am there body and heart. Please fill in the following questionnaire:

RESPONDENT 2

1. Please tell us about things you would like to see happen in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn.

Please fill in the following questionnaire:

• I would like to see guidance plaques available and the visitors consider them and respect them.

1. Please tell us about the things you would like to see happen in Misfāt Al Abriyin.

• I would like to see more services for the local people as well as for the visitors such as restaurants and shops.

• A park for the local village children maybe near the Eid grounds, a site with swings and slides for kids aged 2-5 and a section of more exciting equipment for kids aged 6-14.

• I want to see the local people invest their capabilities and abilities to improve the village from different aspects.

• Prayer area for women for Eid Salat.

2. Please tell us about things you definitely do not want to see happen in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn

• Improved and safer walkways in Old Misfāt (essential from tourism). These pathways must not detract from the beauty of the traditional architecture.

• I don’t want to see the visitors come to Misfāt and bring all their needs and requirements with them from outside the village.

• Bathrooms for tourists (inside the restaurant suggested and near the top or bottom of old Misfāt?): bathrooms should suit westerners and be clean even if they tip/pay the attendant.

• I don’t want to see any tourism guidance from outside the village or even not Oman.

• Parking (section for locals and area for tourists - tourists can be pay parking or a shuttle bus up from al-Hamra or Nizwa etc.).

3. What is your vision for the future of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn? The most attractive place in Oman by 2020. 4. If you are currently living outside the old village, please let us know the reason why you left the village and when Because of old house and not fit with modern life. 5. If there was a coherent strategy in place, would you want to invest in the tourism business and other development projects at Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn? Definitely. 6. Alongside tourism, what other facilities would you like to see in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn – training, education, agriculture related facilities, etc… Please give us your views.

• Dawah/Islamic information area about Islam in Oman and basic precepts, near the old mosque in Old Misfāt (this should be designed by converts to Islam not locals but informed with Omani history and relevant information and Ibadism etc.). • A museum of Omani life in the old village. • Good quality restaurant that serves Omani food like a less modern version Ubhar in Shatti Muscat in the old village so tourists don’t spend their money in Nizwa for lunch. • A fresh juice and icecream shop that has tea and coffee etc. in the old village. • A gift shop that sells Omani handicrafts and postcards etc., like perfumes, food stuff, maybe even antiques in the old village. • An art gallery selling photographs, carvings, paintings, etc by local artists.

The opportunity to develop Misfāt is there and really needs full development in different direction.

• A history of the region: about the tribes, Persians, Portuguese, etc… age of houses.

7. Would you like to work in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn if you had good opportunities for employment or business?

• Accurate online calendar of events in Misfāt (for example, if the Eid dances are cancelled due to a death in the village, tourists will be informed).

Of course.

• A festival for the entire interior region of Oman where men and children have traditional competitions: shooting, riding, Qur’an recitation, climbing date tree, or other events like these. Where local farm produce is judged and can be marketed. Where women’s handicrafts can be

8. If you are not living in the old village, would you like to return to live there at some point? What facilities and conditions would you consider acceptable?

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entered and judged, and a cooking competition where different foods will be tested and judged with fun play areas for children. The entire festival would be very accessible for Omani families, with no music or dancing and well-designed areas for families, women and children, and men, so that more Omani families could attend (the reasons they do not like Muscat festival). 2. Please tell us about the things that you definitely do not want to see happen in Misfāt al‘Abriyīn? • There should not be a charge for people walking into Misfāt just to walk around and see the village. That would seem unfriendly and contradict the idea of Arabian hospitality. • All façades of new buildings should match the traditional style of the village not be ugly. • The greenery should stay even if farming does not continue. • The traditional architecture should be preserved using traditional methods, not made unrealistically perfect. The authenticity of Misfāt is what draws people to the village. • Another Indian coffee/burger shop (if that is going to happen it should happen in the Eid area before the parking for the village, not in the old village). People come to Misfāt either to relax or to see traditional Omani culture up close. • Not every villa should be a hotel. People need options if they are going to spend money to stay in hotels for more than a couple of days. • I personally don’t want to see Indians and other nationalities running things. It should be Omanis. Best if they are from Misfāt. 3. What is your vision for the future of Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn? A traditional Omani village that never left its way of life but welcomed strangers to witness Omani tradition while helping locals to have all the benefits of modern life. Modern life is defined as education and play areas for their children, access to society for women, additional wealth for Omani housewives who can sell their traditional crafts and foodstuffs without working in shops, and job opportunities for Omani men, which don’t take them to Muscat or other regions of the country. 4. If you are currently living outside the old village, please let us know the reason why you left the village and when.

and other development projects at Misfāt Al-‘Abriyīn? Yes. 6. Alongside tourism, what other facilities would you like to see in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn – training, education, agriculture related facilities, etc… Please give us your views. • Prayer area for women in the Eid Salat. • Playground for Misfāt children. • Community centre for women with educational materials and indoor toys for shared use (can host guest speakers for education and health, Islamic matters, handicraft training etc) and women can just meet and see their kids play with nice toys. Good for families who cannot afford such things for their kids privately. • Scholarship fund for tourism and agricultural education for local children (not right away). Good for the businesses in Misfāt that will make more profit, like hotels and restaurants, to invest in, to be fair to the other businesses like museums. • A locally run heritage construction and maintenance company that understands traditional construction and preservation methods. Engineering, conservation etc…, that can be hired by the Ministry and local Misfāt companies to preserve Omani architecture and add to modern tourism projects new buildings as well. Specializing in mud brick, and sarooj etc… and keeping local manufacturing of traditional construction materials alive. This would also be a fascinating place for international architecture students to pay for educational internships. 7. Would you like to work in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn if you had good opportunities for employment or business? Yes. 8. If you are not living in the old village, would you like to return to live there at some point? What facilities and conditions would you consider acceptable? • Income enough from a job to buy a land, build a house and maintain a family of five on food and clothes etc. • More play areas in the village for children.

Employment. There were no jobs of suitable income for the support of my family in Misfāt or the Interior Region. 5. If there was a coherent strategy in place, would you want to invest in the tourism business

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appendix 3: community consultation

RESPONDENT 3

RESPONDENT 4

Please fill in the following questionnaire:

‫ بيترتلا بسح ةلئسالا ةباجا‬:

1. Please tell us about the things you would like to see happen in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn.

• Prober tourist guide and preferably local.

1. ‫عيرس لكشب ةميدقلا لزانملا ميمرت وه هتيؤر ىنمتا يذلا يساسالا ءيشلا‬، ‫ةلكشمل لح داجياو‬ ‫اهنم مئاقلا ميمرتو يثارت لكشب عرازملا نيب تارممو تاقرط لمع اظياو ةدلبلا يف رورملاو فقاوملا‬ ‫( كالسالا ىلع ةكرحتملا تابرعلا و يهاقملاك ةيحايس قفارم لمع اظياو‬car cable ‫قلستلل نكاماو‬ ‫لابحلاب‬

2. Please tell us about the things that you definitely do not want to see happen in Misfāt al‘Abriyīn.

2. ‫ةيصوصخ ىلع يدعتلا مدعو ةدلبلاب دوجوملا يديلقتلا ىلع يرصعلا رامعملا نايغط مدع ىنمتا‬ ‫ةدوجوم ريغ ةريثك ينابم ةفاضإ مدعو ةدلبلا ينكاس‬

Alcohol serving and women swimming in public.

3. ‫هب ىذتحي لاثم نوكت ناو ةباذج ةيحايس تاموقمب عتمتت ةدلب نوكت نا ةيلبقتسملا يتيؤر‬ ‫هلالخ نم رظني ميدقلا رامعملا ةيهامل يراضح دهاش و يرامعملا اهعباط ىلع ةظفاحملا ةميدقلا ىرقلل‬ ‫ةطيسبلا تاودالا كلتب ءانبلا يف دادجالا ةيرقبعل يلبقتسملاو يلاحلا ليجلا‬

• Enough car parking area.

3. What is your vision for the future of Misfāt Al-‘Abriyīn? A lot of facility to improve the tourist vision with proper control of tourism behaviour. 4. If you are currently living outside the old village, please let us know the reason why you left the village and when.

4. ‫ةدلبلاب ةدوجوم نكت مل يتلا ةيساسالا تامدخلا نع ثحبلا وه ةافسملا ةدلبل يئابا كرت ببس‬ ‫سرادملاو ةيحصلا تامدخلا ءابرهكلاك‬ 5. ‫معن‬

It was difficult to repair the old house.

6. ‫ معن‬، ‫ءايشالا نم اهريغو ةيضايرلا قفارملا ريوطتو ريغص يحص زكرمو ميلعتلاك‬

5. If there was a coherent strategy in place, would you want to invest in the tourism business and other development projects at Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn?

7. ‫معن‬

Yes.

203

8. ‫دجوتال يلاتلابو ىرقلا يقابب رفوتت يتلا ةيساسالا تاموقملا ةافسملا ةدلبب نآلا رفوتت‬ ‫ةافسملا ةدلب يف نكسلل ةدوعلاب ةلكشم كانه‬

6. Alongside tourism, what other facilities would you like to see in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn – training, education, agriculture related facilities, etc… Please give us your views. Agriculture related facilities. 7. Would you like to work in Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn if you have good opportunities for employment or business? Yes. 8. If you are not living in the old village, would you like to return to live there at some point? What facilities and conditions would you consider acceptable? N/A

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a4 EXTENDED DOCUMENTATION SELECTION OF MISFĀT AL-‘ABRIYIN

a4.1 Introduction A selective approach has been taken to illustrate some of the settlement’s distinguishing spaces, forms and characteristics. The buildings selected are a range from across the entire site, demonstrating the variety of the built environment throughout Misfāt al-‘Abriyīn. For a more detailed look at the settlements specific details and reftures refer to Chapter 5, Values and Threats. A FULL PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTATION OF THE SITE AND ALL ITS CORRESPONDING UNITS (ORGANISED VIA THE ZONING PLAN’S LETTER AND NUMBER REFERENCING SYSTEM) CAN BE FOUND ON THE DVD INCLUDED WITHIN THIS REPORT.

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A11

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0

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2,5

N

5m

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

0

1

2,5

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N

FIRST FLOOR PLAN

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SECOND FLOOR PLAN

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1

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GROUND FLOOR PLAN

0

1

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N

THIRD FLOOR PLAN

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1

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FIRST FLOOR PLAN

SECOND FLOOR PLAN

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10

1

2,5

N

5m

N

GROUND FLOOR LEVEL PLAN1

0

1

2,5

5m

N

LEVEL 2

0

1

2,5

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N

LEVEL 3

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1

20

2,5

N

5m

GROUND FLOOR LEVEL PLAN1

0

1

2,5

5m

0

1

2,5

5m

N

LEVEL 2

LEVEL 3

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0

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N

5m

GROUND FLOOR LEVEL PLAN1

0

1

2,5

5m

0

1

2,5

5m

N

LEVEL 2

LEVEL 3

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0

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20

N

0

1

2,5

5m

0

1

2,5

5m

N

LEVEL 1

LEVEL 2

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0

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1

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2,5

N

5m

LEVEL 1

0

1

2,5

5m

N

LEVEL 2

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N

LEVEL 3

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0,5

20

N

2,5m

LEVEL 1

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0

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2,5m

LEVEL 1

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1

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5m

LEVEL 1

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5m

LEVEL 1

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10

1

20

2,5

N

5m

LEVEL 1

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0

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10

1

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N

5m

LEVEL 1

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P2

0

0

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10

1

20

2,5

N

5m

LEVEL 1

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0

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5m

LEVEL 1

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0

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20

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0

1

2,5

5m

LEVEL 1

0

1

2,5

5m

LEVEL 2

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0

0

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5m

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Tourism Development Plan for Misfat al-Abriyin  

This document outlines the sustainable development strategy for the settlement of Misfat al-Abriyin, Oman.

Tourism Development Plan for Misfat al-Abriyin  

This document outlines the sustainable development strategy for the settlement of Misfat al-Abriyin, Oman.

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