Posted by: travelrat | March 23, 2011

Jabrin Fort

Jabrin: 8th February 2011

Isn’t it strange how a dish thought of as ordinary … sometimes, even disdained at home takes on a whole new exotic flavour when sampled abroad. A good example is ‘ummali’, which some of us had for dessert at the Falaj Daris Hotel, where we were taken for a buffet lunch around the swimming pool.

You see, basically, ummali is simply a milk pudding! But, somehow different; maybe they add some spices or something to it.

After lunch, we went to see another castle, which, like Nizwa, was one of a string of forts built across Oman in the 17th and 18th Centuries, when the country was under threat from the north of the Ottoman Empire. Jabrin Castle, built in 1675 was the first restoration project in Oman. It was never used as a defensive position, and was intended as a summer residence for Sultan Bila’rab bin Sultan al-Yaarubi.

Nevertheless, the guide pointed out the ‘murder holes’, through which the defenders could pour boiling date syrup on the heads of invaders. There’s a similar arrangement in many an English castle … but, mainly used so that those within could relieve themselves into the moat!

Of course, the main factor to be considered when building any sort of defence position is that you need to build as high as possible, to give the best view all around. So, most of us climbed the tall watch tower … not, of course, to monitor the approach of the Ungodly, but just to enjoy the extensive view.

And, another one goes live at




  1. Hi Keith,
    Fantastic photo’s, it has always amazed me the work that went into a lot of these Forts, I thought you captured this beautifully in your last photo, with the decorative edging around the Fort, and of course the great view.

    Are they date palms around the Fort? Or is there a small Oasis in the area, the trees look like they were planted there, in any case they make a nice backdrop, and break up the landscape a bit.

  2. After accidentally sticking my finger into the pot where my grandmother was making her boiled fruitcake I can understand how the date syrup would be a deterrent. At least you wouldn’t smell too bad afterwards. Great post!

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