Distance from Muscat - 150 kilometres
Average drive time- 1 1/2 hours
How to get there - By buses / coaches belonging to the Oman National tourist Corporation (ONTC). Cars can be hired from Car rental agencies.
Ibra is one of the oldest cities in Oman, it has an estimated population of 35,000 people.The Gateway to the Eastern region of Oman, Ibra, in the past, was famous for its fine horses and horsemen. It was once the center of trade, religion, education and art. The city looks ancient with it's traditional middle eastern castles and mosques. People say that in this city time travel is possible.
Ibra predates the Prophet Muhammed's calling. The city contains many castles and old mousques.
Ibra has become a more modern city since 1970 under the reign of Sultan Qaboos. Improvements include connections to Muscat via a two-lane highway, which has increased tourism. Communications have been improved to include broadband access, and there is now a substantial hospital. Ibra provides three choices of higher education: Ibra College of Technology, Ibra Nursing Institute, and beginning in the fall of 2010, A’Sharqiyah University. There are now two hotels in Ibra, and tourism is promoted in the area.
While it has been modernised in the 1970s it still has the nostalgia of a Middle East that once was. There are many castles and old mosques that are cuturally enlightening. A unique feature of Ibra is the ‘Wednesday Souq’ run entirely by women. On the far side of Ibra lies Al Mansfah village, a community of mansions once owned by prosperous merchants of the 19th century during the reign of Said the Great. With the decline of Said's commercial empire these once stately mansions fell into ruin.
Ibra is surrounded by mountains and unlike many GCC countries there is a great view and terrain. The temperature is the same as everywhere and the summer months can get unbearably hot. However the winter is lovely and cool. There is very little rainfall in Ibra and it occurs mostly during the winter.