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Updated by Joanna James on May 27, 2018
Headline for Some things you did not know about The Lost City of Ubar - So that you are not lost anymore!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Some things you did not know about The Lost City of Ubar - So that you are not lost anymore!

Once fabled as the lost city that appears in "1001 Arabian Nights" has now been found and is recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. Here are some more facts about this mystery city.

1

The Story

Ubar, a legendary ancient kingdom, was said to have been situated in Rub Al Khali desert, also referred to as the Empty Quarter in Oman. Its history spans 1000 years. Ubar was the earliest known central shipping trade zone for frankincense. According to the legends, there once lived a Sheik who had built a gigantic fortress with towers, which was surrounded by tents. The myth goes on to say that, this dessert "swallowed" Ubar, causing it to vanish without a trace. There are beliefs that this could have been either due to a natural disaster or as a punishment by God. After the disappearance of this city, that area later gained popularity as the "Atlantis of the Sands".

2

The Discovery

In 1992 February, an archaeological breakthrough claimed the lost city of Ubar was found. Nicholas Clapp led the archaeologist team, which excavated the site. After a thorough inspection, it was concluded that this place, in fact, was the site of Ubar. It is also referred to as the Iram of the Pillars, a name mentioned in the Quran. The excavation revealed the fortress built by the Sheikh to be still intact, surrounded by eight walls that were about 12 feet high and 60 feet long. Every corner possessed a tower that was 30 feet tall. The many towers present were evidence that supported the speculation as to it belonging to Ubar as the Quran mentions it as "the many-towered city". However, there are still ongoing debates regarding its history.

3

The Present

Despite it being one of the well-celebrated discoveries at the time, not many people have really gone exploring the city. The city is currently minimalistic; with a few villas, a mosque, and a small grocery store. The city of Ubar is located in the village named Shisr, which is situated further away from one of the main cities in Oman: Salalah. This is a central location and is home to a few beach villas in Salalah. The Salalah International Airport is also located in close proximity to the Arabian Sea and Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. The journey to Ubar is via the main road of Thumrait and roughly takes about 3 hours. The road can get quite bumpy and at first might seem like it is leading to nowhere but remember that you are going towards a desert and thus, far from civilization!

4

The Future

A museum is currently being built, near the main fortress. A guardian has possession of the key to the entrance. Excursions can always be arranged from the city of Salalah. If you are someone who is interested in history, myths, and ancient archaeology, it is worth the visit as it is a place that is unique and you will find nothing like it elsewhere!