Comprising mostly earthen structures however, they are vulnerable to decay and inadequate site drainage and, in the case of the souq, are vulnerable to reconstruction in modern materials.The falaj system and water course on which the settlement depends, together with the historic routes linking the settlement to other towns in the interior, extend far beyond its boundary.
The location of the souq placed it within easy surveillance from the fort on its rocky outcrop nearby.
Remains of carved and decoratively incised timber doors, shelves and window screens testify to a rich, thriving craft tradition.
Accurate records have been kept of the work and full documentation of the fort has since been carried out including a photogrammetric survey.
The form, design and materials that convey the Outstanding Universal Value can be said to have largely retained their authenticity.
The remaining mud brick family compounds of traditional vernacular houses (harats) including al-Aqr, al-Ghuzeili, al-Hawulya and the associated mosques, audience halls (sablas), bath houses, together with the dwellings of the fort guards (askari) demonstrate a distinctive settlement pattern related to the location of the falaj.
The importance of the settlement is enhanced by the Friday mosque with its highly ornate mihrab and the remains of the old, semi-covered market (souq), comprising a complex of single-storey shops fronting onto narrow lanes, the whole enclosed by an outer wall.Samen vormen ze een integraal en grotendeels voltooide, historische ommuurde nederzetting en een groot verdedigingswerk.De ruïnes van het immense fort – met muren en torens van ongebakken baksteen en stenen fundamenten – zijn een opmerkelijk voorbeeld van dit type vestingwerken en getuigen van de macht van de Banu Nebhan.Source: Brief synthesis The immense, ruined Bahla Fort, with its walls and towers of mud brick on stone foundations and the adjacent Friday Mosque with its decoratively sculpted prayer niche (mihrab) dominate the surrounding mud brick settlement and palm grove.The fort and settlement, a mud-walled oasis in the Omani desert, owed its prosperity to the Banu Nebhan tribe (Nabahina), who dominated the central Omani region and made Bahla their capital from the 12th to the end of the 15th century.Maintaining the surveillance role of the fort in relation to the souq, the surrounding settlement and the gateways will similarly depend on careful management of development within the property.