Sur is the capital city of Ash Sharqiyyah Region, northeastern Oman , on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. It is located at around 22°34′0″N 59°31′44″E / 22.566667°N 59.52889°E , and is 93 miles (150 - 180km) southeast of Oman’s capital city, Muscat. Historically the city is known for being an important destination point for sailors. Today the sea still plays an important part of life in Sur.
The main college in Sur is the SCAS (Sur College of Applied Sciences)-(Public). The SCAS offers degrees in Business, Communication, Information Technology and Design. It is considered one of the better institutions of higher learning in Oman.
SUC (Sur University College) is the first private higher education institution established in the Ash Sharqiyyah Region, 2001. In October 2011, SUC had 1100 students enrolled and offered degrees in Business and Information Technology. In 2012, it began offering degrees in Mechanical and Architectural Engineering in cooperation with The American University in Cairo (AUC). Today in 2015 there are 1797 students enrolled and SUC offers programs in four disciplines, Foundation English, Information and Technology, Business, Engineering.
Sur is one of many pleasant attractions for visitors that are looking to explore some of the marvels of Oman. Located on the Sea of Oman coast and the picturesque two-hour drive to Sur from the capital Muscat is to have travelled through some of Oman’s finest mountain ranges and scenic vistas.
By the 6th century, Sur was an established centre for trade with East Africa. In the 16th century, it was under Portuguese rule but was liberated by the Omani imam Nassir ibn Murshid and underwent an economic revival, as a trade centre with India and East Africa. This continued until the mid-19th century, when the British outlawed the slave trade. Sur was an important hub for sailors who arrived aboard freight-bearing ships seeking to establish commercial ties linking Oman, East Africa and India. The city was further ruined by the opening of the Suez Canal, which saw it lose trade with India.
Sur is one of the famous cities in the Persian Gulf in the building of wooden ships. Its historical location gives it the hand to monitor the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. Many ships have been built in this city, like the sambuk and ghanjah . They formerly went as far as China, India, Zanzibar, Iraq and many other countries. These vessels were also used in pearl fishing.
The city was well-known for its dhow-building enterprise and the tradition continues to this very day, with its ship-building yard still drawing many tourists. It is said that dhows are “constructed on the beach and although construction can take as long as a year to complete, the finished vessel might be expected to be sailing the oceans for approaching a hundred years.” Today the city has retained its reputation as a major dhow-building town, the very same vessels that were used for trade two centuries previously.
Sur experiences a semi-arid climate with very little rainfall and high temperatures. Because of its coastal location, Sur's night-time temperatures are never very low. There is no distinct wet season, but March tends to be the wettest month, and September the driest. Occasionally, Sur gets battered by cyclones. In 2007, Cyclone Gonu battered the city, and in 2010, Sur was hit by Cyclone Phet.
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