This gallery is dedicated to Oman’s ancient aflaj systems of water management, some 3000 of which are still active today. These essential and ingenious systems use gravity to channel water from precious water resources under or above ground. The channels can carry groundwater, spring water or surface water, often over long distances, in support of agriculture, industry and domestic use.
The origins of Oman’s aflaj are known to date back at least to the 6th century CE, and recent archaeological discoveries suggest that irrigation systems were in use in northern Oman as early as the Bronze Age (3100 – 2000 BCE). Today, their use for fair distribution of water in towns and villages continues to be guided by astronomical observations and underpinned by mutual dependence and communal values.
In 1427 AH/2006 CE, five Omani aflaj were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in recognition of their exceptional cultural value. These include Falaj Daris, Falaj al-Khatmayn and Falaj al-Malki in ad-Dakhiliyah Governorate, Falaj al-Muyassar in al-Batinah South Governorate and Falaj al-Jeela in ash-Sharqiyah South Governorate.