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Sur, 130km/93 miles southeast of Muscat, served for centuries as the lynchpin of maritime trade across the Arabian Sea. Ships constructed here sailed as far afield as China and Zanibar, and the town’s great tourist attraction today is the dhow-building yard on the outskirts – one of the last of its kind surviving on the Arabian Peninsula. Climb to the hilltop fort above the harbour for impressive views over the warrenous old town, which retains a wealth of antique buildings, many sporting carved wood doors and elegantly arched windows.