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Ibra

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Ibra is the second largest city in the Ash Sharqiyah Region of Oman. It is located about 170 km from Muscat and has a population estimated at 55,000 people.Ibra is one of the oldest cities in Oman and was once a centre of trade, religion, education and art. The city acquired its importance as an important meeting point at the base of the Ash Sharqiya. Ibra is home of the huge Al-Harthy tribe, one of the biggest and most powerful tribes in Oman. The Al-Maskary tribe and the Al-Riyamy tribe are also both very prevalent in Ibra.EtymologyHistorian do not agree on the origins of the name of the city. Some suggest it is derived from the Arabic verb (ابراء للذنب) which means a purification of guilt.HistoryIbra predates the Prophet Muhammed's calling. The city contains many castles and old mosques.Ibra has become a more modern city since 1970 under the reign of Sultan Qaboos. Improvements include connections to Muscat via a two-lane highway, which has increased tourism. Communications have been improved to include broadband access, and there is now a substantial hospital. Ibra provides three choices of higher education: Ibra College of Technology, Ibra Nursing Institute, and beginning in the fall of 2010, A’Sharqiyah University. There are now two hotels in Ibra, and tourism is promoted in the area.Geography and climateMountains surround Ibra on every side, and there is some outstanding mountain scenery close by. From November to March, the climate is relatively cool, with temperatures dropping as low as 10 C in December. In the summer, the climate is hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 50 C in July. Precipitation is very low and occurs mostly in the winter, when masses of low pressure air cause rain to fall.
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