WIT Press


Accessibility To The Historic Defence Sites Of Oman For People With Mobility Impairment: The Cases Of The Nakhal, Al Hazm And Khasab Fortifications

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DSHF140251

Volume

143

Pages

11

Page Range

295 - 305

Published

2014

Size

302 kb

Author(s)

M. A. K. Al-Belushi

Abstract

Providing access to the old defence buildings for people with mobility impairment represents one of the foremost challenges that are facing heritage managers all over the world. Introducing access to such buildings is not an easy issue as it disturbs the authenticity of the place and its inherent values and significance. This paper aims to study the issue of providing accessibility to the historic defence sites of Oman for people with mobility impairment. It focuses on the restored historic forts and castles that are currently utilized as touristic sites. The significant fortifications of Nakhal, Al Hazm and Khasab have been investigated as case studies to provide a preliminary overview about the current status of such type of accessibility, and the challenges confronting heritage and tourism managers to enable wheelchair users to access these sites without compromising their heritage values. Finally, the paper concludes that despite the efforts made to make some of these defence structures accessible for people with mobility impairment, there is a pressing need to set out a national strategy to determine access requirements to such structures and to offer practical solutions that conform to the issues of people’s equity and sites’ authenticity and value.

Keywords

accessibility, mobility impairment, Sultanate of Oman, Khasab Castle, Al Hazm Castle, Nakhal Fort, defence sites, heritage management