A number of settlements started to be built in the country during Medieval Age. The forts, a typical marker of the Omani landscape, begun to be constructed in this period.
A legend wants that the impressive Fort of Bahla has been built in the era of Malik bin Fahm.
If the connection between Malik bin Fahm and the Fort of Bahla is a nice legend to strengthen the importance and the historical value of the place, the history tells that Qalhat was the first Arab capital of Oman. Qalhat was the main residence of Malik bin Fahm and from here he attacked, many times, the Persian forces till the final battlefield in the ground of Salut.
Under Islam the Omani trading network was at its apex and many coastal cities grew up because of this activities. Besides Qalhat, the main sites in Medieval times were Sohar and Al Baleed. Marco Polo stopped in Al Baleed in 1290 and described it as one of the largest ports in the Indian Ocean. It was a commercial centre conducting profitable trade in incense and renowned for the breed of Arabian stallions.