The green jewel amid mountains

The Wilayat of Al Hamra lies in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate, where it borders the Wilayat of Bahla on the south and the Wilayat of Nizwa on the east. It is surrounded by mountains from the north and west.
The wilayat receives rains during different seasons of the year, which helps in irrigating farms and filling wells. It is home to many villages including Thaht Khail, Ghaul, Bani Subh, Misfat Al Abriyeen and Al Musalha Fort. These villages are known for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables such as date palm, citrus, lemon, garlic, fodder, banana, pomegranate, onion, mango, rose and many more.
Al Hamra has the highest mountain peak in the Arabian Peninsula, the summit of Shams mountain, with a height of 3,000 metres above the sea level. It is called Jebel Shams (Sun Mountain) because it is the first place to witness sun rise in Oman. Its climate is pleasant in summer and cold with occasional snow in winter. It has always been the best destination for the people who are interested in taking photographs, exploring, camping, climbing and trekking.
Al Hoota cave is located at the foot of Jebel Shams. The cave, formed out of limestone rocks, dates back to millions of years. It was opened for tourists in 2006, making it the first cave that is open for tourists in the Arabian Peninsula.
The cave contains a rich ecosystem including many lakes, where rare kinds of blind fish and micro organisms live. Another natural mountainous area is Al Sharaf Heights, where a cold climate prevails.
Al Hamra is reputed for abundant wadis like Al Nakher, Ghoul, Al Medaam Al Malhm and Shamaa. All these wadis abound in ‘nabk’ trees on which bees produce pure honey.
Misfat Al Abriyeen is one of the beautiful villages in Al Hamra, which combine the beauty of nature and heritage. Among the famous archaeological sites in Al Hamra is an old lane, which contains many ancient mud houses that were built hundreds of years ago. Al Safa house, which exhibits Oman’s ancient life, is one of the beautiful mud houses that attract visitors. One of the archaeological sites is the stone of the Salt bin Malik, which is an ancient rock with inscriptions and writings.
The people of Al Hamra are engaged in many traditional crafts such as breeding livestock, farming, weaving and spinning. Also, many art forms are traditionally practised here. Al Razha and Al Azi are performed at social events like Eid festival and weddings.