Oman’s ‘pink lagoons’ woo tourists

Pristine beaches, magnificent deserts, rugged mountains and a long history underpin the Sultanate’s appeal as a popular tourist destination in the Middle East.
Yet, there are new hotspots being added to Oman’s growing attractions.
Notable are pink lagoons discovered along the shores of Al Wusta Governorate which are proving to be a magnet for tourists and nature-lovers.
The pink lakes can be found along the coast between the wilayats of Al Jazir and Mahout.
One such stunning water body, which is in distinct contrast to the turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea, is located 7 km from the downtown of Wilayat Al Jazir and just metres from the shoreline.
The strikingly pink colour is the result of the combination of highly salty water pools, the amalgamation of which makes the water pink, say experts.
Interestingly, the shade of pink differs from one season to the next, depending upon the salinity of the water.
Surrounding the lagoon are thick layers of salt. The lagoon is not suitable for swimming due to its high salt content. Drinking from the lagoon is not recommended as well. Another pink lake, located between the Wilayat of Sur and Jalaan Bani Bu Ali, is a resting point for migratory birds.
Ornithologists and nature lovers throng these parts. According to Ahmed al Junaibi, a native of Al Wusta Governorate, the pink lagoons — which are unique to these parts — play a vital part in attracting local and international tourists to this area.
“The best time to visit these lagoons is just before sunset. During this time, you will be able to watch a large number of birds flying over the lagoons. But as there is only a dirt road leading to these attractions, access is possibly only by four-wheel drive,” he said.

Hammam al Badi