On a water bus: an innovative way of seeing the attractions of Musandam

By Hammam Al Badi — It runs both on land and in the sea. It sits 34 people and this new amphibious ‘water bus’ has all the potentials to become the new attraction for the governorate of Musandam. Musandam after all possesses many tourist attractions and it is also home to some of the best beaches in the Sultanate. The Water Bus service was launched by Abdul Rahman al Mullah, a Khasab-based businessman who has long been passionate about promoting the governorate’s diverse natural beauty – onshore and offshore – to tourists.  The specially designed vehicle, fully equipped with security and safety features, was recently granted the all-clear by authorities at the end of a three-year-long approval process.
Speaking to the Observer, Abdul Rahman said the 34-seater water bus is suited as a tourism vehicle that offers travellers the opportunity to enjoy Musandam’s diverse attractions — both on land and on water.
article-2270250-173F120D000005DC-610_634x406“The Governorate of Musandam is endowed with stunning natural beauty both in land and on water, and has the potential to emerge as a major tourism hotspot of the Sultanate.  The challenge for me was to come up with a convenient transport solution that enables tourists to enjoy the best of both worlds. After a great deal of consideration, the idea of a Water Bus came to mind,” the businessman said.
The uniquely designed vehicle has the ability to run normally on Khasab’s roads, while a propeller-driven system kicks in when it enters the water.  As an all-weather vehicle, the Water Bus will be available for operation round the year, come rain or shine, he said, noting that the authorities concerned had approved its operation as a safe, all-weather service.
The ‘two-in-one service’ – because it offers both rides both on land and on water – charges RO 10 per passenger.  Children can ride at half the cost, Al Mullah said.
Aside from the excellent sightseeing opportunity afforded to passengers, the Water Bus is also equipped with electronic facilities and systems that enhance the overall experience for tourists.
“Daily journeys start at 10am with each ride lasting around an hour and a half,” Abdul Rahman said.
“The journey starts from our main office in Khasab with the ride covering all of Khasab’s main tourist attractions, as well as modern-day landmarks.  The Water Bus then begins the marine part of the journey where passengers are afforded a different kind of experience as the craft cruises along the stunning shoreline and its magnificent fjords before heading back to land. Journey times can vary a bit depending on weather conditions.”
The unique tourist service is an adventure of sorts that promises to appeal to all manner of tourists and local residents alike, including families, he added.