Dolphins attract tourists to the pristine waters of the Sultanate of Oman. It is just fun to watch these playful creatures arch their backs, leap, dive and float very close to the boat.
The best time to go dolphin watching is between October and May. They’re less likely to be spotted or leap out of the water on cloudy days, so it’s recommended to go dolphin watching on bright, sunny days.
The dolphin pods are most commonly seen in Muscat and Musandam governorates, although they can also be seen in Al Sharqiyah South, Dhofar and Al Wusta. Marina Bandar Al Rawdha in Muscat hosts plenty of tour operators offering sighting tours.
There are many types of dolphins that visit the Sultanate of Oman. The most common is the Indian Ocean dolphin, the Rissos dolphin, the common bottlenose dolphin, the striped dolphin, the long-beaked common dolphin, and the Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphin.
The studies mention that whales and dolphins are among the important marine creatures in the waters of the Sultanate of Oman, as they are “very sensitive to environmental disturbances and negative human activities, which make them important indicators of the quality and health of the ecosystems of the marine environment.”
One can see the pods of common dolphin off the capital’s coast closely.
The Environment Society of Oman recently issued an online Atlas to document dolphin activities. This new version is the culmination of more than 20 years of scientific research efforts to provide those interested in the marine environment a comprehensive geographical representation of the habitat of whales and dolphins that inhabit the northern Indian Ocean.
This ‘Atlas’ contributes to enhancing knowledge of the unique life of the Sultanate of Oman’s sea and coasts. This publication includes the scientific classification of Omani whales and dolphins, their geographical distribution, preferred habitats, nutritional and reproductive conditions, seasons of existence, date of observations, numbers, and conservation and protection measures for each species.
The ‘Atlas’ also provides an overview of the natural risks and gives some tips on how to protect them.
Historically, a number of studies indicate that dolphins have been famous since ancient times for saving humans, while some species are on the verge of extinction.
Environmental studies confirm the American scientist Roy Chapman Andrews’ views: “Lived on the surface of the earth, and their bodies were covered with hair, and walked on four legs, and had ears on both sides of the head, and for some reason the ancestors of whales left the land and lived in the water.”
A specialist in marine environment specifies that “from these readings, we can conclude that the history of the evolution of the life of whales and dolphins is shrouded in mystery, and on the other hand they are on the verge of extinction due to their exposure to poisoning, and others being subjected to hunting operations”.