Residents of Oman's Wilayat Al Hamra were treated to a rare sight this week when a snowfall blanketed the region's highest peak, Jabal Shams. Standing at 3,000 metres above sea level, the mountain, known for its juniper trees, saw snowfall extend for over 7 kilometres and last for several days.
While snowfall is not uncommon on Jabal Shams during low temperatures, this year's event was particularly noteworthy for its duration and coverage. People who visited the peak were able to document the snowfall and capture stunning images of the juniper trees covered in a blanket of white snow.
The rains have made the road to the mountain dangerously slippery. The Royal Oman Police has urged road users to drive cautiously and leave a safe distance between vehicles, as the muddy and wet soil present on the road may cause skidding.
Adventurer and tour guide Salman al Muqimi said the mountain can be visited by walking 8 km for four hours, but warned that the path is difficult and requires fitness and warm clothing. He also emphasised the importance of paying close attention to trail signs or taking a tour guide from the area, as most of the signs were covered with snow.
Sami al Hinai, a photographer, along with fellow photographers Abdulrahman al Kindi and Khalid al Abri, made a unique visit to document the snowfall. They were able to capture stunning footage and photos that have since been shared widely on social media and in the press.
Sami al Hinai said that after seeing the weather conditions, he and his colleagues decided to make the journey to Jabal Shams. He said, "The distance is indeed long, but it is worth the struggle. We were shocked when we arrived there by the sights that we saw. The Snow there differs from what we used to see in the mountains. The place was enveloped in fog, and the trees were decorated with white Snow. But the cold was not very severe, although the temperature was almost 2 or 4 below zero. The view was exciting, and we enjoyed it a lot."
"I documented the place in many ways because this phenomenon is exceptional and may not be repeated in the future. Our documentation of this place expresses an enrichment for tourism in our country and its very beautiful places, which we hope will be exploited optimally," he added.
This rare snowfall on Jabal Shams has captured the attention of many and has sparked interest in the mountain as a potential tourist destination. With its stunning scenery, challenging hikes, and the potential for rare snowfall, Jabal Shams is sure to attract visitors from near and far in the future.