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Jabal Shams: Visitors influx highlights need for improved infrastructure

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With Jabal Shams reporting sub-zero temperatures for nearly seven straight days, a large number of people from the Sultanate of Oman, including foreign tourists, made attempts to visit the mountains and experience the freezing cold climate.

As travellers had to negotiate a stretch of unpaved roads which got muddier and slippery, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) was forced to issue words of caution as there are chances of vehicles slipping on wet roads. Drivers have been urged not to take any risks and leave a safe distance between vehicles to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road.

It may be noted that, unlike Al Jabal Al Akhdhar, visit to Jabal Shams do not require four-wheel vehicles at all times though it is advisable.

Jabal Shams is the highest peak in Oman with several summits. It is said to be the first place where the sun sets in Oman and is popular with tourists for camping, low temperatures, stargazing, and hiking.

Several citizens called on the authorities to take adequate measures, such as developing paved roads with adequate safety nets so that it can be promoted as a winter and summer destination. "Healthy competitions between governorates to promote their tourism spots will contribute to a significant increase in business opportunities," said one social media post.

"The development of this unique site will pay rich economic dividends, and facilities needed at the venue include good roads, parks, and cafes all throughout the year," Faris, who made an attempt to visit Jabal Shams on Friday, said.

An expatriate professor who visited Jabal Shams recently said, "I visited the site a few days before the 'sub-zero' temperatures, and it was a pleasant trip. A few more facilities, even if they are paid services, will help boost the image of this destination with the help of social media influencers and other promotions."


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