Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Shawwal 6, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Muscat's bays and beaches beckon visitors

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Tourists and residents are flocking to the bays and beaches of Muscat thanks to pleasant sunny winter weather. Most of them head to Qantab, Bander Al Khairan, Yitti and Al Sifah.


These beaches provide decent places for camping, kayaking, swimming, snorkelling and diving. Some visitors prefer hiking in the nearby mountains, which overlook the bays, which helps them discover the geological formations that exist in this region.


Apart from boating, a number of tourism companies offer additional services like traditional food, especially fresh seafood. These companies, which have licences from the authorities, organise educational activities, including the promotion of ecotourism, where they enlighten visitors about the biodiversity of the Muscat Governorate.


"Our role here is not limited to aquatic sports. We promote and introduce the elements of the marine environment that characterise the Governorate of Muscat. There are large numbers of whales, dolphins, fish, coral reefs and seabirds. This is not to mention the archaeological and geological sites such as ancient tombs and rocks of all kinds," a tour guide told the Observer.


The demand for these camps is not limited to foreign tourists who come from all over the world, but also for Omanis and residents who love to spend their weekends and holidays.


Some tour operators also take tourists on boats for a quick sea cruise or drop them to beaches inaccessible by roads.


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"It has become significant to develop the entrances to the mountain paths so that everyone can access these beautiful beaches. It may be tough for children and women to walk through the mountain hills, which often appear rugged, and may cause injuries," a citizen said.


Well-maintained mountain paths with direction boards will help more people to hike and enjoy the panoramic views from mountain heights. It will be of great help to families who can carry provisions for picnicking.


As more visitors throng these picturesque sites, more plastic bottles, covers, carry bags and food leftovers are strewn all over beaches, and hiking trails are polluting these beauty spots.


"This is unacceptable. How can a tourist travel long distances, come to enjoy the beauty of the natural landscapes, and then disturb the atmosphere and beaches of these unique areas. It is the duty of the competent authorities to closely monitor the situation," said a frequent beachgoer.


Muscat's beaches and bays are home to many types of wildlife. Its geological diversity is rarely found in other regions.


Authorities should seriously consider developing these areas with more facilities for visitors and transform them into shining examples of ecotourism.


TEXT & PHOTOS BY YAHYA AL SALMANI


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