Muscat: The cool weather of Al Jabal Al Akhdhar is drawing a record number of tourists to the mountains. According to the National Center for Statistics and Information, 79,034 people visited the wilayat by the end of June. More than half (45,302) of them were international tourists (excluding GCC) who came to see its breathtaking landscapes, temperate climate, and rich cultural heritage indicating the global appeal of the 'Green Mountains.'
Other visitors included 28,406 were from Oman followed by 3,848 from Saudi Arabia, 611 from Kuwait, 265 from Qatar, and 329 from the United Arab Emirates. As the mercury soars to the forties in Muscat and other governorates, Al Jabal Al Akhdhar, is an irresistible attraction for holidaymakers. Part of Oman's majestic Al Hajar mountain range, Al Jabal Al Akhdhar offers temperatures in the 20s and 30s even during summer. Its wadis and terraces are dotted with flourishing farms and orchards where apricots, plums, figs, grapes, apples, pears, almonds, walnuts, and saffron thrive. The pomegranates grown here are considered among the finest in the world.
More tourists are expected to turn up when the wilayat will host the Al Jabal Al Akhdhar Festival, which will be held between August 3 and August 19.
The festival's primary objective is to attract families and visitors to experience the distinctive culture, rich history, and natural beauty of the Al Jabal Al Akhdhar region. It will encompass a diverse array of activities, including children's programmes and theatrical performances. Additionally, there will be numerous food stalls offering international and Omani cuisine, as well as a section dedicated to promoting local products and supporting small and medium-sized businesses.
It will also feature paragliding, laser shows, running and mountain bike races, and performances by the Royal Guard.
The surge in tourism to Al Jabal Al Akhdhar comes as a positive sign for Oman's travel and hospitality industry, which has been actively promoting the country as a must-visit destination. The mountain range's popularity is expected to contribute significantly to the local economy, generating revenue for businesses and creating employment opportunities for the wilayat's residents.
With its unique landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and a variety of outdoor activities, Al Jabal Al Akhdhar continues to captivate the hearts of both local and international tourists alike. As the year progresses, it is anticipated that the wilayat will solidify its status as one of Oman's premier tourist destinations.