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Now pay for entering Jabal Akhdhar sanctuary

MUSCAT, JUNE 9 - The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs on Sunday said that it was fixing entrance fees for Jabal Akhdhar Nature Reserve. According to a statement from the ministry, RO 1 will be charged for Omani adults, while it will be RO 5 for a non-Omani. For overnight stay, the charges will be RO 5 for Omanis and RO 10 for non-Omanis.

At the same time, 100 baisas will be charged for Omani children under 16, RO 1 for non-Omani children for daytime visit, RO 1 for overnight stay for Omani children, RO 5 for non-Omani children for an overnight stay.

However, the fees will not be applicable to military members, government officials and academic researchers, or for residents of the reserve and their first-degree relatives.

The statement from the ministry said that entering the reserve during the time other than the visiting hours will be treated as a punishable offence.

The ministry has also banned hunting or collecting fossils or artifacts or any other items, camp fires, cutting woods and burning trees or grass, polluting the water sources and wadi streams at the sanctuary, littering, mining and drilling of wells, conducting studies and researches and collecting samples without a prior permission form the ministry, constructing new buildings or adding expansion to existing ones within the sanctuary without a prior permission from the ministry and fire arms inside the sanctuary.

The decision issued by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs imposes a fine of not less than RO 50 and not more than RO 200 in the case of violating the above rules.

“Violators can be slapped with a fine not less than RO 50 and not exceeding RO 200 depending upon the offence,” it said.

Jabal Akhdhar is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Oman, as a number of regional and international tourists flock to explore its pleasant climate, mountain ranges, farms, aflaj and heritage houses over the weekends and holidays.

Attracting tourists from all over the world — Jabal Akhdhar has a unique identity; and attracts GCC tourists as well as international travellers to hike, camp, star-gaze, or simply enjoy a walk along its beautiful villages.

The reserve also features 71 species of birds, as well as some Arabian wolves and foxes and 10 out of the twenty types of rodents which exist in Al Hajar Al Gharbi Mountains. Meanwhile, a report from the ministry said that Jabal Akhdhar remained the major tourist attraction during the Eid al Fitr holidays.

The tourist spot during the summer attracted more than 11,241 visitors, followed by Wadi Bani Khalid with over 5,584 visitors and Musandam with more than 2,364 guests over the period. Most of the tourists decided to visit Jabal Akhdhar, where its Mediterranean climate has made it famous as a summer retreat and a chance to visit the beautiful plateaus which have been carved out of the mountain.

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