The small coastal town of Al Jazir is barely visible on the map but if you are traversing the coastal road leading to Salalah, this is an important fork in the road that gets you there. Al Jazir is a sleepy, forgotten town where majority of the residents are either fishermen or expat labourers working in the nearby area. Upon arrival, you’d notice right away that majority of the concrete homes are embattled and almost covered in wet moss or probably it’s just the combination of dust and sea water accumulating for years creating this darkish undertone on many of the house’s walls. At noon, there was barely any soul in sight. It has a small port and on it sits several fishing boats that are all aged and a few need a lot of repainting and upgrade. They’ve seen better days.
Even from inside the car, you can already feel how strong the wind is. You can hear that uneasy sound it makes especially when metal hits metal. “I suggest you stay inside the car,” came the warning from Ahmed al Jaabri, group leader of the Oman Outdoor Adventure who organised the trip. Not the kind who says no to exploration, I went with them in exploring the small port. There were a couple of concrete structures both probably serving as storage facilities and one of them with extra space to house port equipment.
“There are two things we’ve come here for,” Ahmed said.
“One is this uphill road created by cutting right straight at the heart of the mountain and the other, the coastal village where most of the residents live.”
The port is the first thing that resembled civilisation in the area and as warned, the wind poses enough challenge one will feel it can take you flying without the need for parachutes. There was a need to secure your clothing because it was that strong.
Not a lot has been written about Al Jazir probably because only those who really have something to go there for have a reason to visit it. It’s not an area for tourists but it definitely has captured the attention of kiteboarding enthusiasts.
Kiteboarding Oman is helmed by German Alexander Friesl who started the first VDWS-certified kiteboarding school in Middle East in 2007 in cooperation with Oman World Tourism.
Offering professional kite lessons, they’ve scoured Oman for perfect locations and aside from Masirah Island, Bar al Hickman or Aseelah Beach, the lagoon of Al Jazir has become one of their go-to spots.
As Friesl and his team shared on their website kiteboarding-oma.com, “Al Jazir... [has the] perfect conditions during monsoon when the wind blows through the lagoon with constant speed. While doing that, it is unlikely you will come across any other tourists as the lagoon still is a well-kept secret.”
Friesl’s group shared, “The lagoon extends to 5 beautiful kilometres and is separated from the open sea by a vegetated, downwind aligned sandbank. Trips on foot between the shallow lagoon and the open sea at the side shore beach are a true delight. Especially advanced kiters will have a lot of fun, as tackling upwind in the shallow water and surf downwind in shorebreak are a difficult task for beginners.”
They added, “From Salalah, the lagoon of Al Jazir is the first spot which provides a protected environment from of the very rough sea and offers constant conditions at all wind directions. It is located north of the Dhofar Mountains, undisturbed by the monsoon wind system of the Indian Ocean. Kiting near Salalah is a beautiful and unforgettable experience. Get in touch with us to live the adventure, we will be glad to provide kite lessons at perfect conditions. As the lagoon is not connected to the road infrastructure, we recommend a guided tour.”
Friesl arranges individual journeys to the area but they only do kite-surfing at specific period of the year details of which they shared on their website.
As for us however, who only came to technically pass by, we have some good times playing with the waves that overflowed into the street at the side of the mountain. Stopping by for a few minutes and experiencing the full force of the wind-swept water, it was beautiful to see the force of nature creating something spectacular since white foam reaching dry road was a beautiful scene to behold.
The road that cuts through the middle of the mountain was also a real beauty to see making you realise that in human’s pursuit of improvement, nature eventually is defeated and has to give way.
Although there is very little to do in this small village, if you have the time since you are passing through the coastal road or have the brave heart to try kite-surfing, check out Al Jazir — it has all the potential, with its strong winds, to be a daredevil’s paradise.
All information about Friesl was based on the information they shared on their website https://www.kiteboarding-oman.com, Oman Daily Observer reached out to the team for an updated schedule of their next trip but as of press time, we did not get any feedback yet. Updates to the story will be made online if necessary. For coordinates and direction details, reach out to Oman Outdoor Adventure on their social media accounts.
YERU EBUEN & TITASH CHAKRABORTY