Deserts of Oman are acclaimed globally for its wilderness and vast infinity that stretches for several kilometres in governorates like Al Sharqiyah North and Al Sharqiyah South. With the onset of winter now, they have become a major crowd puller with sights of green carpets here and there.
Those who seek the serenity of this expanse of mysteries are adventuring onto the deserts and camping overnight, chasing an experience that gives their innate urge to sleep under the stars and enjoy the sound of silence.
Both citizens and expatriates, tourists from the region and beyond, from as far as Australia, the UK and the US, are thronging to the 18 tourism camps set up by the Ministry of Tourism in Al Sharqiyah.
Hundreds of tourists are spending nights away from the hustle bustle of the cities at these desert camps set up by the Ministry of Tourism.
“All tourism camps are now renovated with more facilities, and fulfilling the requirements for the big turnout of visitors and tourists; in addition to tailoring special and varied programmes and activities,” Talal bin Khalfan al Sheibi, Director of Tourism Administration in the Governorate of Al Sharqiyah North, said.
“These camps allow visitors to enjoy the beautiful nature of the Omani desert and the different activities and provide more hotel rooms to meet the increasing demand,” he adds.
These activities include sand skiing, sand biking, camel riding and sand surfing.
The tourists and visitors are fascinated by the Bedouin life in the mountains as they attach importance to environment preservation as the camps are built from local raw materials in the surrounding environment, in addition to the suites and rooms. Additionally, some of these camps have a number of restaurants and coffee shops that serve global and local recipes. These camps are also characterised by having a special room for people with special needs.
“We have visited Oman’s deserts every year since 2005 and found tranquillity and wilderness alike in every visit,” said Paul Hochumann, a German visitor to the North Al Sharqiyah desert.
“Since the end of the last season, we have been working on the preparations for the forthcoming one; we added more facilities and programmes based on the opinions of our visitors that were collected through social media platforms,” said Wadhah al Hinai, Executive Director of Golden Palm Oasis camp. They also visit the traditional houses in the region to explore the authentic heritage and culture.
One of these camps has nine types of rooms such as bedouin tents, mud homes and wooden rooms which were designed based on high standards to provide 54 tourists and visitors with all luxury and comfort.
A social media account of a visitor reads thus: “We experienced the past and present of Omani lifestyle while sleeping under the stars and enjoying the beauty of sound of silence. If one prefers to know what is natural silence with no cacophony of the surrounding world, then come and be the guest of these desert camps in the Sultanate of Oman.”