Oman’s largest island, Masirah is located in the South Sharqiyah Governorate. It offers plenty of unspoilt coastline and beaches for adventurers to explore. Considered as one of the most beautiful islands in the Sultanate, it is located some 15km from the coast of Al Wusta, just south of Rimal al Sharqiyah and east of Bar al Hikman. The island is truly a desert island with a rocky east coast facing the strong north-western winds and a protected western coast with large bays and muddy sabkhas (salt-flats). Masirah adjoins other tiny islands like Marsis, Sh’einzi and Kalban.
Masirah is accessed by a daily ferry service or by using Oman Air’s domestic flight. While its people have embraced modernity, Masirah has not forgotten that Alexander the Great’s admiral named it Serepsis. Masirah reportedly hosts a population of 30,000 loggerhead turtles nesting on its sandy beaches.
Nowadays, dates, olives, pomegranates and mangos are grown and the islanders’ main occupations are weaving and making fishing nets. People are also engaged in other trades and industries, including handicrafts and shipbuilding, in addition to agriculture.
Fishing is the principal economic activity on Masirah. Large fishing dhows moored off the southern beaches take in large catches which are shipped on to the mainland in large refrigerated chests and driven to the more densely populated north of Oman.
Many tourists are eager to get to the island of Masirah in the summer time. During this time, turtles lay eggs on the spacious sandy beaches. The west coast of Masirah is appreciated by lovers of beach recreation. A tranquil pastime on the coast can be combined with exploring the area on your own.
Masirah has several villages, and in the past it used to be a place where ships and boats could stop to get fresh water.
The island consists of several ancient monuments including Marsis and Dhfayat fort, as well as the oldest archaeological areas dating back to more than 3,000 years, specifically in the area of Saphayeg.
The wilayat enjoys government services including Wali’s office, Masirah Hospital, Municipality, Social Development Centre, water desalination and power plants, housing and post offices, Masirah Sport Club and fish processing factories exporting fish abroad.
For many years, fishing has remained as the main occupation of the native people. There is certainly an excellent fish market in each village. A large fish reprocessing factory operates on the island and offers excellent guided walks for everyone.
Masirah island will appeal to those who want to stay away from large cities and prefer long walks. The presence of picturesque wild beaches on the island will also be a pleasant addition to the rest, as well as many attractive little stores, handicraft shops and small family restaurants in the villages.