Oman ideal adventure destination

Muscat, Feb 18 – Oman is the go-to place for those seeking adventure. While the wadis draw visitors who love treks and walks, the mountains attract those interested in rock climbing or simply driving up the circuitous route to reach the dizzy heights. The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) promotes adventure tourism by granting licences to companies for organising camps for visitors. It has been striving to regulate adventure tourism across governorates. Abdul Rahman al Abri, a tour guide and owner of an adventure tourism company, said it was necessary to focus on different sites and protect them for developing adventure tourism.
“It is important to train those working in the area, encourage local companies to manage these sites for adventure tourism.” He feels laws are required to help local companies work with foreign counterparts specialising in search and rescue operations, an essential part of adventure tourism.
Mountaineering has been a passion for Nasser al Habsi since childhood. Having been used to scaling mountains with climbing ropes, he says climbing mountains is good for mental/ physical health of a person.
Khalid al Siyabi says adventure tourism is primarily related to physical fitness/ tolerance levels of the participants.
It is also about knowing how to use different tools such as ropes, clasps, wedges as well as possess positive behaviour besides being disciplined.
For a successful adventure trip, some essential steps need be followed, including careful planning and management, preparing tools, appropriate clothing and contingency plans.
Participants, he said, should adopt highest levels of security and safety standards and be environmentally conscious.
Al Siyabi says adventure tourism, including mountain climbing, was gaining popularity in the country. It is ready to even take the lead.
He has taken part in several adventures, including scaling Jabal Shams from Wadi al Nakhr, a task that took him two days.
His mountain adventure took him to neighbouring Wadi bani Auf, Wadi Ta’ab of Qurayat, where climbed a 45-metre peak. He also had a memorable trip at Mibam Tiwi in Wadi Bani Khalid.
According to Yacoub al Rabaani, mountain climbing or hiking is a hobby that combines sports, entertainment and relaxation.
“Mountain adventure is a wonderful opportunity to discover the beauty hidden between mountains. Ancient mountain tracks were used by our forefathers to travel between villages. Adventure teams can promote these villages by taking photographs, recording videos and posting them on social media.” Al Rabaani has visited many places, including Wadi Tiwi in, Wadi Hawar in the Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Umq Beer between Qalhat and Tiwi as well as Jabal Shams.
Ahmed al Rahbi, a climbing enthusiast who has done a study on hiking, has found the most adventurous age group is 36 years and above.
“There are different types of adventure tourism, including hiking, mountain climbing, and exploring wadis and caves.” Among the most popular adventures is the Jabal Shams Challenge, which is sponsored by the ministry.
Al Rahbi says one of the toughest competitions was the Oman-UTMB competition because of its distance and the difficulty of the track in Jabal al Akhdar and Wadi al Hamra. A total of 47 Omanis and six from other countries participated.
The most popular places for adventure tourism are Bir and Mibam villages in Tiwi, Wadi Taa’b in Qurayat, Wadi al Hail, besides
Jabal Shams and Wadi Hawar in the Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid.