Beaches have always bewitched humanity with their unique, mystical nature. As noted by Sandy Gingras, “At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun.”
Yes, life takes on an altogether different, and much meaningful, dimension at the beach. No wonder beach tourism is among the earliest forms of tourism that continues to thrive, and is poised for greater growth.
While the people of Oman are accustomed to the beauty of its beaches, and may even take them for granted, it’s the visitors who get bowled over by their splendor. They include artists as well.
British artists Alan Reed and Trevor Waugh are among the creative geniuses who succeeded in capturing the essence of Omani beaches in their wonderful paintings.
Alan Reed’s Sketchbook of Oman has amazing watercolour works of Oman’s beaches and dhows. Among the stunning works of Trevor Waugh the most spectacular could be the ‘Omani beach at Seeb’, an oil on board; and the watercolour painting ‘Barka Oman’.
In fact, some of the beaches of the Sultanate are home to ancient fishing hamlets, and most of the beaches are among the country’s greatest tourist attractions. Oman has a stunning coastline stretching across some 3,165 km, and the beaches connect with the Sea of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Straits of Hormuz.
They are diverse too: from sandy and rocky ones to those typical of lagoons and more, Omani beaches offer the most rewarding and memorable tourism experiences.
While the Al Bustan Beach in the Muscat Governorate offers a majestic view of the towering mountains, the fabulous Al Bustan Palace Hotel provides the best stay options. The beaches of Dhofar are different. Lagoons and caves add a touch of pure fun and excitement to the beach experience, and visitors can try diving, water skiing and more. Notable beaches include Al Maghsayl, Raysut and Al Hafah, along with the amazing rocky-backdropped sandy coastal strips of Wilayat Taqah. The lagoons of Sawli, Al Baleed, Ad Dahareez, Atheeb and Salalah are home to flamingos.
However, to feel the ancient and the authentic culture of Oman, a visit to the Muttrah Sea Road is highly recommended. Enchanting rocky formations and ancient buildings featuring pure Omani architecture lend an irresistible charm to this centuries old beach.
The Ras Al Hadd/Jinz beach in the Al Sharqiyah South Governorate, dating back to the third millennium BC, is a renowned turtle reserve. During the nesting season, turtles lay up to 13,000 eggs on the beach, which has amazing bays and rock formations.
The Al Batinah South Governorate invites visitors with its beautiful Al Sawadi beach in Barka that has an array of pristine rock islands across, which are home to migratory and local birds. A choicest destination for those interested in aquatic sports, the beach has a modern resort.
For those who love city life, Qurm beach is the one to look for. One of the largest beaches in Oman, this beach is dotted with international hotels, and shopping malls and food corners are nearby. This is just a partial list of Oman’s beaches. And whether they are well known or not, they never fail to enchant us.