Over 20,000 visitors flocked to Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve in 2019, according to the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). Saud bin Hamad al Alawi, Director of Tourism at the Governorate of South al Sharqiyah, said that the different wilayats of the governorate have attracted local and international tourists, thanks to the breathtaking destinations and the world-class hotels. Coasts, high mountains, valleys of South Al Sharqiyah offer a wide range of activities such as fishing, camping, walking, hiking and turtle watching, Al Alawi said.
Ahmad al Hasri, Sales Dept Manager at Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran), said that the occupancy rate at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve was, up to last June, at 70 per cent. The majority of visitors were Europeans; while the occupancy rate during Eid al Adha holidays was more than 95 per cent.
“The Turtle Reserve hosts many activities; including turtle watching, visiting the museum and exploring the local traditions and heritage. The occupancy rate at Masirah Island Resort amounted to 60 per cent throughout the period from January to June 2019, while it reached 100 per cent during Eid holiday. Atana Stay at Al Ashkharah recorded an occupancy rate of 90 per cent. The Omanis and expats represented the majority of guests who enjoyed the varied activities and the natural beauty”, al Hasri said.
The Wilayat of Sur
The Wilayat of Sur is located at the centre of the Governorate of al Sharqiyah South. This wilayat has a number of famous ancient monuments, including Bilad Sur Castle, Al Sinaysilah Castle, Al Ayjah Castle, Fanar Ras Al Meel and Ras Al Hadd Castle. It also has a number of valleys, the most prominent being Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi, in addition to Ras Al Hadd where the Turtle Sanctuary at Ras Al Jinz lies.
It is located in Tiwi. Fresh water cascading from tops of the mountains meet the briny sea water on its banks, creating an environmental diversity unique to this wadi when compared with the other wadis (valleys) in the Sultanate.
Ras al Hadd
The beach is about 60 kilometres from Sur city, the capital of the South Al Sharqiyah. This beach has been home to man since the third millennium BC and serves as a safe haven for ships from storms. This beach has been proclaimed a turtle reserve. Turtles come here, especially to Ras Al Jinz beach in Wilayat Ras Al Hadd. The beach is distinguished by its spectacular bays and rock formations which are havens for large numbers of bird.
Al Ashkharah in the Wilayat of Jaalan Bani Bu Ali is one of the most visited tourist attractions during summer, when the monsoon that touches the Dhofar governorate brings in a gentle breeze. Numerous colonies of birds have made it their home on the golden sandy beaches. Al Ashkharah, located 30 km from the District of Jaalan Bani Abbas, owes its name to the abundance of acacia trees (al ashkhar) that grow there.
The island is located in south east Oman, and is surrounded by several other islands, Marsis, Cha’nazi and Kalban. Marsis is the largest island in Oman and is a landmark in the middle of the sea. To the viewer, it looks like a jewel amid the azure waters. The visitor is enchanted by the island’s beautiful and diverse natural environment, clearly seen in its abundant marine life. The island has expansive agricultural fields. Because of the fertility of its soil, plants quickly spring up after rainfall. The island also has a number of mountains on Ras Halif, Rasia, Al Ija and other places, and enjoys temperate weather year round.
The visitor to Masirah Island will feel the harmony of nature, the pervasive calmness of the sea waves, and the cool breeze, to have a profound sense of serenity as they breathe the pure air. The beaches provide an unparalleled opportunity to see clusters of rare sea turtles lay their eggs.