Wadi Bani Khalid: An all-time tourist attraction

WADI BANI KHALID: Wadi Bani Khalid in the Governorate of North Al Sharqiyah is one of the wilayats that boasts various features of nature tourism in several places, including ponds, Maqil Cave and Village, Hawar Natural Park, Al Ouwaina Fort and the golden sands of Rumail and Qusaira villages. According to official estimates, 187,107 tourists, from within and outside the Sultanate, visited the wilayat in 2018.
Wadi Bani Khalid is known for its temperate climate in summer and cold weather in winter with khareef season in August. It is a mountainous and desert wilayat, and this attracts tourists throughout the year. Wadi Bani Khalid can be reached through a paved road linking it with the rest of the governorates and wilayats. It is about 220 km away from the Governorate of Muscat and 300 km through the coastal road of Qurayat-Sur.
The wilayat, noted for its natural tourist spots and moderate weather, attracts tourists as well as residents during all seasons, but the flow peaks in winter and on public holidays.
“The total number of tourists who visited the wilayat last year reached 187,107,” said Talal bin Khalfan al Shuaibi, Director of Tourism Department in the Governorate of North Al Sharqiyah. “Wilayat Wadi Bani Khalid is experiencing a tourist influx of visitors from inside and outside the Sultanate. Visitors from the GCC and Arab countries accounted for 4,991 (2.7 per cent), Asian and African residents in the Sultanate numbered 48,282 (25.8 per cent) and those from European countries stood at 77,074 (41.2 per cent). Al Shuaibi said that the total number of tourists in 2018 to Wadi Bani Khalid witnessed a steady increase of 24.4 per cent compared to 2017 with 182,648 tourists.
He said that a tourist facility is being built at the top of the ponds to serve tourists and residents and those wishing to spend time in the lap of nature. There is a rescue team to look after tourists, especially those who want to swim. He praised the role played by the Royal Oman Police, Wadi Bani Khalid Municipality, tourist workers and citizens in providing facilities for the tourists.
The wilayat has many other tourist sites such as the park and waterfalls of Hawar in the village of Bidhaa, Ein Al Sarouj in the village of Al Adifin, Al Adifin Fort and Al Ouwaina Mosque Fort, which was a centre of the wilayat. Wadi Bani Khalid is also known for the ponds like Maqil Cave and Village, where pools are the first destination for visitors to the wilayat and other places of tourist attractions. — ONA