Why Oman is the perfect place to fall in love with hiking

TEXT BY Mohammed al Shabibi –

The Sultanate offers a variety of adventure for everyone living in it. From the scenic coasts of the Sea of Oman in the southern part of the country to the wondrous Al Hajar mountains crossing across its interior, the activities one can do depends on your imagination.
But to many who already experienced the country, without a doubt, they would agree that it’s one of the best places in the world to take a hike.
It is for this beauty and diverse destinations that led Yusuf Al Muqimi to fully embrace and fall in love with hiking — a hobby he said that brins amazing rewards especially in the form of beautiful valleys, awe-inspiring wadis and challenging hiking trails.
“The love for hiking started when I was a child. I was living in a village which forced me to frequently walk to go to other destinations,” Yusuf shared.
“Back in the day when cars and other vehicles are still scarce in Oman, we would walk 5km from my village to Wadi Shab for swimming and relaxation. The Wadi Shab that many tourists enjoy today wasn’t as developed back in the day. But we already know the beautiful waterfall inside the cave. When the sun illuminates that small cave, it was a wonder to us and it is in discovering this beauty that has inspired me to explore more and venture into the different hiking trails in Oman,” he shared.
Yusuf said that Tiwi alone, even back in the day is already a hiking favourite.
“The high mountains on one side and with the rough waves on the other side, the cruel winds shaping many of the coastal cliffs, it shaped Tiwi to become this geological wonder for hiking,” he said.
Tiwi is a town located in the Wilayat of Sur, around 140 KM from Muscat. For Yusuf, exploring the trails between Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi eventually led to enjoying famous hiking areas like Jabal Akhdar, Majlis Al Jinns, Jabal Shams and others.
Although his village is located in quite a far place, this did not stop him from accepting any hiking challenge wherever the trail may be in the Sultanate.
“The love for adventure and excitement made me met with people who eventually became my friends like coach Ali Al Shuaibi, founder of Mountains Masters Team Adventure. Today, I’m working with him as an assistant leader since 2018,” he shared.
“Hiking in Oman poses their own sets of danger. One needs a good team as much as possible to make sure that these risks are lessened. From my experience, I’m so glad to be part of a team that is more organised. We have yearly plans which are clear and I am really happy about the amazing camaraderie,” he said.
During hikes, Yusuf is usually at the end of the queue watching after participants from the back of the group. He ensures that no one is left behind and that everyone gets to their destination safely. He also assists in medical emergencies which are to be expected from outdoor activities.
For Yusuf, it is a disservice to one’s experience in Oman if one does not go on a hike. He believes that by taking a hike across the different terrains in the country, one is offered a closer look at the Sultanate’s nature as well as its people.