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Tourist havens off the beaten track in Oman
April 14, 2018 | 9:44 PM
by Times News Service
Al Sulaif is an Omani castle located in the state of Ibri, Al Dhahirah Governorate. -Photo courtesy Shihab Al Shandodui
 
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Muscat: With a long weekend just half way through, thanks to an extra holiday, there is still time to go out of the city and get a whiff of fresh air.

While many have already been to a tourist spot or two, there are others, the late starters, who are still planning.

And then, there are the those who wouldn’t mind sneaking in an extra trip before its back to the daily grind.

If you are one of those, here are three of the many scenic spots in Oman you can go to, each offering a unique experience different from others.



Wadi Al Shab: Adventure and relaxation

Freshwater cascading from atop the mountains meets the briny seawater on its banks, creating an environmental diversity unique to Oman called Wadi Al Shab.

Wadi Al Shab is located in Tiwi, a part of Sur in Al Sharqiyah South Governorate. It lies 140km from Muscat on the Qurayat-Sur Coastal Road.

This wadi’s features make it stand on a pedestal of its own when compared with the other wadis in the Sultanate.

The adventurous journey through Wadi Shab is enjoyable, as one can only meander through certain areas by boat, or take pleasure in a refreshing hike through this mountainous region.

Al Sulaif Fort: Delight for archaeology and history buffs

Al Sulaif is an Omani castle located in the state of Ibri, Al Dhahirah Governorate. It was built by Al Emam Sultan bin Saif Al Yarubi. It consists of several buildings and houses surrounded by a wall with high towers, a mosque, a well, and falaj, which passes below the castle.

It stands tall above the town of Silv at the foot of a mountain, located some 212km west of Muscat.

It shows a heavily fortified community located in the port and the eastern corridor of the Ibri oasis, which is of great importance due to its exceptional location and unique geological formation of limestone, which is known as the foothills of the southern mountains that surround the oasis from the north and east.

Al Sulaif itself is located on the southern edge of the eastern corridor of the oasis, above a steep cliff leading to a scene overlooking the eastern roads.

It seems that the fort appeared at the beginning of time, as a defensive position controls the corridor leading to Ibra from the east, and there is a mosque and a commercial market in the castle open to visitors.

Yiti: Unsullied beauty, birds and camping

Oman always has secretive and beautiful tourist sites most of us do not know about; in the capital of the Sultanate and 15km away from the noise of Muscat city, lies a quiet village called Yiti that offers a combination of the sea, sand, and mountains, where you can spend beautiful times.

The name “Yiti” is an abbreviation for “come”; the town of Yiti has been famous since ancient times for receiving many visitors, as it was a station for traders and travellers from different parts of the Sultanate. Nowadays, a lot of people visit Yiti to enjoy camping over the weekend.

Photographers are always trying to capture its beauty and spread the word. One such example is Haitham Baomar, a 32-year-old Omani photographer, who visited Yiti and took photos and videos to attract more people to visit this gorgeous place.

“During a journey to find birds, I stubled upon this area and discovered this beautiful place. After taking a number of pictures and videos, I sent them to my friends and asked them if they knew of this spot. Most of them were unaware,” he said.

Baomar added: “In Yiti, I found different types of birds such as the grey heron, seagulls and most of the mountain-surrounded owl birds. The beach is also very calm and beautiful.”

“I always look at ways to introduce people to areas that could attract more tourism in the Sultanate. The people’s response to the video has been great, but unfortunately, most of them did not know about the existence of this wonderful place in Oman,” he further said.

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