Muscat: Work has begun on building four viewing platforms at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, which will provide visitors to the area a better experience of watching the turtles that lay their eggs on its shores.
Other improvements to the reserve include building a 450 metre-long wall to protect the turtles, which will feature an adjacent walkway spanning 1,350 sq.m. Visitors to Ras Al Jinz who use the walkway will benefit from the shade provided by three new canopies that will also be installed.
The project aims to protect turtles and create a suitable environment for tourists, allowing them to watch turtles in a calm and orderly manner, without disturbing or causing fear to the turtles, or harming them, while adding an aesthetic character to the site.
The project began last Sunday, and is likely to be completed in 150 days, ready for visitors to use by the third week of December this year. It was jointly conceptualised by the Environment Authority (EA) and Oman-India Fertiliser Company (OMIFCO), and is being carried out by Global Industrial Services and Contracting LLC.
The installation of the viewing platform and other structures at Ras Al Jinz represents an update on a previous plan developed in 2012 to set up glass platforms at the reserve, to give visitors the impression of floating above the ground while watching the turtles. At the time, it was among the first proposals made in the Middle East to install such viewing decks at very close proximity to the amphibians.
The endangered green turtles lay their eggs at Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve. It is the only place in Oman where people can watch the nesting activities of this species, with more than 15,000 turtles laying their eggs on its sands every year.
The reserve, which was declared in accordance with Royal Decree No. (25/96) issued on April 23, 1996, is one of the most important tourist destinations in the country that is visited by people within Oman, as well as live overseas and come here as tourists.
Characterised by its natural beauty, in the form of serene beaches and moderate weather throughout the year, it represents a model for eco-tourism in Oman.