There is no better way to experience Oman's desert than going on a dune bashing or on a camel safari at Sharqiyah Sands. Deserts have long held a place in the hearts of those who live in Oman, as well as tourists who visit the land, and as the weather gets cooler it is time to plan a trip to Oman's best treasure.
It is unimaginable how much Oman’s deserts have to offer, given the vast stretches of varied layers and shades of brown sand. You can spend a calm day in the desert, enjoying the peace and serenity while watching the sun set behind the high dunes, or you can take your monster trucks and 4X4s and try your hand at some adrenaline-gushing dune bashing.
You can spend a day with Bedouins, the residents of the desert, and learn about their culture or try a camel staycation, making maximum use of the ship of the desert.
Sharqiyah Sands, earlier known as Wahiba Sands, extends from North and South Al Sharqiyah Governorate to Al Wusta Governorate. With diverse terrain along with different species of flora and fauna, the golden dunes of the Sharqiyah Sands desert holds a special place in the hearts of those who live in Oman or come here as tourists. It extends over an area of up to about ten thousand square kilometres.
According to Oman’s Ministry of Tourism, “The sand colour ranges from red to brown as far as the eye can see. It is the original homeland of the Bedouins. This area attracts many desert adventure fans, and is preferred by visitors owing to its ease of accessibility and availability of nearby services, which make it a first class tourist attraction.”
If you’re looking for an adrenaline boost while in Oman, that is exactly what you get while you are on the vast expanse of Oman’s deserts. The massive dunes that the Sultanate is famous for do a better job than a roller coaster in giving you the thrill while the visual appeal of the golden sands glistening in the sunshine make you want to stay longer. One of the best places in Oman to experience dune bashing is Bidiyah, on the edge of the Sharqiyah Sands, located some 233km from Muscat.
While it is true desert safaris are an unique experience it can also present many challenges for even the most seasoned traveller. Here are some safety tips to help ensure a safe and memorable journey.
Carry plenty of water
Plan your trip carefully
Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
Stick with your itinerary, and let them know when you return.
Do not travel in the desert without taking appropriate maps.
Keep an eye and ear to the weather reports.
Take supplies for several days, including food, water, first aid equipment and necessary medication.