Oman’s hospitality, natural beauty draw French explorer to Sultanate’s deserts

Oman Monday 10/April/2017 22:24 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman’s hospitality, natural beauty draw French explorer to Sultanate’s deserts

Muscat: A French explorer spent five weeks in the Empty Quarter of Oman to promote tourism in the country and to show the world the connection between human beings and nature.
Gauthier Toulemonde, the explorer, started his journey through Oman’s deserts, beginning from the Wilayat Adam in the Al Dakhiliya governorate, where he crossed the Empty Quarter and Al Sharqiya Sands.
“The security, the hospitality of the people and the beauty of the nature brought me to Oman. You have many deserts in the world but this one, mainly the Empty Quarter was for me the place to be,” he said.
“My aim is to show the connection between human beings and nature, how we can live isolated in the wild, facing different kinds of challenges and learn to live peacefully with nature while communicating with the world through social media at the same time using solar or green power.”
For a long time, Toulemonde has been interested in documenting his travels in the form of digital films, using new communication methods. Among the countries that he has visited are Indonesia, Singapore, China, Namibia, and others. This time, Toulemonde chose Oman.
“After my friends saw my adventure travels in Oman, they started asking me about the place and have expressed a desire to come here and see the mountains and the sea.”
Toulemonde’s journey was covered through his social media accounts; he also sent postcards and letters by mail to his friends around the world to share his experience in Oman.
Born in 1959, Toulemonde studied business and economics, and has an extended experience in banking, became the chief executive officer of a press company called Timbropresse, and is currently a member of the Society of French explorers.
“I was in Oman two years ago with my family, and we visited Muscat, Bidiya, and the Al Sharqiya Sands. That was when the idea of a desert-crossing had sparked in my mind, and here I am today.”
Toulemonde was accompanied by Ahmed bin Hareb Al Mahroqui, a native of Adam, who has previous desert crossing experience.
The first of the two rounds of the five-week adventure consisted of Ahmed and Toulemonde riding on camels from the Wilayat Adam to Abu Tubool, a place close to the Oman-Saudi border in the Empty Quarter, which was a 110 kilometre-long journey.
Having reached the area, Ahmed left Toulemonde by himself to experience the desert life with his dog, and a diet of rice and dates.
The second part of Toulemonde’s journey was to Bidiya on his camel to cross the Al Sharqiya Sands, where he saw the coast of the Arabian Sea, and the sandy beaches overlooking the Indian Ocean, and the Ras Ruwais area.
Ministry of Tourism, External Representation Office of the Ministry of Tourism in Paris, Omantel, the Oman Central Post Office, the Paris post office, the Timbropresse magazine, and the Huts Company have all supported Toulemonde in this adventure.
People can see Toulemonde’s journey on the website A promotional film will be produced documenting Toulemonde’s adventures, which will be directed by Amir Khattab of the Huts Company.
Toulemonde will also send 600 postcards stamped with Omani stamps carrying pictures of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and Oman’s tourism attractions to his friends. As Toulemonde is the Editor-in-Chief of the international stamps magazine Timbres, he will share the stamps with the readers as a souvenir.