#ReadersResponse: The unique variety of roses found on the hillsides of Jabal Akhdar is unlike any other in the world, say residents and citizens fortunate enough to have seen the rare flower.
The Jabal Akhdar rose is unique to the Green Mountain in Oman, and is rarely found anywhere else. Known in Oman and outside the country for its fragrance, the pink rose is traditionally harvested in March and April, and is widely used in fragrances and herbal remedies, and is also a favourite among spa treatments in the Sultanate.
“I took some visitors from abroad to see Jabal Akhdar,” said Aaron Rodericks, an expat in the Sultanate. “We were exploring the mountains, when one of the local villagers invited us to check out the harvest. Here, the rose harvest is a family business that both young and old people take part in, and is an integral part of the community.”
“All the family members were involved in this together, and they were handling these roses with such love and care; so that shows you how much dedication they have to the job,” he added. “It is not everyday that you get to actually see how the things we use often are made, but this was a rare opportunity that really touched my friends and they will surely remember it for a long time.”
Thomas Morgan, a Canadian based in Oman, added: “The mountains of Jabal Akhdar are actually home to many indigenous and unique plants and animals that we don’t hear much about, because they are not found elsewhere in the country. Oman is home to many such treasures and we are actually quite privileged to see such things.”
“The fruits and vegetables found there thrive in that climate because it is not found in many other places across the nation, and if Oman can develop this sustainably, it would definitely help the farmers there, as well as expand the agricultural produce that Oman has,” he added.
Hameeda Al Raisi recently travelled to Jabal Akhdar with her young children and husband over the weekend.
“My children were exploring the region and they noticed something pink in the background,” she recalled. “They were very curious to see what it was, and because we were in the mountains, it is not safe for them to explore on their own so we went with them. The roses were a lovely sight and they had a great time seeing them. We have so many technological forms of entertainment, but even then, you cannot beat the power of nature.”
The roses are also used at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort as part of their spa and hammam treatments, and are something guests visiting Oman look forward to.
Firas Rashid, Director of Sales and Marketing at the resort, said the rosewater and petals they use are a very integral part of Omani tradition and hospitality that tourists who come to Oman fondly remember and actively seek out.
“We are very focused on giving our guests the traditional Omani welcome and treatment, because we want to show them the quality and variety of local products in Oman,” he told the Times of Oman. “We want to stand out from the other hotels, and during the harvest season, we often have special rosewater treatments in our spa and welcome them with rosewater.”
“When Oman tourism chose this location, it was because of the unique qualities Jabal Akhdar has that you don’t find anywhere else in this world, and the rose that grows here is a big part of that,” he added.