This wadi in Oman saw a huge rise in popularity in 2017. Here's why

Oman Tuesday 22/May/2018 11:04 AM
By: Times News Service
This wadi in Oman saw a huge rise in popularity in 2017. Here's why

Muscat: The number of visitors to water pools in Wadi Bani Khalid last year reached to 182,648, an increase of 17 per cent compared with 156,129 in 2016.

In the year 2017, there were 111,730 foreign tourists who visited these water bodies, pools and ponds, whereas the number of Omani tourists to these destinations was 66,492.

The Ministry of Tourism is keeping track of the growth of tourists coming to these destinations, including Wilayat Bani Khalid. The water pools of Wadi Bani Khalid are one of the main tourist destinations in the Sultanate throughout the year.
Talal Bin Khalfan Al Shuaibi, Director of the Department of Internal Tourism in North Al Sharqiyah governorate, said that the wadis in the Wadi Bani Khalid region constantly flow throughout the year, through narrow passages on the southern side of the eastern Hajar mountains. A traditional dam was built by Omanis to provide water storage to be used for irrigation of the plantations and date palm trees in the wadi in the area of Muqill.

The beauty of this wadi is because of its clean water pools and large numbers of fishes living in these flowing waters. He said that around these water pools there are stunning scenes, short walking trails and old houses which encourage tourists to enjoy the beauty of this area.

Wadi Bani Khalid is located in North Al Sharqiyah governorate, on the double road coming from Bidiyah and heading towards Sur. It is around 250 kms from Muscat governorate, with the tourist Miqall village being the first destination in the Wilayat because of is perennial water pools.

Among the tourists destinations most liked by tourists if the cave of Miqall. It is located on the heights of the water pools in Wilayat Wadi Bani Khalid. It is a small water body, access to which is very difficult. The entrance to the cave is on about 30 minutes walk from the parking area in the western part of the water pools. In the dark of the night, one can clearly hear the gurgles of the water flowing inside the cave, and there are also small nests of bats which come out at night among palm trees in the Wadi.
Among the tourist attractions is a waterfall at Hawar, located near the village Bid’ah. The village is situated along with natural high mountains and running Wadis. The Hawar park has deep water pools and waterfalls on the high mountains. These waterfalls start from Bid’ah village and flow towards to Seeq village, which falls under Wilayat Al Kamil Al Wafi. It has adventure, sports and swimming activities organised in, both, summer and winter.

Al Shuaibi said, "The Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid also boasts of traditional handicrafts. It is displayed in the centre of the Wilayat, as tourist attractions. They include silver crafts and handicrafts in various shapes, sizes and designs, in the form of tables, sticks and shoes which have silver paintings, in addition to toiletries, other gift items and incense products."

In the Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid in the North Al Sharqiya governorate, there is a handicraft center where a number of the people of the Wilayat work on producing lots of beautiful useful things.
Archaeological village of Awaina
Talal Khalfan Al Shuaibi said that in the Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid, there is an archeological village Al Owaina. It has a number of monuments, including Al Owaina mosque which is considered a masterpiece of art because to its arches. The famous Al Mawalik fort is also located in the Al Awaina village. In the early days, it was considered the centre for governors and judges in the area.

Rescue and ambulance company for water pools
The ministry also signed a contract with the Arabian Beach Tourism Company to provide rescue and ambulance services in water pools of Miqall area of Wilayat Wadi Bani Khalid. The rescue and ambulance services has a crew of seven trained Omanis.

General guidelines for visiting water pools
Al Shuaibi said that there were certain guidelines for tourists to be followed by them during their visit to the water pools and ponds. These are apart from their required adherence to the rules regulations and traditions of the Omani society. They must wear decently covering dresses. They must avoid creating hue and cry and high volume music while passing through the residential areas. They should not take photos of people when they enter into their private properties, not to throw garbage anywhere other than the garbage bins. They should also make sure that the tourist guide accompanying them carries a card of their license issued for him by the Ministry of Tourism.