Muscat: Tourists both from the Sultanate and abroad flock to Jabal Akhdar in Al Dakhiliya governorate to enjoy its moderate weather and diverse natural elements during Summer.
The Jabal Akhdar Nature Reserve, which is supervised by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, is one of the best-known tourist places where visitors can enjoy the natural landscape.
The reserve has a unique biological diversity, with different species of plants such as Cedar, Sage, Al Nimt, Al Bout, Cactus, wild Olive trees, and forests of Al Alalan trees. As for the natural environment, the reserve is home to many different types of animals such as Arabian fox, Arab wolf and Mountain Fox. More than 70 types of birds have been recorded there, the most important of these being the Arabian Dove, Bulbul, Mountain Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Egyptian Eagle and Golden Eagle.
The agriculture in Jabal Akhdar is another tourism product which is fascinating to watch and learn from. There are agricultural terraces in the area due to the mountain ranges which surround it. The most important agricultural products of the area are pomegranate, walnut, almond, fig, peaches, apricots, pears, apples and grapes. Jabal Akhdar is also known for the cultivation of aromatic plants such as roses and Al Alalan trees are considered rare in the area.
Earlier this month, a decision by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs set an entrance fee for the natural reserve.
The fee for Omani adults is OMR1, while a day visit for non-Omanis will cost OMR5. An overnight stay for citizens costs OMR5, and it is double that price for non- Omanis. Omani children under 16 pay 100 Baisas, non -Omanis OMR1. An overnight stay will cost OMR1 for Omani children, OMR5 for non-Omani children.
An official from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs spoke to Times of Oman regarding the reason behind the decision to set entrance fees.
“The reasons for setting charges for entering the reserve include management of tourism activities according to the capacity of the reserve through the issuance of visitor permits, assessing the main needs of the visitors’ service according to the activities and target groups, and utilising a small number of the fees to improve visitor services.”