Dams have been around ever since the technology to build them has been made available. They are, though, purely functional structures that have two main objectives in mind. The first is to secure water resources for the future, the second is to provide enough electricity.
While they are seldom found in the Arabian Peninsula, Oman does hold the honour of having the region’s largest dam. Designed to secure Oman’s water supplies, Wadi Dayqah Dam is not just functional, but picturesque as well.
“Wadi Dayqah Dam is one of the largest on the Arabian Peninsula and a source of irrigation and protection for the surrounding villages, as it reduces the number of flash floods in the area. A picnic area has been built atop the dam with great views for all to enjoy,” said the Ministry of Tourism. “Wadi Dayqah Dam is quite a spectacular sight!
“Set in the rugged limestone Wadi (valley) this huge construction is a real contrast of natural Omani beauty and impressive human engineering,” added the ministry. “Opened in 2012 the dam was built to collect the periodic rain fall from the high peaks above and control the volume of water flowing through the narrow torrent, ‘dayqah’, to the villages below. This still maintains the ancient falaj irrigation system whilst controlling the surges of water rolling off the hillside. The dam is quite a spectacle for Oman and is by far the highest in the country. The lake is eight kilometres long and can hold 100 million cubic metres of rainwater.”
The dam is of course named after the wadi of Dayqah, which is located about 90 kilometres from Muscat.
“Wadi Ad Dayqah is a tourist attraction, being one of the easy-to-reach wadis, located near Muscat Governorate about 90 kilometres from Wadi Adai,” added the ministry. “To cross this wadi is to explore the Omani mountains and their natural diversity. The wadi is an extension of similar areas in Ash Sharqiyah. About 120 wadis converge into its path, which stretches from Wilayat Dimma Wa Ta’iyeen in Al Sharqiyah North to its estuary in Wilayat Qurayat, Muscat Governorate. It is one of those wadis that flow all year round.
“A dam has been built on this wadi and is considered the biggest in the Sultanate,” added the ministry. "It consists of two dams: the main one is 75 metres (246 feet) high, and the secondary one is an earthen dam 48.5 metres (149 feet) high. The main dam includes a tower for water drainage.”