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Deserts and Oases

Majestic desert takes up the greater part of the territory of Oman. It is about several hours driving from Muscat. To the West, bordering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Oman possesses a piece of the Rub al- Khali or "Empty Quarter", which occupies almost 25 percent of the Arabian Peninsula. In the east, the Wahiba Sands is 180 kilometers in length. The huge dunes reach 100 meters in height. Dunes in the Omani desert are multi-coloured, depending on the age of the sand, their color varies from pure white to golden, red and sometimes dark-purple. Many Bedouin still live in these deserts; building reed huts on sand and errecting felt tents, which it is possible to see during jeep-safaris.

However, all these deserts have oases and after a trip in the Wahiba it is wonderful to relax in the cool water of one of these numerous oases. The best of these is Wadi Bani Khalid, this turquoise lake, bordered by date palms and thickets of oleanders, is located in a mountain gorge. There are some places here, in the shade, which are just perfect for a picnic. It is difficult to believe, that this whole apparition is not a mirage and that you are in the Arabian Desert, instead of on any tropical island.

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