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About the Wahiba (Sharqiyah Sands)


Ash-Sharqiyah Sands (also known as Wahiba Sands after the Wahibi Bedouin tribe hailing from this region) offers the intrepid visitor the romance of the desert with the thrill of adventure sports. A "perfect specimen of a sand sea", the Wahiba Sands, is a small isolated 12,000 sq km desert lying about 190kms from Muscat.

The great Wahiba sands are longitudinal dunes 200 km long and 100 km wide running south from the Eastern Hajars meeting the Arabian Sea south of Ras Al Hadd. The Sands comprise a great variety of dune formations 100-150 metres high and varying from deep red to a rich honey colour, representing stages of its evolution over millions of years. The sand dunes are moving inland at about 10 meters each year.

The Sharqiyah (Wahiba) Sands are home to large populations of migratory Bedouins. In fact, historical evidence of human occupation in the Sands dates as far back as 8000 years in the form of stone tools.

The animal life includes a large and varied migrant bird population along the mudflats bordering the Bar al Hikman. The Sands also form a natural refuge for many animals, such as gazelle, Ruppel's fox, the sand cat and white-tailed mongoose.

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