العربية

photo gallery

guest book

contact us

 

The Book of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, is a piece of medieval Middle-Eastern literature in the style of a frame tale and the amazing story of Al Raha Tourism Camp and its creator Ali Al Hajry embodies the oriental magic of "One Thousand and One Arabian Nights":

The legend of the Persian king Shahryar (who, incensed by the infidelity of his wife vowed to take a new wife every night and kill her the next day), of the beautiful and clever Shahrazad (who consented to become the queen and spent every night telling him legendary tales and stopping at a climactic point at dawn, so that the king will postpone the execution out of a desire to hear the rest of the tale. In the end, she has given birth to three sons, and the king has been convinced of her faithfulness and revoked his decree) lives on in these deserted sand dunes of the Wahiba.


The myths and mysteries woven by Shahrazad's never ending tales, the cliff-hanger excitement of the stories of the 'One Thousand and One Arabian Nights', the thrill of adventure all seem to permeate the Al Raha Tourism Camp and bring to life the exotic experience of the Arabian way of life.

The richly layered narrative texture of these stories is mirrored in the changing colours of the dunes and the evolving moods of the desert and the spirit of magic and the triumph of good over evil is represented in Ali's personal story of struggle interwoven with the genesis and development of the Al Raha Tourism Camp.

A long, long time ago, Ali Al Hajry was a Mathematics teacher in a government school. But he burned with inner dreams, an entrepreneurial streak would not let him be at peace. His resolve was to do something different, to create.

One day, he saw a camper in the desert and wondered why the Bedouins lived in this desolation. A true pioneer, he tried it himself…and got caught up in the inexorable pull of the desert.

Long before, eco-tourism became a byword; Ali started the Al Raha Tourism Camp - the first desert experience destination to open in Oman. The Camp consisting of a couple of huts, a toilet block and a fence was all built for 500 Rials Omani in partnership between Ali and his brother in 1997. The first group to stay there was family and friends in 1998.

Ali had no idea or experience of tourism…only an indomitable will to share this wonderful place with others. The days rolled by in a tedious routine of teaching Mathematics till 12 in the noon, then heading for Muscat to distribute printed pictures to Travel Agencies till 4pm and drive back by 10 pm. Admittedly, the Travel agencies were a little skeptical. His family also discouraged him, saying "Ali, you are plain crazy."

But Ali had one stronghold - his belief in the place and in himself. And then, something magical happened. Ali got his first booking…for 175 people! He had absolutely no briefing what to do and arrange for this group. It was a learning experience.

Ali and his camp have never looked back since. From those trials and tribulations, the Camp has grown from 8 barastis and 4 tents to 77 rooms and 15 luxury tent suites. But Ali remembers his humble origins and his ties to the land are unbreakable. Ali and the Camp support the local Bedouin tribes, arrange for tourists to visit their home and partake of their charmed and simple life. To support local craft and heritage, the Camp has Bedouin women come on weekends to sell all kinds of traditional bedu items like masks, turbans, carpets, mobile bags, handbags, keyrings, etc.

As Ali puts it, the desert is different from any other place on earth. It changes from day to day and hour to hour. Its mysterious and magical and here, everything is possible.
Little wonder then, that people visit again and again to live this experience and to escape that jaded feeling of 'Been there Done that'.

top