Al Jabal Al Akhdar Facts
Jebel Akhdar refers not to a mountain as such, but to an area that encompasses the great Saiq Plateau, at 2000m above sea level. Secondly, the jebel keeps its fecundity well hidden in a labyrinth of wadis and terraces where the cooler mountain air and greater rainfall encourage prize pomegranates, apricots and other fruit.
This rises to a height of 2,980 metres and is famous for its wide plateau close to the summit. The journey from Muscat to Al Jabal Al Akhdar takes about two hours and can only be undertaken by four-wheel drive.
the Jabal is home to a number of wild animals and birds. Of these, gazelles are said to be the most predominant. However, due to on-going construction work and the increasing human traffic on the mountain, most of the animals have been driven into the most obscure parts of the mountain.
One of the alluring sights on the Jabal is the glistening water cascading down the rocky mountain against a sunny backdrop. In one area alone, Ain Wadi Kotom, there are more than 10 major springs.
Spread across the mountain are many Omani villages. Villagers have dug terraces in some parts of the mountain for growing crops.
The Jebel Akhdar was the scene for a conflict between Omani forces loyal to the Sultan of Oman (aided by British soldiers including the Special Air Service) and Saudi Arabian backed rebel forces of the inland Imamate of Oman between 1957 and 1959. This conflict is known as the Jebel Akhdar War.
In August 2011, Sultan Qaboos designated Jebel Akhdar a nature reserve in a bid to conserve its unique yet fragile biodiversity. A decree issued by the Royal Court established the ‘Jebel Akhdar Sanctuary for Natural Sceneries’. The mountain figures into the route for the 2011 and 2012 Tour of Oman cycling race.
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