Sharqiya Sands Overview
It’s only a couple of hours drive from Muscat, Oman, and thus popular with tourists.
Wahiba Sands (also called the Sharqiya Sands) is a small but prototypical desert about 100 miles long and 50 miles wide and filled almost entirely with row after row of sand dunes.
The region is named for the Wahiba tribe. The desert has been of scientific interest that documented the diversity of the terrain, the flora and fauna, noting 16,000 invertebrates as well as 200 species of other wildlife, including avifauna. They also documented 150 species of native flora.
The Wahiba Sands stretch to the Arabian Sea so, contrary to any assumptions about the desert, there’s a rich wildlife here, including gazelle, mongoose and the large migrant bird populations that flock to the mudflats and lagoons around Barr Al Hikman in winter.
There are also camps to spend the night in the desert, a remarkable experience that starts with a golden sunset, continues with a densely-starred sky and concludes with the soft light of a desert dawn. The area is occupied by Bedouins who congregate at Al Huyawah, an oasis near the border of the desert, between June and September to gather dates.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Oman is safe to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Oman tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Valid Passport with 6 months validity beyond your travel schedule is a must. Visitors from Uk and EU can obtain visa on arrival for 10 to 30 days at a cost of 5 to 20 Omani Rials. All visitors must show proof of onward or return ticket upon applying for their visa.
Arabic is the official language, fewer Omani people can speak Italian, Spanish, and German. Professionals in the tourism sector are accustomed to visitors who cannot speak Arabic.
Oman is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
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The currency in Oman is the Omani rial, it is about 2.60 to USD. Money exchange is widely available and Credit cards are largely used.
Oman enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Oman is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.