A much loved weekend activity by most expats with families and singles mixing together to form convoys of happy campers.
27 January 2014| Last updated on 14 June 2017
Many people like to take a break away from the hustle and bustle of city life with its pampered lifestyle and go camping to break the routine of their lives. The diverse environment of Oman allows many options when it comes to camping.
Camping is enjoyed on Shatti Qantab in Muscat Governorate, Shatti Ras Al Hadd in A'Sharqiyah South Governorate, on mountain tops in Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain) or Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain) in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate, camping in the desert, both in Badiya sands in A'Sharqiyah North Governorate, or in The Empty Quarter in Dhofar.
This is not to mention the magnificence of camping in Dimaniyat Islands in Al Batinah South Governorate, or camping in one of the secluded beaches that spread in Musandam Governorate. Oman is sure to provide versatile options for fans of this outdoor activity.
In addition to the camps created for tourists in each of these areas, visitors are allowed to pitch their own tents in each of these places, as well as in many others.
Camping is a much loved weekend activity by most expats with families and singles mixing together to form convoys of happy campers. Choose any of the many interesting destinations within the country – and find your own spot to pitch a tent, sleep in the back of a 4WD or just fling a mattress on the ground and sleep under the stars.
In the mountains or desert, you can set up camp wherever you find a suitable spot, as long as it isn’t on private or cultivated land and not too close to habitation. If you are not too sure about camping in the rough, there are also official camping grounds with full amenities.
SEE ALSO: Guide to Fahal Island in Oman
It is possible to camp at many of the various beaches around Muscat, the most private and sheltered being the beaches that can only be reached by boat. Just look for the tide line before you set up camp!
You can also try camping along Azaiba beach, but be prepared to share your space with quad bikes, speeding 4WDs, fishermen and, if you’re lucky, a glimpse of the Sultan’s horses being taken for their morning exercise. Please respect the environment and take any rubbish away with you.
The Oman Dive Centre is near Muscat and for a cost of RO 3 per person (including breakfast) and RO 4 per tent you can camp on their site, which has a swimming pool and water sports facilities. If you want to watch the nesting turtles, you can stay at the Turtle Beach Resort, where they also offer Dhow Cruise and boat trips for dolphin watching (if you are lucky). The resort is near Ras Al Jinz Center (20 mins drive) - it is the place for Turtle watching and the rate is OMR 3 per adult child OMR 1 and is to be paid directly through them.
SEE ALSO: Guide to Wahiba Sands in Oman
You can also camp outside the grounds, but if you do, you are not allowed to cook and toilet facilities are nothing more than a torch and a shovel! You can camp in the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Jaaluni, which is more than six hours from Muscat by car. There is also The Desert Camp, situated in the Wahiba Sands, 220km from Muscat. This is definitely a luxurious version of camping however, with excellent facilities and a number of leisure activities.
The Al Hajar mountains are a distinct ecoregion, the highest points in eastern Arabia with wildlife including the Arabian tahr. Indigenous mammals include the Leopard, Hyena, Fox, Wolf, Hare, Oryx and Ibex. Birds include the Vulture, Eagle, Stork, Bustard, Arabian Partridge, Bee Eater, Falcon and Sunbird. Decrees have been passed to protect endangered species, including the Arabian Leopard, Arabian Oryx, Mountain Gazelle, Goitered Gazelle, Arabian Tahr, Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle.