charms of Dhofars scenic coasts
all the coastal areas in Oman, the Governorate of Dhofars
800-km-long coastline stands out as an area of diverse and special
environments. Good environmental quality is a prerequisite
for the health and well-being of human beings, plants and animals
and for sustainable development.
order to meet the challenges of environment and development, Oman
has worked out a comprehensive Coastal Zone Management Plan for
the Governorate of Dhofar in consultation with World Conservation
at preserving and, where necessary, restoring the natural richness,
variety, and quality of the coastal environment, the plan is expected
to be implemented more vigorously during the on-going Year of
from Wadi Haytam to Yemen, the Governorate of Dhofars coastal
zone offers strikingly beautiful and diverse scenic views.
cliffed, rocky and sandy shores, small rocky islets, and the Al
Halaniyat Islands the largest group of offshore islands
in Oman lend a new charm to the wild rugged beauty of Dhofar
Long sweeps of pristine beaches add another dimension of beauty
to much of Governorate of Dhofars coast.
shores from Sawqirah to Sharbitthat offer a unique contact with
nature. Because most of the cliffs are bordered by the seas deeper
than six metres with scattered rocky reefs, tourists have a penchant
for this area, according to Coastal Zone Management Plan of Governorate
of Dhofar drafted by World Conservation Union (IUCN).
coastal scenery of Governorate of Dhofar is unique and holds out
a tremendous potential for nature tourism. Residents of Salalah,
as well as visitors from Gulf states, who picnic along the coast
or simply visit scenic areas to enjoy the view, greatly appreciate
the coastal scenery.
Rocky reefs fringe most of the Governorate of
Dhofar coast, and harbour coral communities. Abundant growth of
corals in the sheltered mainland coves and around Al Halaniyat
Islands provides a beautiful view with attractive and varied assemblages.
Campers frequently snorkel and dive over the coral reefs in the
Khawr environments of Governorate of Dhofar, supporting thousands
of migrating seabirds, flamingoes and shorebirds, offer unforgettable
sights, say tourists.
stunning natural beauty
it an enduring appeal
Mangroves in nine Khawr sites on the Salalah plain not only support
a great range of animal species, from worms and crabs to fishes
and birds, but also transform the more saline khawr environment
into highly productive and green habitats.
turtles nest in varying numbers on some 135 beaches along the
mainland coast from Wadi Haytam to west of Rakhyut, and the Al
Halaniyat Islands. The tourists visit this area in April when
turtles begin nesting in low numbers and continue through into
December at some locations.
peak nesting period of July-August attracts largest number of
visitors. Loggerhead turtles nest in the greatest numbers and
on 152 beaches, says the IUCN report. The Al Halaniyat Islands, especially valuable
nesting grounds for loggerhead turtles, are a hub of tourists
in May-June, the peak nesting period.
Olive Ridley turtle and the Hawksbill turtle also nest in on the
Al Halaniyat Islands.
of turtles and collection of their eggs is a major concern of
the authorities. Proliferation in the use of gill nets may lead
to an increase in the incidence of accidental capture of turtles,
particularly of breeding females, say environmentalists. A
stall laden with the bounty of Salalahs fruit orchards
Among the environmental concerns in the Al Halaniyat Islands is
the ever-present threat of major oil pollution, says the IUCN
and shorebirds found along the entire coast showcase natures
beauty. The Al Halaniyat Islands, where thousands of gulls, boobies
and cormorants nest, are areas of exceptional importance to coastal
waters provide rich feeding grounds for nesting seabirds and non-breeding
visitors, including petrels from the Southern Hemisphere. While
Governorate of Dhofar abounds in coastal and marine resources,
some areas stand out as special environments with unique and enchanting
charms of their own.
Jazir Coast, a long beach backed by low dunes and wide coastal
plain, with a large barrier lagoon, is one of the best examples
in of its kind in Oman.
Harbouring the greatest number and variety of
migrant seabirds and waders in winter months, South Jazir Coast
is also known for vast tidal flats, algal beds, turtle feeding
grounds and several khawr areas that offer feeding grounds for
for a collection of archaeological sites, and a khawr that offers
an important seabird and wader feeding and roosting area, Sawqirah
Area is among other charms of Dhofar.
overlooking Ayn Razats garden setting
The coastal cliffs south of Sawqirah have extensive guano-covered
ledges representing important seabird roosts and possibly nesting
sites, and the shallow rocky seabed is a southern extension of
the Jazir turtle feeding grounds.
Nuss, a scenic coast with sculptured granite outcrops, rocky reefs,
turtle nesting and feeding grounds, and important spiny lobster
and abalone resources, including a lobster breeding site, offers
exquisite 30 kilometre long beach, known as Shuwaymiyah, is equally
impressive. Backed by low dunes, scenic jabal, and spectacular
fossiliferous canyons, with nesting turtles, great concentrations
of roosting and feeding seabirds, varied wildlife, including wolf,
hyaena, ibex, gazelle, hyrax, and archaeological sites, Shuwaymiah
offers a high environmental quality.
looking for a close contact with nature like to visit Raaha. Known
for scenic coves with beautiful beaches and the best developed
and most varied coral reef communities of Dhofar, including corals
found nowhere else in Oman, popular recreation sites, and a small
seabird nesting islet, Raaha is a unique environmental asset of
Rawri Area, a scenic wadi with permanent freshwater pools where
waterfowl feed and nest, interesting wildlife including hyaena,
porcupine, wildcat, wolf, a popular beach recreation area backed
by a large khawr with an abundance and variety of birdlife and
important archaeological sites is no less beautiful than Raaha.
having a penchant for scenic coasts, blowholes, and sandy beaches
go straight to Mughsayl. It is also known for a khawr with waterfowl
and waders, varied wildlife, including hyaena and leopard, some
turtle nesting and feeding grounds, and archaeological sites.
protect the natural richness and quality of Dhofars coastal
environment, the residents, local visitors and tourists need to
play a positive role by ensuring that their activities do not
detract from the tourism and recreational potential of the area.
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