Dima wa Tayeen < OMAN EXPLORER


Dima wa'Tayeen's fascinating beauty

Dramatic mountain profiles in Dima wa'Tayeen
Pictures by Shuhi

Rugged and remote, Dima wa'Tayeen in the Sharqiya region, offers you a flavour of Oman that is distinctively unique to this wilayat. Nowhere else in the Sultanate do you find a landscape so mountainous and barren, and yet so abundantly blessed with water.

It's this oddity of nature that makes a tour of this wilayat so rewarding, both for nature lovers and those looking for some off-road driving adventure.

The wilayat is wedged between two sets of mountain ranges, the source of its bounteous water wealth. On its northern border is the wilayat of Quriyat separated by the formidable peaks of the Eastern Hajar.

Dima wa'Tayeen is blessed with an abundance of natural streams

Al Qabil is to the wilayat's east, Al Mudhaibi and Bidbid are to the west, and Ibra is on its southern border.All 7,000 square kilometres of Dima wa' Tayeen's landscape are remarkably uneven, making it one of the most mountainous wilayats of the Sultanate.

The large majority of its residents live in some 51 villages, which mainly dot the fringes of the wilayat's major wadis.Criss-crossing the terrain are hundreds of tranquil streams which eventually meet up with the four giant wadis of the wilayat, two of which — Dima and Tayeen — have given the wilayat its name.

These two wadis meet at Al Ghayyan village and flow as one wadi, called Wadi Tayeen thereafter. At Ghubrat at Tam, it makes a spectacular breach of the Jebel Aswad range, whereupon it takes the name Wadi Dayqah.

An hour's drive from the Wali's office at Mehlah, along the course of Wadi Tayeen, brings you to the Devil's Gap, the mouth of the canyon where Wadi Dayqah begins its sinuous course through an 18-km long gorge.

Because of the remarkably rugged terrain, intersected by numerous wadis and streams, there are no paved roads in the wilayat. There are plans however for the first blacktop to be laid here linking Dima wa'Tayeen with the Muscat-Sur higway.One way of enjoying Dima wa' Tayeen's landscape is by 4WD.

Numerous hilly byways will take you to remote stretches of the wilayat, across scores of burbling streams and virgin springs that are an ubiquitous sight around the wilayat.

If off-road driving is more your passion, the combination of rugged terrain and watercourses also promises motoring adventure of a high degree.

Among the many scenic spots of the wilayat is a place called Al Madbagah located at the foot of Jebel al Abyadh (also called White Mountain), which is part of the jagged Eastern Hajar range.

Numerous wadis and streams crisscross the wilayat

From a deep cleft in the mountain flows a perennial stream that, after a spell of rains, turns into a surging torrent. A network of aflaj channels the water to date palm gardens and other fruit orchards in Al Madbagah.

Picnicking opportunities are aplenty alongside some of the wilayat's bountiful streams

In winter, picnicking opportunities are aplenty around this gently flowing stream, alongside which abound pretty pink blossoms called hab. You can camp out by this delectable setting contemplating the formidable profiles of the Hajar mountains, or plan forays on foot deeper into the mountain cleft, for a spot of adventure and discovery.

Discovery also awaits those who trek up Jebel al Abyadh's vertiginous pathways leading up to its summit. Small communities of people continue to live on the summit of the mountain, virtually a world away from the relative modernity of villages down below.

In ancient times, Dima wa'Tayeen was renowned for its pedigree Arabian horses. Fine mountain steeds, it is said, were exported by dhow to India and elsewhere in return for attractive sums of money or valuable goods.

Furthermore, the wilayat was among the first areas in the region to grow date palm trees. Date saplings from this area were first exported to other wilayats, spawning date palm groves there, say local scholars.

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