Wahiba Sands

When you think of the Middle East, you think of cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Beirut, or Riyadh. However, the Wahiba Sands, a desert region in Oman, is making some serious noise in the tourism world. This desert haven is surrounded by mountains, oases, white sand beaches, five-star hotels, and mouth-watering Arabian cuisine. So, get set to surf the dunes in an SUV, enjoy the sunset with dates and coffee, and lose yourself to the Arabian nights. 

Before you embark on this journey, we recommend that you plan your trip to Omansmartly by using a travel itinerary planner. You can try out Trivet’s travel planner app to help manage time and track expenditures from the get-go. Plus, if you want recommendations for places to visit and eat, it’s got you all covered.

  • The Wahiba Sands was named by the Bani Wahiba tribe and is nearly 8000 square miles in size, with dunes up to 300 ft. 
  • Temperatures during the day easily sear across 100 degrees, but the nights are much cooler. In fact, during the winter, desert temperatures can easily drop up to 60 degrees. 
  • In 1986, the Royal Geographical society paid a visit to the desert and documented around 16,000 invertebrates native to the region. They also found 200 species of other wildlife and 150 species of plants. 
  • The local inhabitants are Bedouins, who are nomadic Arabs that live in Al-Huyawah, an oasis in the desert. You can easily visit tribes on tour, learn about their culture, including their Bronze Age architecture, textile, food, and incredible survival skills. 
  • The desert also has exceptional biblical sites for tourists who love their histories, such as the summer residence of the Queen of Sheba and the resting place of Job.
  • The Wahiba Sands, like most places in Oman, share the same overall local cuisine. However, locals residing near the coastline eat more seafood while locals living centrally stick to poultry and red meat. Omani cuisine includes some must-eat dishes like Omani Biryani, Shuwa, Mashuai, and Kabouli, just to name a few.

Thousand Nights Camp. Thousand Nights Camp is a green oasis in the middle of the Wahiba Sands. The camp offers a variety of adventures such as terrain exploration, desert sports such as archery and hunting. More importantly, the main attraction of the camp is the 4WD and bike adventure across the sand and ending the night camping and dining under the stars. 

Turtle Beach. Just a short drive from the Wahiba Sands, you find yourself on the port of Sur. You’ll see a couple of castles nearby, and finally, you’ll reach the Ras-al-Hadd Turtle Reserve. This reserve is open to the public, and you can spend several quiet hours relaxing on the beach and also witness mother turtles laying several eggs. 

WadiTawi. If you like trekking, hiking, and an off-road adventure, you’d love WadiTawi. You can enjoy a day trip swimming in crystal clear waters and sinkholes, camp with friends and family. You can also spend some time in the local village, explore the market scene, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy the local food.

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