A tea in the desert

Wahiba Sands originally took its name from a tribe who lived here. Recently renamed Sharqiya Sands, it’s a desert area in northeastern Oman which extends for 15000 square kilometers (~5800 square miles), 180 kilometers (111 miles) long and 80 kilometers (50 miles) wide.

A perfect specimen of sand sea – a small and isolated sand desert – Wahiba Sands have been studied by the Royal Geographical Society for its peculiarity: the presence of a large number of dune formations on its relatively small area, which represent the stages of its evolution occurred in millions of years.

The northern part of Wahiba Sands is occupied by large flat areas and small dunes, which become bigger and bigger going east, where they can reach a height of 100 meters (328 feet).

Unfortunately its rich biodiversity is put at risk by poaching and overgrazing, but many environmental organizations have been working on the conservation of this beautiful ecosystem in the last few years.

The dunes are so perfect here that you will have the impression of being in a movie.

Swaying on the hump of a dromedary or in the comfort of a soft seat of a 4×4 it’s possible to venture into this desert and reach the top of a dune. Here you can feast your eyes on the view of the sinuous sand curves all around you, and of their infinite shades of red. At dusk these colors explode in an harmless fire that leaves everyone mesmerized by its beauty.

Setting foot on the soft and intact surface with the hiss of the wind as the only sound and turning to look at your own evanescent footsteps is a breathtaking emotion.

Those who reach this magical place can’t miss the opportunity of sleeping in one of the Bedouin camps where they can enjoy the unmissable view of the starry vault, sipping tea while wrapped in a warm blanket.



Center map

Picture credits:
wahiba sands by Andrea Moroni (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Desert Sky | Wahiba Sands by Benoît Almeras-Martino (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Wahiba sands (at evening) by Andrea Moroni (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
OMAN Wahiba Sands by Sylwia Pecio (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Wahiba Sands Sunrise by mike-mojopin (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
OMAN Wahiba Sands by Sylwia Pecio (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Wahiba Sands (at morning) by Andrea Moroni (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Wahiba Sands, Oman by Chris Geatch (CC BY-NC 2.0)
P1190970 by shanlung (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
OMAN Wahiba Sands by Sylwia Pecio (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Wahiba Sands (at morning) by Andrea Moroni (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Wahiba Sands (at morning) by Andrea Moroni (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Wahiba Sands, Oman by Epnr (CC BY 2.0)
Untitled by Juozas Šalna (CC BY 2.0)
Wahiba Sands, Oman by Epnr (CC BY 2.0)
Desert Sky | Wahiba Sands by Benoît Almeras-Martino (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

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