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Wahiba Sands

3.2 / 5 38 votes

Country rank: 4 out of 15 Places To Visit In Oman

Sub-Region: Sharqiya (Wahiba) Sands


Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best time: The best time to visit the Sharqiya Sands is between November and March (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Muscat (Check Flights)


"The Amazing Sharqiya Sands!"

Wahiba Sands Tourism

Whether its going on a camel safari, dune bashing, desert trekking or simply just sitting around a camp fire, they have it all! Spending a night under the starlit sky at the Sharqiya Sands is an experience you will never forget!

Considered among the most beautiful camping areas in Oman, the Sharqiya Sands extends over an area of up to ten thousand square kilometres! Tourists get the chance to indulge in the true Arabian experience which is a rarity due to the amount of globalisation that has occured over the past years. The most popular activities at the Sharqiya Sands are dune bashing and going on a camel safari. You can also visit Bedouin families and get to know their culture, while enjoying a cup of homemade Omani Coffee. Desert Trekking is also a popular activity amoung tourists. There are also a lot of fun adventures for kids like sand boadring and horse safaries.

Hotels in Wahiba Sands


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The best way to get around the desert is with a four wheel drive. There is a possibility to either rent them or arrange a skilled driver once you get to the desert.

English is spoken quite well at Wahiba Sands because it is a very touristy destination. The main language they speak in Oman is Arabic. In Arabic, for "hello" you could say "Marhaban" or "Ahlan" and "thank you" is "Shukraan" . You could also say "SabaaH al-khayr" for "good morning" ad "Masaa' al'khayr" for "good evening". A common greeting is "Peace be upon you" which is pronounced "As-salaam 'alaykum" in Arabic. You will hear this greeting frequently in Oman. If someone says " As-salaam 'alaykum" to you, you can respond by saying "wa'alaykum salaam" to wish peace upon them

In 1986, the Wahiba desert was classified as a "model desert" as comprehensive research showed that the desert contained almost every form of dune known to mankind (about 20 types). Researches also found areas that were free of sand in the middle of the desert, which had interesting fauna and flora. The dunes in the North were very rich in vegetation. They were able to identify 130 various types of plants and around 200 species of animals. The animals they found included desert foxes, the white-tailed mungo, etc.

Nightlife is quite different in Oman compared to western countries. It's more common for the locals to go to coffee shops and chill out with shisha and a cup of coffee rather than go clubbing. There is a bar at the Al Sharqiya Sands hotel if you want to go for a drink. Other than that, you'd have to travel to hotels in Ibra to go to a bar. Some hotel bars in Ibra have a dance floor where you can mingle with other locals or meet some tourists.

The most common souveniers are tea sets, jewellry, saucers, pitchers and Omani dresses. There are many little knick knack shops around the Wahiba Sands where you can buy most of these souveniers.

It is respectful to dress conservatively in most Arab countries, including Oman. However , this is not expected from tourists.It is uncommon to tip in Oman, however in certain circumstances , rounding up to the next rial is accepted. In expensive hotels, it is more common, but not expected.

At Sharqiya sands, the food choices are all local items such as Harees (wheat mixed with meat), Kebabs and Machboos (rice with saffron and spicy meat). Some local omani beverages are Laban, which is a salty buttermilk. Khawa is another favourite drink, which is made from coffee and cadamom powder. Since Oman is a Muslim country, alcohol can only be bought by residents. However, some licensed hotels and restaurants do sell them. The drinking age in Oman is 21. You can drink alcohol at the Al Sharqiya Sands Hotel. They also offer local and international food.

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How to Reach Wahiba Sands

Once you land in Muscat International Airport, the drive to Wahiba sands is about two hours. (Read More)

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