Akhwar (Beach Lagoons)

The Akhwar (Beach Lagoons) represent an ecosystem in whose vicinity many living organisms exist. The lagoons spread along the coast of Oman from the top of the mountains (Musandam) in the north, through Al-Batinah Coast and the shores of the Ash Sharqiyah Governorate, ending at the coasts of the Governorate of Dhofar in the south. Most of these lagoons were formed at the estuary of large valleys. Sea water is usually the water source of this type of lagoon, in addition to the fresh water originating in the valleys.

 

Khawr AlBatah

This lagoon is the largest in the A’Sharqiyah South Governorate and serves as a commercial port where merchant ships and fishing vessels of various types anchor.  The lagoon extends over a distance of 3 kilometres.

 

Khawr Awqad

This lagoon is located in the Dhofar Governorateat  the outskirts of the ancient Awqad city. Its area is about 16 hectares (40 acres) and is one of the sites frequented by birds nesting throughout the year, such as the egrets, herons and Abu Mahgl, amongst others.

 

Khawr Al Baleed

This lagoon takes its name from the ancient city which lies on the banks of this lagoon. The lagoon flanks the city on the east and north. In ancient times, this lagoon was connected to the sea and used as a natural port due to its depth in some parts.

The region is currently on the World Heritage List and the khawr is protected. The importance of this place lies in its combination of archaeology, history and nature. The archaeological park is considered to be the first of its kind in the Sultanate, serving to protect natural resources, attract tourists to the site and inform people of this important ancient city in the Governorate of Dhofar.

 

Khawr Ruri

Khawr Ruri is the largest reserve in the Governorate of Dhofar. It is considered the most attractive to tourists as it contains Khawr Ruri port, famously known as Samharam. Nearby, there are important ruins that date back to prehistoric times. The port was often mentioned in Greek, Hellenic and Arabic historical scrolls, being the main port for the export of frankincense in Dhofar. Therefore the khawr (lagoon) has gained special status, as it is not only a nature reserve, but an important heritage reserve as well, and has been included in the World Heritage List. Before that, it was a natural reserve helping to maintain the biological balance, where many fish, birds and plants live. The lagoon is connected to Wadi Darbat.