Outskirts of the Empty Quarters
The Desert of Empty Quarters (Al-Rub’a Al-Khali in Arabic) is the largest desert in the world. Measuring 1000 Km in length and 500 Km in width, the Desert spans across four countries: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman and Republic of Yemen. Within Omani territory, the Desert extends from Mahdah in the North to Fahud in the South passing through Ibri and Al-Buraimi .
Should one dream up the perfect looking desert and the ideal dunes undulation, it would still fall short of what is on offer at Sharqiah Sands, formerly Wahiba Sands. Spread over an area of 9,000 Km2, the Sands extend northward from the coast opposite Masirah Island to Wadi Al-Batha’a, surrounded by forests of Al-Ghaf trees in Eastern and Western edges. Rolling sand dunes varying from deep red to a rich honey colour sands stretching as far as the eye can see, many of which span 100 Km long and peak up to 100 meters heigh.
The Empty Quarter
This is the biggest desert in the Arabian Peninsula, and void of any oasis. To this day, there are still large expanses of unexplored and uninhabited terrain. It is located to the far north of the city of Salalah, the capital of Dhofar Governorate. Specialised companies organise tours of the Empty Quarter, led by experienced guides.
Not far from the beaches of Muscat with its harmonious architecture, and within walking distance of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the heart of the capital, the visitor will find golden hills packed with drivers who enjoy sand-duning with their SUVs, or those who enjoy gliding on the sand bikes that are easy to rent in this area. Many visitors like to climb the hills to watch the sunset bidding farewell to Muscat, with its white-washed buildings surrounded by fresh greenery on those beautiful hills.
Ramlat Tawq is an area of beautiful sand dunes, extending for tens of kilometres and located between Wilayat Barka and Nahil in Al Batinah Region, and is one of the sites frequented by tourists in large numbers due to its proximity to the capital Muscat.