Overnight in Wahiba Sands

Wahiba Sands, about three hours drive from Muscat is Oman’s version of Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter.

They are dotted with a scattering of Bedouin camps as Bedouin herders still wander from waterhole to waterhole; the sands actually contain quite a variety of terrain and vegetation.

The rolling dune fields of the Wahiba Sands epitomize Arabia for all visitors to Oman. Home to much wildlife and the traditional, incredibly hospitable Bedouin people they can only be explored on exciting 4WD camping safaris.

This is adventure travel at its very best.

The Wahiba Sands stretch some 180km from north to south and 80km from east to west. This is ‘ramlat’ country, the Arabic word used to describe a desert of dunes, many of which exceed 100m in height.

The Sands are best crossed from north to south or vice versa. They are bounded by the towns of Al Mintirib in the north, An Nuqduh in the south, Al Ashqara on the coast in the east and al Jadidah in the west.

The dunes are home to some 3000 Bedu from various tribes, which include the Janabah, Mawalik, Hikman, Amr and Wahiba.

The Sands stretch to the Arabian seashore and encompass mudflats and lagoons around Barr Al Hikman moving inland at the rate of some 10 meters each year.

In winter they are home to a large migrant bird population. Whilst the Sands look bereft of wildlife they are in fact home to some 180 species of plants with 200 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians roaming the sands.

Day 01:

Your tour begins with a visit to the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque one of the largest mosques in the Middle East.

Drive along the picturesque Cornice to the once walled district of Muscat and stop for a photo at Al Alam Palace, the residence of his Majesty Sultan Qaboos.

The palace is flanked by the 16th century Portuguese forts of Mirani and Jalali.

Stroll through Muttrah Souk and bargain for handicrafts and silver items then drive to Wahiba sands via the traditional Old Omani villages of Ibra and Al Mintrib where you will also be stopping for photographs.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Bidiya before proceeding to Wadi Bani Khalid – an oasis in the middle of the barren and dry mountains is one of the most beautiful wadis in Oman and its pools with clear deep blue water give you an opportunity to take a refreshing dip.

Afterwards proceed to Wahiba Sands, a vast mass of undulating red and white sea of sand.

The ever-changing patterns of the dunes are a photographer’s delight.

Check into the Desert Nights Camp, Oman’s first and only luxury desert camp. Sprawling across four hectares of sand, the camp includes 24 Omani-style tents, each with a private bathroom, big bed, and a cozy outdoor sitting area.

They’re outfitted with antiques, handcrafted furniture and decorative carpets.

Enjoy an exciting sand dune drive full of thrills and learn of the life a Bedouin Family has in the desert.

Dinner and overnight at Desert Nights Camp. During dinner there will be a Bedouin band with an Oud player.

Day 02:

After breakfast, a complimentary camel ride will be offered in the morning. Check out and drive to Muscat to board the ship


Special Notes:
Tour must be presold!

Not recommended for people with mobility problems, pregnant women and children. It involves normal walk on gravel & rough ground and also walk up inclined surfaces.

Tour is weather dependent as heavy rain can lead to flooding in the Wadis.

Do not photograph local people without their permission.

The drive to Wahiba Desert takes around 2 hours on tarred road.

Travel by 4x4 jeeps with drivers.

Maximum 04 pax per jeep.

In accordance with local customs, while visiting Grand Mosque women must wear modest clothing that covers the body. Arms and legs must be covered to wrists and ankles and a scarf must cover the head, including all hair. Gentlemen are advised to wear modest clothing befitting the sanctity of the Mosque.

Grand Mosque Opening timings: Saturday – Thursday from 08h00 – 11h00.

Toilets available at the mosque, souk, restaurant


Tour Timings:

Tours begin at times suitable for the ship's arrival in port. The breakdown of the excursions is as follows:
Day 1:

00hr00 -> Depart from Muscat Port
00hr00 -> 00hr30 Drive to the Grand Mosque
00hr30 -> 01hr00 Visit mosque
01hr00 -> 01hr30 Drive to Muttrah souk
01hr30 -> 02hr00 Visit souk
02hr00 -> 02hr10 Drive to Al Alam Palace
02hr10 -> 02hr30 Photo stop at palace
02hr30 -> 05hr00 Drive to Bidya
05hr00 -> 06hr00 Serving lunch at local restaurant in Bidya
06hr00 -> 06hr30 Drive to Wadi Bani Khalid
06hr30 -> 07hr00 Visiting site with possible swim
07hr00 -> 08hr00 Drive to Wahiba Sands
08hr00 -> 08hr30 Check in at Desert Night camp
08hr30 -> 09hr30 Dune drive with a visit to a Bedouin family
09hr30 -> 10hr30 Dinner at the camp and overnight
Day 2:
00hr00 -> 02hr00 Wake up call and breakfast at the camp
02hr00 -> 02hr30 Camel ride and check out from camp

02hr30 -> 06hr00 Drive to the port in Muscat




Tour Details

Tour Name:
Overnight in Wahiba Sands

Sightseeing Shore Tours
Cultural Shore Tours

Tour ID:

2 days-1night

medium excursionmeal with excursion

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