By Bader al Kiyumi — The Sultanate of Oman has got beautiful lengthy wadis. A wadi is basically an Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley. After heavy rains, water from mountains and rocks pour into the wadi with great force. Some wadis have water flowing throughout the year. However, some of them stream only during rainy monsoons.
Qurayat is nestled between tall mountains, valleys, flat plains and sea waters. The unique geographical location has bestowed on it numerous advantages that help in the fusing of its natural formations with places of historical and economic importance. Many factors have contributed to its fame in the fields of agriculture, trade and tourism. The Fins Village with its beautiful beach, towering mountains and lush foothills make this place a weekend getaway for local and expat tourists.
Wadi Al Arbyeen is one of the top tourism spots in Oman. It is about 115 kilometres from Wadi Hattat Roundabout and 36 kilometres from the centre of the Wilayat of Quriyat. Wadi Al Arbyeen provides an exciting vacation destination and those that crave for adventure in their trips will want to seriously consider making this a top choice in places to visit. It offers visitors a lot of spectacular destinations with and pristine natural beauty. These are places where one can bask in total silence.
Tourists who like to walk on foot in Wadi Al Arbyeen, can stroll for many days through many beautiful places. Some of them go for camping in this amazing wadi for days.
Wadi Al Arbyeen is characterised by its abundant water flows through the year. It has six villages, including Al Silaifi, Al Suwaih, Al Far’a, Al Batha, Al Hail and Al Magrah.
Al Suwaih Village is a popular tourist spot in Wadi Al Arbyeen where one can spend an adventurous weekend. Al Suwaih Village is the biggest village in this wadi. It is famous for a variety of cultivations chief among them being lemons and bananas. The village is spotted with some beautiful lakes. Visitors can indulge in activities like swimming and nature walks on the surrounding mountains.
Al Silaifi is another tourist destination in Wadi Al Arbyeen. It has lots of beautiful views and crystal like waters, lovely lakes and wonderful waterfalls. The best activity in this village is swimming in the lakes and under the waterfall. Going for hikes on the huge mountain slopes is another exhilarating experience. The tropical waters here are said to have the most fish species compared to other lakes of the world. Al Silaifi is popular with tourists during holidays and weekends and attract a large number of regional and international visitors in addition to hordes of citizens and expats.
Wadi Al Arbyeen is well-known for the cultivation of several types of dates including Al Nijal and Khalas. Besides, the village is famous for mangoes, lemons and bananas. The residents of this wadi practise many crafts including manufacturing mats and textiles.
Nasser bin Abdullah al Salmy, a visitor from Al Rustaq, who came with his friends, said: “It is a wonderful wadi because it has a mixture of stunning scenic landscapes and fantastic views. The beautiful lakes and mountains make this wadi a magnificent place for outdoor activities.”
“We spent our time by climbing mountains and swimming in the pools. We found the place very cool and calm and plan to come back soon for camping,” Al Salmy added.
How to reach Wadi Al Arbyeen?
Wadi Al Arbyeen is 115 kilometres away from the Wadi Hattat roundabout, and can be visited easily by road. To get there from Muscat, drive from Wadi Hattat roundabout to Qurayat, via Wadi Owdai-Al Amerat road.
Then, follow the new Qurayat-Sur road. About 36 kilometres from the Qurayat roundabout, a signpost points you to drive right to Wadi Al Arbyeen. After 500 metres, turn right and proceed along this bumpy trail which weaves in and out of the wadi and through rugged terrain for about 17 kilometres. Four-wheel-drive is a must to access this rugged road.
The sink hole at Hayiyat Najm Park, which is located 30 kilometres away from the centre of the wilayat, is another tourist attraction in Qurayat. Several stories have been narrated about this. Some say it was made by a meteorite dating back many years and that its water has medicinal value.
The Muscat Municipality is now developing this sink hole into a park. At the bottom, many metres down the sink hole, visitors can see blue water. — Pictures by Fasial al Balushi