The Al Wasta region is situated 500kms south of Muscat, en route to Salalah.
It is an area known more for its geology and wildlife than its history and boasts around 170km of coastline which surround its rocky plains. Beautiful white sandy beaches as well as more stony shores line the east of the region with the Empty Quarter lying on the west. The regions of Al Dhakiliya and AL Dhahirah sit at the North and Dhofar is in the South. The Al Wasta region consists of four williyats: Haima, Duqm, Mahut and Al Jisr. Haima is the capital.
Barr Al Hikman (Al Hikman peninsula) is an important area of Al Wasta as it is a busy bird migration station for birds from Southeast Asia as well as from the northern shores of Siberia. The pure waters here are host to many species of marine plants which give the water its characteristic green colour. The coral reefs offshore are teeming with sea life, making the area popular with divers.
Near the village of Qahal in the central region, lie Oman’s intriguing Pink Lakes. The soil’s pinkish colour has the effect of making the water in the saltwater pools appear pink. These Pink Lagoons as they are also known are also home to some pink flamingos.
A fascinating site to visit is the Rock Garden in the Duqm area. It has an alien-like landscape with strangely shaped rocks dotted around like natural sculptures.
Most importantly in the Al Wasta region is the Jiddat Al Harasis area which is home to the Arabian Oryx breeding programme; a very successful operation supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The sanctuary is significant in protecting one of Oman’s most treasured species and ensuring their place in Oman’s future. The Nubian Ibex is another species specific to the area.