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Experience a piece of the fabled “Empty Quarter” (Rub al Khali) desert which is the largest sand desert in the world,. The desert offers large sand dunes up to 250 m in height and is home to many unique desert plants and animals. At the edge of the desert is the town of Shisr, host to the archaelogical site of Ubar. This medieval city was a hub of the frankincense trade, plied by camel caravans across the desert. You can walk the grounds of this Unesco World Heritage Site and view this archaealogical park in person.
The tour leaves Salalah at 1 pm. There will be a stop to photograph camel herds near Shisr before visiting the archaeological site. From Shisr you will head into the desert proper where you can ride the sand dunes in an off-road vehicle, climb the dunes yourself, and bask in the beautiful sunset. A Bedouin-type camp will welcome you for dinner and hanging out around the campfire smoking Shisha. Enjoying the desert overnight at the camp and return at 8 the next morning
What makes this tour unique?
It’s hard to describe the feeling of approaching a desert to someone who has never seen one before. You can describe what you see; a drying of landscape, a browning of land and a slow disappearing of trees and shrubs and signs of life. Before, all of a sudden, the dunes appear. A sea of golden waves that appears to have no beginning and no end. You can show pictures and write words but portraying that feeling is harder. Perhaps it’s one of those things, like seeing the ocean for the first time, that you need to experience for yourself. Sure you will have unforgettable moments .
Our certified tour guide will pick you up from your hotel in an air-conditioned four-wheel drive jeep. Afterwards you will pass through the marvelous landscape of Salalah and have the opportunity to admire the biodiversity nature has to offer. You will drive through several camel herds until you reach the first stop of the tour: the Wadi Dawkah. The large natural garden and UNESCO Heritage Site is the habitat of around 1.200 frankincense trees and source of the world famous Dhofari Frankincense. Of course, your guide will explain everything about the cultivation of frankincense, the different varieties and uses.
Your journey proceeds to the city Thumrait to have some traditional arabic coffee (qahwah) with dates. Thumrait is known as a famous Bedouin settlement and played a major role in times of the ancient Frankincense Trading Route which ran from South of Oman to the Mediterranean Sea.
The city of Shisr is the next attraction on the tour into the desert and is surrounded by numerous legends. The most famous dubs Shisr as the legendary city of Ubar, which was once an important city as a crossroads of caravan routes that made it rich through trade in frankincense, spices, coppers and probably Arabian horses. Even the Queen of Sheba is said to have been here to buy frankincense. Ubar is mentioned in the Bible and the Koran and described as a magnificent city with many columns. The Greek geographer and astronomer Claudius Ptolemy and the Arab historian Mohammad Al Hassan Al Hamdani also reported on the legendary Ubar in their writings. Despite an extensive search, however, the legendary city could not be located for a long time. On the way there, your tour guide will tell you how Ubar was discovered...
The Empty Quarter, which is the largest sand desert in the world, covers a wide expanse of the Arabian Peninsula, including parts of Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E.,Yemen and Oman. Now you drive to the place where you can ride the sand dunes in an 4X4 vehicle, climb the dunes yourself, and bask in the beautiful sunset. Be sure that it is a very special and unforgettable experience to see the magical sunset in the desert. Your tour guide will capture this unique moment with photos and videos so you can treasure this experience forever and show your loved ones at home as well. After this adventure you should be hungry and your tour guide will set on the fire and prepare the traditional Omani Barbecue. In the meantime you can smoke shisha and watch the shining stars in the unbelievably clear sky and try to recognise astronomical constellations. Later in the night you can make yourself comfortable in your tent or leave your camp bed outside and sleep under the stars in the fabulous desert of Oman
Traditional Omani Food prepared over the fire
The next morning you will be gently kissed awake by the sun and greeted with coffee and an excellent traditional omani breakfast. Afterwards you will return to Salalah where you will arrive at your hotel around late morning and perhaps have already booked the Salalah Night Tour in the evening?
Great driver and great experience