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Call to conserve the environment as camping season begins

10 Nov 2022 camping By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

With the holiday season round the corner and temperatures getting pleasant, it’s time for outdoor camping again. But, watch out and do it right, say civic authorities, so that hygiene and safety is maintained in public places

Winter is fast approaching and the great outdoors are beckoning again…it is that time of the year to prepare for camping while enjoying the cool weather under the stars, and making full use of the pleasant climate.

Wild camping in Oman is legal, there are plenty of places to do so, including the beautiful beaches, rocky mountains, and sandy deserts where one can visit with family and friends or simply tag on with organised groups to enjoy the best of Oman’s serene wilderness.

“Oman is a very safe country and there is full respect from locals who are welcoming and helpful in case of any eventuality. December to March is always the perfect time to camp,” Abdul Ameer al Shaibani, an avid camper said.

He assured that wild animals don’t tend to approach campsites, except for goats, which might pay you a visit and explore your bags and belongings, he quipped.

“Being endowed with natural beauty with all the three topographical features – mountains, deserts, and beaches – the time is ripe to do most of it,” Shaibani said.

Organising camping trips in Oman begins by choosing the best place to pitch your tent. To camp in the mountains, Jabal Akhdar and Jabal Shams are the top spots for camping in Oman but for those in love who prefer spending the beautiful night on the beach, either Ras Al Hadd, Salalah in the south, Mughsail in Dhofar region or Masirah Island are ideal locations,

As for desert lovers, the Wahiba Sands in Sharqiyah region and Rub Al Khali are the best-known deserts for camping in Oman where must spend at least a couple of days and nights.

Sufian Jamal, another avid camper said, there are things one needs to consider while camping. “Once you have decided where you want to pitch your tent, you’ll need to find equipment and tools, including firewood, mattresses if you plan to camp in the mountains, and other camping equipment which are available in the big hypermarkets in Oman,” he said.

Several companies also rent out camping equipment or organise special trips for which equipment, food, assistance and entertainment on site is provided.

The White Beach in Fins, known for its rocky coastal wall, captivating sea scenery, and beautiful white sands, is one of other best locations for camping. Ras Al Hadd and Wadi Shab, are some of the other ideal camping areas. This is in addition to many camping spots within Muscat.

According to Muscat Municipality, there are rules and conditions for camping in Muscat Governorate. ‘It is not allowed to camp, whether in a caravan or tent, or sitting for more than 48 hours, without obtaining a prior permit from the competent service directorate, and paying a security deposit of RO100 which is valid for for seven nights, extendable,’ the civic body stated.

It adds, that camping should be in the places specified by the municipality, leaving distance between each site of not less than five meters and leaving a minimum distance of 10m between the camp site and the beach. Also, the camping site should be away from the fishermen and security restricted areas and the camping site should be at least 100 metres away from residential neighbourhoods.

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Hygiene requirements

  • Keep the designated site clean
  • Avoid using unapproved mobile toilets
  • Avoid damaging agriculture or wild plants
  • Avoid making sand barriers or modifying the camping site
  • Avoid burning or backfilling of waste
  • Avoid lighting fires or barbecues on greenery/beach areas

Public morality

  • Avoid using the camp for prohibited activity
  • Avoid causing annoyance to other campers
  • Abide by the laws, orders, and public morals

Fines

  • Anyone who violates the requirements shall be punished as follows:
  • An administrative fine of RO200 for camping without obtaining a permit
  • An administrative fine of RO50 for non-compliance with the rules or requirements for camping
  • Removal of the camp or caravan if the violation is repeated or failure to implement the requirements

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