Saturday, November 17, 2012

Desert Tourism Camps Oman


Desert Camping

Source: 1000 Nights Camp
As the weather is finally cooling down, I am posting some options for desert camping in Oman. In Wahiba Sands (a desert in the Sharkiyya region), several desert camps are set-up for visitors who want to experience staying in the desert. Most camps offer Bedouin tents as accommodation (with added bathrooms and other luxuries) and some form of activities such as 4X4 dune bashing, camel riding, or hanging with Bedouins. Desert Camping is best between October and April as the summer heat in Oman reaches 50+ C. 

More Luxurious Camps 

  • Notes: Most luxurious and may be the best camp, swimming pool, conference hall, special 'glass house villas' if one prefers not to sleep in a tent. 
  • Website: 
  • Activities: Dune bashing, camel riding, horse safari, coffee with bedu, swimming pool, sand boarding and more.
  • See: New York Times: Luxury Camping in the Oman Desert
  • Price range: A single basic tent costs 25 OMR per night (which is quite reasonable and in-line with other camps)

Desert Nights Camp - - Run by the Oman Hotel group - same as Falaj Hotel in Muscat if you know it.  Runs a variety of package deals. Most expensive. Known as the '2nd best camp' after 1000 Nights. Luxury tents and bathrooms. Easy to book online. 

Desert Nights Camp

Sama Al Wasil Camp (Desert Palm Camp)
'Accommodation consists of 10 ensuite chalets (2 rooms in each) and 10 separate rooms, all with generous outside patios.' ..'Enjoy the thrill of riding the dunes on a Quad Bike. Go Dune Bashing in a 4X4 vehicle. Marvel at the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Get together with friends around a camp fire and gaze at star lit skies. Experience Henna painting .'

More Rustic Camps

Safari Camp -  - Limited facilities, Bedouin style camp.

Al Areesh and Al Naseem: - Closest to turtle watching at Raz al Jins. Camps are pretty basic with generators that are not always running. About 20 OMR for a single.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Municipal Council Elections Oman

No comments:
The first ever Municipal Council Elections in Oman will be held soon (scheduled for December 22, 2012). These elections are to create an elected council on the wiliyat level that will be involved with development and service projects. Wilayats are smaller regions within larger governorates (mohfada) areas in Oman. For a complete list of governorateswilayats and cooresponding number of Council members, please see end of post. 


  • Royal Decree No. 116/2011 set out the requirements for the elections.
  • Candidates could self-nominate between May 9, 2012 and (the extended deadline) June 6, 2012.
    •  Open to all Omani citizens. All candidates must be over 30 years old.
    •  Members of the Shura council and government employees are barred.
  •  Number of elected members is based on population in units of 30,000.
  •  There are around 546,000 (roughly 20% of the population) valid voter registrations in Oman.
  • Interestingly, a relatively large number of candidates self-nominated; in Nizwa there are a reported 59 candidates, in Ibri 60 and 1636 in total (49 or nearly 3% women).
    •  The Wali (mayor) from each wilayat recently met with the candidates.
  • Candidacy exposure and news of the election has been quiet thus far; however, one can find posters of candidates around towns and positioned at roundabouts. Government banners introducing the elections have been spotted along major roadways.
  • Election hotline number: +968-2468-6777 

'Municipal Council
Community Partnership'
Local Candidate 

Possible Drawbacks  

  • Tribes: Some are concerned people may vote along tribal alliances. 
  • Goats for Votes: Others worry that votes might be bought even though there are laws in place with penalties to deter such behaviour.  

List of Governorates & Wilayates   

1-:Muscat Governorate (number of council members)

The wilayat of Muscat (2), the wilayat of Muttrah (4), the wilayat of Al A’mirat (4), the wilayat of Baushar (6), the wilayat of A’Seeb (6) and the wilayat of Quriyat (4). ( Total 26 persons)

2-Dhofar Governorate:

The wilayat of Salalah (6), the wilayat of Taqah (2), the wilayat of Mirbat (2), the wilayat of Rakhyut (2), the wilayat of Thumrait(2), the wilayat of Dhalkut (2), the wilayat of Al Mazyounah (2), the wilayat of Maqshan (2), the wilayat of Shaleem and Halaniyat Islands(2) and the wilayat of Sadah (2). (Total 24 persons).

3-Musandam Governorate: 

The wilayat of Khasab (2), the wilayat of Diba (2), the wilayat of Bukha (2) and the wilayat of Madha (2). (Total 8 persons).

4-Al Buraimi Governorate:

The wilayat of Al Buraimi (4), the wilayat of Madha (2) and the wilayat of Al Sinainah (2). (Total 8 persons).

5-A’Dakhiliyah Governorate:

The wilayat of Nizwa (6), the wilayat of Bahla (4), the wilayat of Manah (2), the wilayat of Al Hamra (2), the wilayat of Adam (2), the wilayat of Izki (4), the wilayat of Sumail (4) and the wilayat of Bidbid (2). (Total 26 persons).

6-North Al Batinah Governorate:

The wilayat of Sohar (6), the wilayat of Shinas (4), the wilayat of Liwa (2), the wilayat of Saham (6), the wilayat of Al Khabourah (4) and the wilayat of A’Suwaiq (6). (Total 28 persons).

7-South Al Batinah Governorate:

The wilayat of A’Rustaq (6), the wilayat of Al Awabi (2), the wilayat of Nakhal (2), the wilayat of Wadi Al Ma’awil (2), the wilayat of Barka (6) and the wilayat of Al Mesana’ah (4). (Total 22 persons).

8-South A’Sharqiyah Governorate:

The wilayat of Sur (6), the wilayat of Al Kamil & Al Wafi (2), the wilayat of Ja’alan Bani Bu Hassan (2), the wilayat of Ja’alan Bani Bu Ali (4) and the wilayat of Masirah (2). (Total 16 persons).

9-North A’Sharqiyah Governorate:

The wilayat of Ibra (2), the wilayat of Al Mudhaibi (6), the wilayat of Bidiyah (2), the wilayat of Al Qabil (2), the wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid (2) and the wilayat of Dema & Tayeen (2).( Total 16 persons).

10-A’Dhahirah Governorate: 

The wilayat of Ibri (6), the wilayat of Yanqul (2) and the wilayat of Dhank (2). (Total 10).

11-Al Wusta Governorate: 

The wilayat of Haima (2), the wilayat of Mahout (2), the wilayat of A’Duqm (2) and the wilayat of Al Jazir (2). (Total 8 persons).