Bidiyah, a spectacular sea of sands

A centre of Oman’s Bedouin culture in the past, Bidiyah is now being developed as a city that emphasises its culture and history, while also focusing on sustainability.

Last year’s Royal Horse Race was held at Bidiyah, having being held under the commission of the Diwan of Royal Court Affairs. The race comprised five rounds for pure Arabian horses. The fifth round is normally the most important one, in which the horsemen will compete for the most prestigious of all the trophies at the race.

The race traditionally includes equestrian sports, in addition to some Omani and international musical pieces. It is a cultural asset whose vision has emerged in order to preserve horse racing and equestrian sports, and help them reach an international level.

Bidiyah will also be the starting point for next year’s Oman Desert Marathon. “Four stages of 42 km, 35 km, 60 km, 28 km to discover the most remote and untouched sands and the highest dunes of the Oman Desert on the tracks of the ancient caravans. From the Oasis of Bidiyah to the Arabian Sea, the course will start from the Oasis of Bidiyah and finish on the shore of the Arabian Sea.

“Six stages and six different perspectives of one of the most beautiful deserts of the world: red, golden and white sands will give make this journey unique and always different, in a scenario that doesn’t know the monotony,” added the organisers.

Earlier this year, in January 2020, a photography workshop aimed at helping people improve their skills when it came to capturing the desert, was also held in Bidiyah. The Al Sharqiyah Sand photography workshop provided photographers the opportunity to be among the sand dunes, where almost 40 Omani photographers participated in the workshop in the presence of Ricardo Bossi, President of the International Federation of Photography.

Bidiyah often sees many tourists come to visit it between the months of October and April, where in addition to experiencing Bedouin life and culture, they also take part in some great bouts of dune bashing.

“Located 233 km from Muscat, Bidiyah is a collection of villages at the edge of the Sharqiyah Sands,” said Oman’s Ministry of Tourism. “Home to Bedouin people from the desert, it is the perfect place to experience traditional camel or horse races or visit its famous Eid market. A three-to-four-hour drive from Muscat, Bidiyah is in the Sharqiyah Sands, the most popular destination in Oman for dune-bashing, desert-crossings, and camping. No visit to Oman would be complete without seeing this spectacular sea of sands.”