Wilayat Haima: Home to Oman’s Arabian Oryx reserve

The capital of the Wusta Governorate, Haima is best known as a stopover point for motorists travelling between Muscat and Salalah.

However, in Haima there is much to see of which many of us are unaware. For example, Wilayat Haima is home to Oman’s Arabian Oryx reserve.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, “Since the global extinction of the species in the wild in 1972, the Arabian Oryx was reintroduced within a specially designated area in Oman’s Al Wusta region. This reserve, in the middle of a spectacular desert escarpment, is home to a small herd of reintroduced Oryx.”

“It offers a rare chance to see this magnificent desert antelope up close as there is a large herd of over 600 animals in the reserve’s breeding centre,” added the Ministry. “The reserve, access to which is by 4WD with prior permit only, is 50km off the Haima–Duqm road (highway 37), 110 km from Haima.”

The Ministry of Tourism also gave travellers an itinerary of other things to do while they were in Oman’s central region.

“We recommend spending some time in the wilayat of Haima where, if you time it right, you can experience one of the country’s famous camel races,” they said. “This cultural celebration brings together large numbers of breeders and regular fans and should not be missed. In the afternoon, take your 4WD and explore the desert dunes around the fringes of the Empty Quarter. Exploring this part of the world is an adventure in itself, and we recommend always travelling in groups of at least two vehicles. If you are on your own, remember to drive safely and always stay within sight of the road.”