Al Wusta Governorate
Wusta Governorate is situated to the south of both A’Dakhliah and A’Dhahirah
Governorates, at the east side it is linked to the Arabian Sea, at the west to
the Empty Quarter and at the south to Governorate of Dhofar. It includes a
large area of central parts of the Sultanate. It is distinguished for having
a great number of oil wells.
This Governorate has been created in 1991 as an
independentGovernorate in order to strengthen efforts since its cities and
villages were part of A’Dakhliah and A north and south’ Sharqiyah
Governorates and Governorate of Dhofar. It consists of four wilayats: Hayma, Muhut, Doqum and Al Jazur.
Wilayat Hayma is situated in the center of the
Governorate, situated on the Muscat-Salalah road which links the Northern parts
of' the Sultanate with the Southern parts. It is a desert area, therefore
its people are migrating Bedouins. This wilayat is famous for its wild
animals especially deer and Arabia Oryx which are found at (Jaluoni) area.
This privilege is peculiar to this Governorate of Oman. The area of the Oryx
sanctuary is approximately 25 thousand km˛. It has been listed by UNESCO in
the World Heritage List. The other three wilayats arc situated at the coast
over looking the Arabian Sea.
The government built schools, hospitals and
mosques and dug artesian wells to provide the Governorates' population with
drinking water. It also constructed roads to join the interior areas to the
coastal areas as well as the other parts of the Sultanate, paramount among
which is: Nizwa - Hayma - Thumrayt, which has been tarmaeed and gave Hayma a
great importance - joining it with north and south of the Sultanate. It also
resulted in seeing modern lift Features in the Governorate.
It is a vast Wilayat
located in the heart of the desert in the middle of the Sultanate of Oman.
Neighbouring it in the south is the Governorate of Dhofar, in the north the
Dakhaliya, and especially the Wilayat of Adam, in the east the desert of Rub' Al
Khali and in the west the Arabian Sea.
It is almost mid-way between Muscat and Salalah, 540 km from Muscat and about
500 km from Salalah in the Governorate of Dhofar.
In the Wilayat of Haima there are some tourist
features such as caves. The most outstanding is the cave of Al Raki which is
located in the north east of Ja'aluni, water emerges from this cave but it is
not potable. There is also Al Masak cave which hasearth's surface. It can be
reached through an opening with a sloping path. The fourth cave is called Qataar
and there is water in it but it is not drinkable. There are also, besides the
caves, 3 springs. One of them is called "Buyi Al Huja" which is a vast rock
standing on a rocky foundation forming natural shade.
The second is called "Al Asla" and it is located
in south west Al Habur, the lower part of it consisting of a column of rock,
with stones rising above it, also providing natural shade.
The third spring is Qarn Alnuz which is
characterized by salt dunes.
In addition to these natural tourist features there is a modern feature in the
Wilayat which was first devised at the beginning of the 1970's by His Majesty
Sultan Qaboos. His Majesty's directives established "the Arabian Oryx Reserve”
in Wadi Ja'aluni in the Jiddat Al Harasis which the International Committee of
Heritage of Unesco added to its list of "places of World Heritage". Harasis is
considered a place for tourism and an important one for those interested in the
preservation of wild animals and the environment.
It is located in the south eastern corner of Al Wusta,
neighbouring the Wilayat of Mahut in the north, the Wilayat of Jazur in the
south, the Wilayat of Haima in the west and in the east the Arabian Sea. There
are more than 4,276 inhabitants living in about 23 villages.
Despite the preference of the people of Duqm to
emigrate north, to the Wilayats of the Dakhaliya, during the period they call
"the Flood" the weather in the Wilayat of Duqm during the 3 months from June to
September is wonderful summer weather. There is no need to use air conditioning
during this period. This unique weather is very like the autumn season in Dhofar.
There are a number of beaches on the Arabian Sea. The wonderful beaches of Duqm
are characterized by their cleanness, the blueness of the unpolluted water, the
purity of the soft sand and the winds which have a tendency to be cool. There is
the beach of Al Shu'ir, which is about 20 kilometres from the centre of the
Wilayat. Scattered about are the empty houses of the fishermen which await the
return of their families from the north. Another beach is called the "tourist
camps" by the people who arrive by car from the neighbouring Gulf countries,
coming from the Wilayat of Ibri in Al Dahira to spend some time among their
brother Omanis in the agreeable weather of this Governorate, which being triangular
in shape thrusts into the waters of the Arabian Sea with beaches on all sides. Ras Madruka beach is about 80 kilometres from the centre of the Wilayat.
In addition there are some areas which have
natural scenery and rare geological formations making an artistic tableau drawn
by skillful fingertips able to embody dreams. The Ashtaan area is a vast low
area covered with green trees and surrounded by Rocky Mountains. It is about 20
km from the centre of the Wilayat of Duqm in the direction of Sanaw.
The most outstanding wadis of Duqm are Wadi Naqaw,
Wadi Al Dabak and Wadi Saai which is about 2 kilometres from the centre of the
Wilayat on the paved road to Sanaw in the Sharqiya.
The unique climate in the Wilayats of Al Wusta and its subsidiary areas is
obvious when going from the Wilayat of Haima towards Wadi Jalouni, where Jiddat
Al Harasis is located. Here the temperature rises remarkably during the summer
months, however, on arrival at the Al 'Ajaaiz region which begins at the Wilayat
of Duqm, the temperature drops accompanied by a cold wind and it remains thus
until the Dhahira Governorate. It continues low during the descent from that raised
area to the centre of the coastal Wilayat which is a few kilometres from Dhahar.
The beaches of the Wilayat of Duqm are
characterized by caves which were previously used as a refuge from the rains and
various climatic fluctuations.
It neighbours in the north the Wilayat of
Mudaibi, which is part of the Sharqiya, in the north west the Wilayat of
Adam, part of the Dakhaliya, in the south west the Wilayat of Duqm, and in
the north east the Wilayat of Ja'alan Bani Bu 'Ali, part of the Sharqiya.
There are about 32 villages with 9,761 people. It
was one of the most important ports in previous times. It was famous for
ship-building and for transporting travellers and goods from Oman to India,
East Africa and other parts of the African continent, carrying Omani
products and returning with goods which were not produced at that time in
There are three islands in the Wilayat, the most
important is the island of Mahut covered with "Qaram" trees, the island of
Jaz with superb natural scenery and the island of Ab which has a great
number of sea birds like the seagull and heron, besides other types of
migratory birds. Beaches in the Wilayat of Mahut are, Kanasa, Las Ruis, Al
Khulaf, Bantut, Ras Al Zakhar and Ras khaba Sarab.
the south coast of Al Wusta, in the north is the Wilayat of Duqm, in the
south the Wilayat of Shalim, which is part of the Governorate of Dhofar, in
the west the Wilayat of Haima and in the east the Arabian Sea.There are
about 12 villages in the Wilayat with over 5832 inhabitants.
The Wilayat of Jazur like the other coastal
Wilayats of Al Wusta - Duqm and Mahut - has a number of beaches. The most
important are in the reaion of Rima which is about 50 kms fromKhudra and
Khudra Al Jazur where there are villages which benefit from free services.
The Wadis of 'Ail Al Khudra, Wadi Kaisar and Al Sabil, located on the beach
have villages with "Samar" trees in the middle of them. Madhar and Fadhil
beaches are the same. On the side of Rima there are two subsidiary areas
which are part of the Wilayat of Jazur - Al Lakabi and Surara.
The Wilayat of Haima
has a number of traditional arts and industries. The industries are, spinning
and weaving, for which they depend on local raw materials such as goats’ hair
and other animals they raise there. The desert women also excel in weaving palm
fronds, deriving an income from these hand crafted articles in various artistic
shapes and designs.They also make natural leather goods.
Traditional occupations are animal husbandry and
pasturage of camels and goats. The Wilayat of Haima is characterized by its folk
medicine, made from plants which are found in the desert.
There is a plant called "Darma" which they use, after drying and crushing it, to
make a solution for use with water or milk to absorb the gases in the alimentary
canal. It is taken twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening
before sleeping. It is also useful for regulating the blood.
The "Al Harmal" tree (African Rue), is a cure for
headaches and colds. This tree is also used, after boiling, to cure skin
diseases, especially allergies, by means of "Al Sabur" mixed in water with it.
The "Ramrum" tree is used as an antidote for snake bites and scorpion stings.
Wilayat Al Duqm
Its coastline stretches for a
distance of 170 kilometres on the shores of the Arabian Sea and most of its
inhabitants work in the fishing industry. During what is called " the period
of the flood", which lasts for 3 months, from June to the end of September -
the temperature drops to less than 30 degrees centigrade and it is not
suitable for fishing, The fishermen, therefore, journey to the Wilayats of
the Dakhaliya, especially the Wilayat of Adam where they work in agriculture
during the season for collecting dates. They call this "the summer journey".
On their return to their homes on the coast of Duqm - in winter - they carry
stores of dates to suffice for the rest of the year. This has been their way
of life for many years. However, the distance they cross between the present
Wilayat of Dugm and the Wilayats of the Dakhaliya - Adam and Nizwa before
1970, took 5 days by camel or donkey, and about 10 for the return - because
of the loads of dates.
The inhabitants of Duqm are primarily fishermen
but they also practice pasturage and make some handicrafts. Likewise they
make "Al Kharuj", "Al Shamal" and "Al Karm" and practice spinning and
weaving dependent on local raw products such as goats’ hair etc.
Most of the inhabitants of the
Wilayat carry out shing and pasturage and animal husbandry besides some
agriculture. There are now about 70 arms producing vegetables, dates and
Traditional industries are spinning and weaving,
'Khuruj" and "Al Ghali" which they make from "hair" and are used as covers
for camp sites and also as blankets which are called "Al 'Aina".
The people of the Wilayat make farm
tools and fishing nets, as it has a number of beaches on the the Arabian Sea.
They also make boats from animal skins, and weave palm leaves.