In Photos: Everyone’s Out of the Pools in Oman’s Mountains
BAT, Oman—The striking turquoise and blue waters of natural pools in the Omani mountains are much more visible these days. That’s thanks to an absence of tourists, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The pools, formed by the rock formations in the area, are found outside the mountain village of Bat in the northern Omani governorate of Al Batinah.
These images, obtained by Zenger News, show the pool formations, considered one of the region’s most attractive destinations, without the large number of tourists that typically visit.
The pools are popular for both wellness and aesthetic reasons.
They are believed to offer health-giving properties, as well as warm temperatures and a distinct blue color from the spring waters that bubble up from below ground.
Omani adventurer and traveler Riyadh Al-Hinai, who took these photographs, said the pools have a faint smell of sulphur, while bird songs and other sounds of nature surround them. The pools can be reached by four-wheel drive vehicles, without the need for a rigorous hike, Al-Hinai said.
“Who would ever think these dry, rocky mountains would hide a serene oasis like this?” he wrote in a post accompanying the pictures.
The pools are just one of several sites of interest in and around Bat. The area is also “the most complete and the best-known site of the 3rd Millennium B.C. and for its Bronze Age funeral practices,” according to the World Heritage Site.
“The remains of Bat include five towers, houses, tombs and over 100 dry-stone beehive tombs,” the organization reports. In addition, “the designated area also includes two nearby contemporary sites: the tower of Al-Khutm and the group of beehive tombs of Qubur Juhhal at Al-Ayn.”
Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, sits on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. To help jump-start its economy, the country’s Minister of Economy announced plans on Oct. 28 to form a team of experts “to propose policies and economic programs to activate the national economy and macro-economy under the circumstances posed by coronavirus pandemic.”
Oman has reported 114,434 confirmed cases of Covid-19 within its borders and 1,208 deaths as of Oct. 29, the World Health Organization global dashboard for tracking the disease reports. The Covid-19 risk in Oman is currently considered high, and the CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to the country.
(Edited by Matthew Hall and Fern Siegel)