A Complete Checklist for a Stay in the Al Sharqiya Sands

Jul 05, 2022

Why do you want to visit the Sharqiya Sands?

Amazing destinations to explore. Beautiful and vibrant culture. Shopping, and of course Wahiba Desert.

Regardless of your reasons to visit the Sharqiya sands, one of them is definitely to experience the desert in all its majesty. And when it comes to desert stays in the Sharqiya Sands, you must stay at Arabian Nights Resort and Spa, one of the most popular places in Wahiba desert of Oman. Among the numerous Wahiba desert stays, none other offers this perfect combination of thrill, adventure, and culture that promise to make your desert stay memorable.

Come and experience a sunset or sunrise in the desert, which is on top of visitors' favourite recommendations among things to do in the Sharqiya Sands.

Deciding where to stay can be quite overwhelming with the plethora of options that you will find for the desert stays in Wahiba. Should you book one day or two days? Camel and jeep safaris in Wahiba – What all to opt for? In the end, many just go with the traveller reviews of Tripadvisor. The result can be a mix of good and bad. However, we’re here to save the day – we’ve put together a checklist for the best Wahiba Sands Desert stays.

This guide to the desert stays in Wahiba is divided into two parts. The first part is about what are the different activities that you can do in any of the Wahiba Sands Desert stays. The second part deals with the various tips on how to select the best desert stay in the Sharqiya Sands – based on our expertise.

What to experience in a Wahiba Sands Desert stay?
A desert stay in the Sharqiya Sands known locally as the Wahiba Sands offers you a wide variety of experiences. Some focus on the cultural nuances of the place while there are others that showcase the best of the arid desert. Visitors have a host of choices to choose between; From adventure activities that get your adrenaline going or making heritage visits during your stay and tour. Here's a quick list of the things to do on a desert safari in Wahiba.

Experience the Sun Rising and Setting over the dunes

A must-do thing in your Sharqiya sands desert stay is to set aside some time to enjoy a sunset or sunrise over the vast dunes.
Watching the sun move across the horizon while moving across the ever shifting sand dunes will leave you with an indescribable feeling of awe. You will fall in love with the feeling of tiny particles of sand flying by you in the wind as the sun sets, completely changing the landscape and the silhouettes of things far in the distance.

Camel Safari in Wahiba Sands

Camels have long been the lifeline of desert travellers. During ancient times, they carried huge loads across the dunes and these days, they are largely used for tourism purposes.

A Camel Safari in the Sharqiya Sands can be either a short one to give visitors a feel of the desert or a long ride that takes you far into the desert to remote villages. While you can avoid a safari if you wish, the long Sharqiya camel safaris take you beyond the desert stays to experience the desert in an authentic manner.

Ethical concerns about Camel Safaris in Wahiba
Many question the choice of camel safaris – largely given the ethical concerns about how they are treated. Numerous places have been criticised for mistreating animals in the name of tourism across the world, from tiger parks to elephant and camel safari operators. However in a place off the beaten path like the Sharqiya desert, they are not just a fad but an ancient tradition without which one could not have traversed the desert, a fact that locals are mindful of, which is why the ‘ships of the desert’ are generally well treated a not used just as a tourist device. While camels are beasts of burden, used to carrying huge loads across the desert, riders too must be mindful of how they are treating them.

Many choose jeep safaris and mechanical exploration and activities instead. However, if you are looking for an authentic experience, far from the tourist centres in the Sharqiya sands, then there is no avoiding a camel safaris and for most operators in Oman it is unthinkable to mistreat your sturdy camel companion. If you are concerned, the best way to figure out if your ride will be an ethical one is by observing the camel and how it appears. If it has any sores or cuts, you know that the camel is unfit for a ride, and should always request another one, but it is a situation that never happens with those attached to Arabian Nights Resort and Spa and all our operators treat their creatures with care.

Dune Bashing with a jeep safari in Sharqiya Sands

That rush that hits you when your vehicle comes down a dune with sands flying everywhere can be quite addictive. And when your car swerves on that soft sands, you may feel that heady loss of control, an illusion that will give way when your driver will expertly get you back on track on this 4WD adventure. 

Jeep Safari – an attraction of the desert stays of the Wahiba Desert
One cannot come to the Sharqiya sands and not take a jeep safari. While a 4WD is required just to reach the heart of the sands, a jeep safari into the desert with the path unknown is a different experience altogether.

Music and Culture at the Wahiba Desert stay
The best part of the evenings in any of the Wahiba Desert stays is the bonfire. And what makes it amazing is not just the obvious warmth in the cold evenings. The mix of soulful melodies and foot-tapping dances give you a perfect insight into the Sharqiya Sands culture and make your evening really enjoyable.

Count the stars over the dunes

Whether you choose one of those glamping stays or the rustic ones, you must take a few moments to find a sand dune and lie over it. After all, it is not every day that you get to experience the desert landscape in all its majesty with the clear skies showcasing the beautiful galaxy of stars above. The Sharqiya sands generally have clear skies throughout the year and trust me, you must take advantage of this.

Pit stops en route to the Al Sharqiya Sands
Everyone likes a little mystery in their destination and the Wahiba desert is full of it. You can choose to explore more on the Sharqiya sands than the resort by stepping out and visiting new places on this desert trip. Not many Wahiba Desert stays include the options to explore more than the immediate area and you must plan for visiting all the many exciting things around.

Taste the local Omani food in the Sharqiya Desert Stay
Sample the delicious flavours of desert when you stay at the Arabian Nights Resort and Spa in the Sharqiya sands

Tips to select the right desert stay in the Wahiba sands
We’re sure that you agree, that the desert stays of Al Sharqiya sands sound like a lot of fun. However, not all stays are made equal or offer the same facilities. Stay not only vary in location and price but also in service and other factors. We solve your dilemma of how to decide which is the best one to pick because the answer is always a stay at the Arabian Nights Resort and Spa where you won't have to worry about anything.

Best time for a desert stay in the Sharqiya sands
We would recommend visiting Sharqiya sands any time between October to April during which the heat is tolerable. Being winter, the evenings are a little chilly but nothing that a few layers cannot remedy. The period between March to September however is not without its charms but one should do a little research before booking and plan with caution as it can get extremely hot outdoors during these months.

Ideal duration of your desert stay

Our recommendation is to plan your desert stay for at least 2 nights if not more, especially if you are planning to explore the desert at any length. Firstly because one has to travel longer to get there and secondly that any visitors would require at least a two-day stay and the time it provides to get the true experience of the Sharqiya sands.

If you are short on time you can choose to stay for just one night but in our opinion, such stays do not offer the fullest of the desert experience that you can enjoy. 

Drops and Pick-ups for any Sharqiya Desert stay is a must to discuss as you require a 4WD to reach most resorts in the desert. If you have booked a stay at Al Sharqiya Sand Dunes, be sure to discuss your transfer options as regular cars cannot traverse the sand all the way to the location. 

The best location for a Wahiba Desert stay is obviously the newly open Arabian Nights Resort and Spa

Tips for a Wahiba Camel Safari
Camels are really gentle but riding them can get quite tough, particularly for longer durations. Remember to check how long the ride is so that you are prepared accordingly. Long rides are not for everyone as they can get uncomfortable and sometimes repetitive – though the endless dunes that you will see for miles and miles together have a charm of their own.

Packing checklist for the desert stays in the Sharqiya Sands

Pack appropriately for your trip to the Desert Stay in the Wahiba sands
The extreme temperatures and landscape of the Desert Sands in Wahiba does require you to pack smart. Here is an essential packing guide for the desert stays

One should pack some light layered cottons for daytime while avoiding sleeveless tops and shorts as the direct sunlight can be quite harsh and cause sunburns if one is not careful.
To that end carrying a scarf or a mask is also a good idea particularly if you are heading out into the desert during the day. A cap or a hat along with Sunglasses and Sunscreen will keep you safe from the worst of the sun, but the evenings can get cool outdoors and some Woollens or light layers help protect from the chilly temperatures. Open slippers are recommended as the sand tends to get into your shoes but closed boots are also an option that many choose though they don't completely keep out the sand.

Soothing creams like Aloe Vera Gel – in case your skin burns is a good thing to keep. It can also help if you graze yourself on the camel saddles or on bumpy car rides.

Food considerations & choices

Do remember there are no shops around most stays and while you can request your resort or hotel to arrange for some items if there is something particular you want, it's better to carry it with you.
Always check with the desert stay on the total meals that are included in the package.

If you choose to book a stay at the Arabian Nights Resort and Spa you can rest assured that your food options include vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and we can accommodate special food preferences with advance notice.

Where to book the Wahiba desert stays?
These days you can book your desert stays at the Wahiba sands online through many portals or through your favourite travel agent. You can also discuss options like booking activities like Wahiba jeep and camel safari online or get to the resort and book the same. Both options are convenient and competitively priced.

And with that, we conclude this section and the complete guide to Al Sharqiya Sands stays. We hope that with these tips you find your match for the best desert experience in the Sharqiya Sands.

How to get to Wahiba sands?
There are many ways to get to Wahiba sands in the Sharqiya desert depending on which section of the sands you wish to explore, the main access by road is via exit 142 Bidiya Oman oil, drive for 3km, and taking a left from the intersection. One drives a further 2 Km to reach Shell Mintarib, then turn right and drive for 2.5 km, and take the left at T Intersection at Al Huwaiyah, after a 2.5km drive to Atta Omani School and turning right the Desert starts.