Al Hamra is a 400 years old oasis 670 m above sea level in the western Hajar mountains. In the near surroundings many sights can be found like e.g. the big Al Hoota show cave, the mighty UNESCO heritage fort of Bahla, the beautiful castle of Jabrin, the picturesque mountain village of Misfat Al Abriyeen and the highest elevation of the country the Jabal Shams (sun mountain) at 3009 m above sea level.
All this far away from large traffic streams without any through traffic and like this an ideal place to find peace and relaxation.
A network of small paved roads links the villages and places, which with their palm plantations and green fields form the contrast to the barren mountains being so typical for the whole country.
Additionally there are unpaved roads reaching from the valley up to 2300 m elevation and being partly adventurous and partly steep.
There is a shopping street in Al Hamra with several small supermarkets, simple restaurants, a pharmacy and banks with ATM.
Also in Al Hamra many guest-workers from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are living and working in the local shops or on the plantations.
For cost reasons those use bicycles to cover longer distances around the villages and thus make Al Hamra even today already the cycling capital in Oman.
Sometimes there are more bicycles than cars on the road. Those bikes however are cheap merchandise from Asia, which are on offer from 35 OMR in the two local bikes shops.
The open visitor has thus in Al Hamra the chance to get into contact with Omanis and people from the Indian subcontinent alike, e.g. during a restaurant visit. But also some Omanis young and old alike prefer the bicycle to the car, the majority admittedly using the car.
Because many inhabitants of Al Hamra work in Muscat and are weekend commuters, it is even more quiet during the week in the village.
Emad Family with young children,
Zahra Family with young children dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phillip Mature couple BURTON UPON TRENT, United Kingdom