Hamdan Ali al Hajri, owner of Arabian Oryx Camp mentioned, “We have guests who come to cherish the silence because it is now a rare thing in the city. You do not get such an ambience even in villages now. That is why most of the desert camps are such a hit as they are far from the maddening crowd. But, sadly people drive around at night and kill the tranquility.”
Littering is yet another significant problem that requirements instant redressal. “It is embarrassing to see food packets, bottles, cigarette packs strewn all over especially in the morning when we take guests to watch the sunrise over the dunes. Many guests take garbage pictures and post them on social media sites. This is bad for our business. Our reputation takes a hit without any fault of ours.”
An official from the Bidiyah camp mentioned, “We have reported the matter to concerned officials and the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). They have assured us of action. The litter is not only bad for tourism but also the environment. In either case, we are losing on the business front and damaging the environment. “We camp owners help each other in curbing noise. Camp owners regularly conduct clean-up drives. We are committed to preserving the sanctity of our deserts.”
Matthias, a German tourist mentioned he was shocked to see garbage strewn all more than the spot this time. “This has been my second visit to Oman with my wife. I am shocked to see how people have littered the place. It look so ugly when we saw soft drink cans and food leftovers in the morning when we went up the dunes to see sunrise. We come to see bright stars in the sky in a peaceful area but everything is destroyed by the loud noises of vehicles.”
Mohammad Rashid al Hajri, a volunteer and a member of the Sharqiyah Sands Volunteers mentioned that garbage management is a challenging job. “I have been cleaning the deserts for the final 15 years. We also conduct typical awareness camps from October to March. It is, nonetheless, not possible to cover the large location. It is subsequent to not possible to track individuals throwing garbage.
“One idea can be to have big and strong garbage bins that can withstand both sandstorms and animals. Another idea is to have monitoring campaigns in the desert to track littering.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily