One of the main attractions here is the presence of the centuries-old Bedu people, who specialized in raising camels for organized races across the region (held annually from October to April.) The less conservative Bedouin lifestyle here also allows women to have a more active role in society, and they are instantly recognizable with their brightly-colored costumes, detailed masks and flowing robes. The dunes can only really be explored in 4x4s, and don't expect any hotels for miles; bed down under the stars instead for a night to remember in the Omani desert.
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Most of the Bedouins found here are based around the settlement of Al Hulwah, an oasis not too far away from the desert border. The tribes train camels year-round to be raced at selected events held across the desert between mid-October and April.
Permanent accommodation options in this vast desert region of Oman are few and far between; the preferred way of spending the night is to pitch up a tent under the stars. Although it’s hot all year round here during the day, temperatures can get chilly at night, meaning you’ll need that insulated sleeping bag for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Although there is a road intersecting the dunes, the best way to cover the desert is by taking to the sand in a 4x4 all-terrain vehicle. It’s both a fun and - at times - exhilarating experience as the car negotiates the steep ups and downs of the dunes. Head out in your own rented vehicle or take one of the tours that depart from several camps dotted around the region.
A fun way of tackling the dunes here is to take to the sand on boards, surfing the hilly terrain as if it were waves. Day trippers often bring their own modified snowboards or use makeshift sliders to shoot down the dunes.
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