In addition to the beautiful desert terrain, Oman has magnificent beaches that are groomed and blessed with crystal clear water. There are many fascinating sea creatures, particularly turtles and dolphins.
This is why dolphin watching in Oman is a popular activity among tourists and locals.
Shallow dolphins are most common in Muscat and Musandam, although they can also be seen in the southern part of Al Sharqiyah, the Dhofar region and Al Wasta. There are many tour operators offering sightseeing tours. There are many species of dolphin that visit Oman.
The most common are Indian Ocean dolphins, Rissos dolphins, common bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, common dolphins with long beaks, and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.
Animal watching is a popular tourist attraction in Oman.
Here are the best places to watch dolphins in their natural habitat.
1. Bandar Al Khayran
This place is an idyllic river valley 20 kilometers from Muscat. There are several types of intriguing mountain formations, exotic islands, salt marshes and long, narrow inlets of clear waters.
Some locals call it Al-Hiran. It is a beautiful beach to spend the day on, and if you swim far enough, it is home to many friendly dolphins.
Many tour operators bring their boats close to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Read also: Camping in Oman - the best places to explore the beauty of the country
2. Duqm Beach
This beach in Al Wasta was once a sleepy fishing village. Today it has become a commercial center with the Crown Plaza and The Park Inn by Radisson Hotel nearby.
Duqm Beach has the second largest dry dock in the Middle East and a booming gas industry. If you are lucky, you might see dolphins swimming on the horizon.
3. Masirah Island
Masirah Island is known for its diverse environment and vibrant marine life. It is covered by small islands such as Kalban, Marsis and Chanazi.
It can be reached in Al Sharqiya by a local ferry called Alasura. The ferry transports people, cars and goods from the mainland to the island.
It is home to many species of turtles that lay eggs on its shores and dolphins that can be seen from the shores. It is not only beautiful, but also an ideal place for dolphin watching in Oman.
4. Dhofar Beaches
Dhofar is the southernmost region of Oman. There are many beautiful beaches, such as Al Magsail and Al Hafah, which are known for water sports such as diving, snorkeling and water skiing.
Dhofar boasts spectacular lagoons and, if you are lucky, wild flamingos roaming the desert. There are also many caves to explore. There are many dolphin shoals in the ice-blue waters of Dhofar.
5. Isole Al Hillanayat
It is an island located 40 kilometers off the coast of Dhofar. There are many pristine fisheries here, making it an amazing place for explorers.
It is populated by friendly locals who rent out equipment for a wide variety of water sports. However, getting to the island can be difficult.
The waters are dangerous for unskilled boaters, and it can be a tiring and physically demanding journey.
6. Bandar Khayran Reserve
This nature reserve can be reached in 40 minutes by boat from the Bandar el-Rudha marina in Muscat. It is a popular diving spot with more than 20 frequently visited sites that offer stunning views of the reserve's coral reef.
There's also a lagoon with lush mangrove trees. The waters here are ideal for boating and camping on the beach, and when the sun is high in the sky, you can see dolphins jumping from the surface of the water.
Read also: Beaches in Oman - a guide to a relaxing vacation
What you need to know before watching dolphins in Oman
The best time to track dolphins is from October to May.
On cloudy days there are fewer of them, so it is recommended to observe the dolphins in bright sunny weather.
Dolphin watching in Oman is usually a day trip. Both children and adults are sure to enjoy it.