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‘Al Hoota Cave’ – Oman’s Most Popular Tourist Destination Reopens To The Public

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Oman

Al Hoota Cave Officially Reopens to Public

 

 

 

 

 

 

AlHoota Cave” lies in the southern part of Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain), specifically near Wilayat Al Hamra in Ad A’Dakhiliyah Region. It is about two hours drive away from Muscat and half an hour from Nizwa. AlHoota Cave was discovered by local residents hundreds of years ago, and its name derives from the village where it is located.

AlHoota Cave

The cave extends for 5 kilometres underground, but it may only be accessed for a distance of 860 metres, ending at Cave Lake. Perhaps the visitor to this cave, passing through the surrounding area on his way there, will find proof of the claim that “caves are the underground equivalent of the landscapes we see above ground, like valleys, streams and springs.” This cave has two holes through which water cascading from the mountain top enters via the (ALHoota) hole, and exits through the other (AlFalaah) hole after passing through the connected cave passageways. 

AlHoota Cave Lake is located at the end of a footpath. It is 20 metres deep, but there are many parts whose depth surpasses that. It is rumored that it extends up to Tanuf Valley in Nizwa Governorate. The lake contains several species of blind fish: some are without eyes but have long bristles to sense their food, while others have very small eyes. Also living in the lake is a rare type of blind fish, colored a translucent pink so that you can see the skeleton of these small fish.

Omran celebrated the official opening of Al Hoota Cave in September 2016 following the implementation of enhancements to the facilities. School children were the first guests to experience one of the GCC’s most breathtaking tourism attractions. It is Oman’s most popular tourist destination.

His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Saadi, Governor of Al Dakhiliyah lead the opening ceremony joined by a crowd of officials, guests and excited school children.

Guests were welcomed by traditional Omani music at the reception and were given a tour to the all new visitor center as they discovered the history of the cave at the enhanced interactive geological museum which showcases over 150 items of rock, wood, corals and other unique materials from the surrounding . They also had the opportunity to get an exclusive first look at the cave and ride the electric train – the only one of its kind in Oman.

AlHoota Cave

His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Saadi, Governor of Al Dakhiliyah, said: “I’m very pleased to officially reopen the Al Hoota Cave for visitors to once again come and enjoy this natural wonder. Omran and the Ministry of Tourism have done a fantastic job to make this attraction an even better place for people to come and visit.”

Eng. Khalid Mirza, Director of Projects Development at Omran, said: “. We thank His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Saadi, Governor of Al Dakhiliyah for officially opening the attraction today. Omran worked exceptionally hard with the Ministry of Tourism to enhance the Al Hoota Cave experience and to be able to welcome the first visitors back is fantastic”.

“It was also fantastic to be able to have such an enthusiastic group of school children to be the first visitors to new Al Hoota Cave experience. There is so much to learn about Oman’s geology and animals here but in such a fun way. “

“But the most striking difference visitors will discover when they come is the renovated visitor center. It’s now fitting to such a first class attraction, and offers guests a complete family day out experience. We’re looking forward to again giving the opportunity for both residents and tourists to come and discover one of Oman’s jewels.” He concluded.

The school children visiting on the launch day were given a tour of the rich ecosystem, and were shown the four fascinating lakes to see if they could spot the intriguing animals who live in the cave such as the “Garra Barreimiae” blind fish and “Rhinopoma Mascatellum”cave bats.

They also participated in drawing activities organized by Omran during the event and were the first to experience the new four interactive stations with a live show of each phenomenon in the cave, which allowed them to learn more about features in the cave such as the stone formations.

Alongside the official opening, the new website was also launched, featuring ability to book online and prepay for tickets. The enhanced Al Hoota experience will enable people to get the most from their visits and the ability to plan a visit online means people can book the elements of the visit they want, creating a bespoke experience.

Opening times are Saturday-Thursday  (Except Monday) from 9am-6pm and on Fridays from 9am-12pm and 2pm-5pm.

For more information please visit Al Hoota Cave new website: alhootacave.com

[Source: Oman Tourism Ministry-Media relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Oman Oasis- By Hendrik Dacquin aka loufi-This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.]
[Intext photos: Courtesy of Oman Tourism Ministry]
[Video: posted to Youtube by yaraam jaliel]

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