If you visit the dam at Wadi Dayqah early in the morning, you are rewarded with a fantastic slice of serenity and some stunning views, says Shaquel al Balushi
As an attraction, Wadi Dayqah has been awarded four-and-a-half stars on Trip Advisor and it certainly deserves them; it is simply stunning.
The last time I had visited was back in 2012, just after a heavy storm had hit and the rough waters were an amazing sight. However, in complete contrast to this, when I revisited the dam early in the morning last Thursday, the blue waters were flat and there was a pleasant sense of calm order.
Being one of Oman’s popular tourist attractions, it’s easy to find your way to the wadi by following the signs and there is ample parking space. As I made my way along the paved path towards the top of the dam in order to get an overview, I noticed that a small expanse of greenery has been set aside and fitted with tables and chairs, making it the perfect place for a picnic.
I’ve heard that the dam can get very busy at the weekends as visitors jostle for the best space, but given that I left home at 6.30am, I didn’t experience any such problems. My friend and I were the only two there. It was eerily calm and an ethereal beauty settled over the entire area.
The construction of the dam has created a huge freshwater lake that stretches back for several kilometres, allowing for spectacular panoramic views of the deep turquoise waters, contrasted by the jagged mountains that rise up around them. From a photographic point of view, the wadi offers a wide variety of shoot possibilities, depending on the weather and lighting, but from a personal point of view, I find it a good place to relax and rejuvenate.
After capturing several shots from the top, I returned to my car and relocated to explore the base of the dam.
The hulking mass of stone really is an incredible sight to behold as you approach from the bottom and I couldn’t help thinking about the huge capacity of water that the construction was holding back.
For me, the most beautiful part was the waterfall that spouted from the side of the dam near its base. It thundered down and soaked us to the skin but it was mesmerising. Personally, I feel that water has the same attraction as fire; I could quite happily sit and stare at it for hours on end. I find the time flies. I took a seat with my friend and we sat around chatting about the old days, when we used to play here as kids, before the dam was constructed. The water was fast flowing back then and when we got bored of walking, we’d just jump in and let the pace of the water carry us along. We’d emerge covered from head to toe in small cuts and bruises, but with smiles on our faces. I don’t think that kind of playing would pass today’s health and safety tests though, so don’t try it at the dam or anywhere else!
Almost as a tribute to our childhood we jumped in to the water a little further down from the dam and swam around for a while before heading off and returning to the grown up world.
How to get there:
The dam is just over 100km from Muscat and can be reached by travelling towards Quriyat on road number 17. Just before Quriyat you will find a roundabout with a brown road sign directing you straight to Wadi Dayqah. Turn there and follow the directions. A 4×4 is not compulsory.
GPS location of the dam in Wadi Dayqah: N23°05’21” E58°50’47”