Y Magazine

Destination: Wadi Al Abyadh

Shaquel al Balushi casts superstitions aside and returns to Wadi Al Abyadh, where he finds a lush, tranquil landscape.



Those of you who have been following my Destination articles would know by now that I’m a very superstitious guy – and that I believe in all things supernatural. I also make that point clear to those who join me on my weekly Destination trips (Imran, Badr and anyone else).

However, when I was brainstorming for a location to visit this week, I was drawn towards Wadi Al Abyadh – a wadi that has been known for its fair share of ghoulish stories.

And for some strange reason, I actually settled on the idea of re-visiting it. My first trip to the wadi was late in 2014, and back then, we (Taimur, a friend of mine, and I) couldn’t even penetrate the roads in our fully loaded, off-road SUV after it broke down before we could hit the track that led to our destination.

We were stuck there without mobile phone reception and therefore lacking the means to contact the outside world. Since that incident, I blacklisted this wadi from my Destination shortlist.

However, on hearing of my decision to visit Wadi Al Abyadh, my cousin Hanif and another friend decided to join me even though they were just as concerned about the stories surrounding the area.

Our first leg of the journey was fairly straightforward, with no hiccups at all. We opted for the Muscat Expressway, and stuck to the road until we could find the sign that took us to the road towards Abyadh.

In all, it was only a two-hour journey to the foot of the wadi but we all had a lot of fun. The atmosphere in my SUV was electric, with lots of singing and friendly banter. This helped us forget about the tribulations that laid ahead.

Of course, when you’re driving, you won’t miss the road that leads to the wadi. The road ahead is quite rocky, and you will require an SUV to conquer this terrain. Surprisingly, we were able to go to the far end of the wadi without any glitches this time round.

What’s more interesting is that, when we hit the wadi, we were able to do a lot of puddle dashing.

We were having a proper session of extreme off-roading. In a way, we were enjoying and testing the limits of the car before reaching the far corner of the wadi.

And it is absolutely stunning – with large clusters of palm trees and verdant wadi grass. Even the water is crystal clear and soothing to be immersed in. Soon, the rains will bring forth the “wadi season”, and this wadi will be completely filled with murky water.

But this should also help clean the mud from the waters so I would suggest you visit this region once the rains have subsided and the mud has cleared out.

By now, I had taken out my camera and was capturing some terrific pictures. After a few minutes of clicking happily away, and relaxing in the water, we also set up our grill to fry some burgers for lunch.

That’s also when we realised that, despite all the stories surrounding the wadi, it is still an amazing place to spend some time with friends. Of course, I still wouldn’t come here alone.

The wadi is an intriguing spot for camping but we had no plans for doing so on this occasion. The weather was definitely on our side as it was neither chilly nor warm but was simply perfect.

We didn’t stay for long, though. All of us were eager to leave before dusk because the temperature in the wadi is known to drop below 15 degrees after sunset. I advise anyone visiting the wadi to carry a jacket and even some form of thermal protection to keep safe.

In all, we had a great time out at Wadi Al Abyadh. We didn’t come across any spirits, and we also had a very nice time out – both at the wadi and in getting there.

Suddenly, I don’t know why I blacklisted this wadi in the first place. Lush greenery, beautiful pebbles and a setting unmatched by any other wadi. That’s what Wadi Al Abyadh is all about.


How To Get There?


Head towards Barka, and in Barka turn left to Nakhal and Rustaq. Eleven kilometers from Nakhal is a T-junction behind the bus station and road sign to Subaykha. Choose this road and go straight to Wadi Abyad. A 4×4 is needed if you want to get close to the pools.

GPS coordinates: N23°27’45.7”; E57°40’01.9”