Mahout Coast: The White Sand Beach Of Oman Filim

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07 Aug 2019 Posted By Y Magazine

Overview

Aftab H. Kola heads to the Sultanate’s Al Wusta Governorate for a whiff of the fresh sea breeze along this stretch of unspoiled coastline.

Serene, white sands, gentle waves, and mangroves aplenty – the Mahout coast is all this and much more. Located in the Governorate of Al Wusta to the south of Al Dakhiliyah and Al Dhahirah, it’s a region bordered by the Arabian Sea to the east, the Empyt Quarter to the west, and the Governorate of Dhofar on its southern reaches. Consisting of four wilayats – Hayma, Mahout, Duqm, and Al Jazur – Al Wusta is a coastal haven attuned with the sea, offering up its unique tapestry of culture at every turn.

Zooming in on the Wilayat of Mahout, it’s a rustic hamlet that consists of 32 villages, and was home to one of the most important ports in the Sultanate’s bygone era – when ship-building was the main occupation and Mahout was known for transporting travellers and goods from Oman to India and East Africa carrying local wares and returning with goods that were not produced in the Sultanate at that time.

Known for its unique ecology, the Mahout coast is replete with mangroves which prevent shoreline erosion while supporting the surrounding marine eco-system. Here, serene fishing villages, white sandy beaches, and azure blue sky come alive. It’s not uncommon to see flocks of birds swarming as fishermen haul their nets, or locals relaxing in impromptu majlises by the sand. Wadis such as Al Joubah, Madirah, and Al Sail are also popular attractions for both locals and visitors alike seeking refreshment amid nature.

Mahout Island – a bird-lover’s oasis –lies just across from the coastal village of Filim, and there are many boats operated by local villagers that ferry (for a small fee) the island’s residents, as well as tourists back and forth.

From Filim, you can also make the drive to the coastal village of Khaloof. The route traverses a shallow, muddy stretch until you arrive at a popular fishing spot with an expansive white-sand seafront. A haven for sea-gulls and other birds, ornithologists and tourists have also reported sightings of falcons in flight.

The sight of a pinkish hue along the beach, which is attributed to the presence of small snails scattered all along the stretch, makes for a delightful scene. Little wonder then that Kahloof is sometime called the ‘rosy beach’.

Just six kilometres away is the village itself, where fishing and herding are the principal occupations. Drive along the beach at low tide and follow the route as it veers inward, bypassing rocky stretches along the beach. Some 25kms down this stretch is Ras bin Toot, which appears like a sail from the sky. Although a popular fishing area, tourists are urged to be careful when driving here due to the slushy salt pan (sabka) that the land becomes after a rain-shower. There’s an existing salt production plant at Ras bin Toot and Duqm Salt is weighing options for its expansion.

More spectacular landscapes are revealed driving westward and then south. Ras Halaat, another fishing ground, has some fine beautiful beaches – and with rocky hillocks along the beach the route is, however, less motorable. Turn westward at this point and head for the main road linking Sinaw with the wilayat of Duqm, past the villages of Salutiyaat and Saraab.

There are three islands in the Wilayat – the most important being the island of Mahout with its stunning ‘qaram’ trees; the island of Jaz with superb natural scenery, and the island of Ab which has a great number of sea-birds and herons, plus, other types of migratory birds. Beaches in the wilayat of Mahout are, Kanasa, Las Ruis, Al Khulaf, Bantut, Ras Al Zakhar, and Ras Khaba Sarab.

Traditional industries visitor can find throughout a trip down the coastline are spinning and weaving ‘Khuruj’ and ‘Al Ghali’ which are made from hair and are used as covers for camp-sites and also as blankets which are called ‘Al Aina’. It’s a place where living history speaks aloud in harmony with nature.


How to get there?


From the Bid Bid-Sur Roundabout drive along the Sharqiyah road for 72kms to arrive at the turnoff to Sinaw near the Shell filling station. Sinaw is a further 62km away and is the best point of entry into the Al Wusta region for those coming from either the Al Dakhiliyah or Al Sharqiyah regions. From Sinaw, drive 250kms to the turn that will take you to Hij in the centre of wilayat Mahout – a further 18kms away. From Hij head south towards the coastal village of Filim, some 19kms away, on the fringes of Mahout Bay.

GPS Coordinates:  20.6185° N; 58.1943° E

Location

Filim
Length:
Difficulty: Easy
Dist. from Muscat: 200kms


GPS Location


Known For

Long beach


TRAVEL GUIDE

From the Bid Bid-Sur Roundabout drive along the Sharqiyah road for 72kms to arrive at the turnoff to Sinaw near the Shell filling station. Sinaw is a further 62km away and is the best point of entry into the Al Wusta region for those coming from either the Al Dakhiliyah or Al Sharqiyah regions. From Sinaw, drive 250kms to the turn that will take you to Hij in the centre of wilayat Mahout – a further 18kms away. From Hij head south towards the coastal village of Filim, some 19kms away, on the fringes of Mahout Bay.


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