Jebel Akhdar (Oman)
The Jebel Akhdar, Jabal Akhdar or Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Arabic: الجبل الأخضر meaning "the Green Mountain"), is part of the Al Hajar Mountains range in Oman, which extends about 300 km (186 mi) northwest to southeast, between 50–100 km (31–62 mi) inland from the Gulf of Oman coast. It is one of Oman’s most spectacular areas. The highest point, Jabal Shams (Mountain of the Sun), is around 3,000 metres (around 9,800 feet) high. It is the highest point in Oman and the whole of eastern Arabia. It comprises the central section of the Al Hajar Mountains range, and is located around 150 km (93 mi) from Muscat.
The range is mostly desert, but at higher altitudes it receives around 300 mm (12 in) of precipitation annually, moist enough to allow the growth of shrubs and trees and support agriculture. It is this that gives the mountains their 'green' name. Cool summers provide the visitor with fresh air surrounded by breathtaking stones.
The area is about a 45 minute drive from Nizwa and is famous for its traditional rose water extraction and agricultural products including pomegranate, apricot, peach and walnut. The Jebel is mostly inhabited by the ancient Arab tribe Bani Riyam (al Riyamy). Most descendants of the tribe are now in nearby towns such as Nizwa and Izki; some inhabit Ibra.
Between 1957 and 1959, the area became a site of the Jebel Akhdar War, a conflict between Omani forces loyal to the sultan of Oman (aided by British soldiers, including the Special Air Service) and Saudi Arabian-backed rebel forces of the inland Imamate of Oman.
In August 2011, Sultan Qaboos designated Jebel Akhdar a nature reserve in a bid to conserve its unique yet fragile biodiversity. A decree issued by the Royal Court established the ‘Jebel Akhdar Sanctuary for Natural Sceneries’.
The mountain figures into the route for the 2011 and 2012 Tour of Oman cycling race.
- Sources differ as to the height of the summit of Jabal Shams, with figures ranging between 2,980 and 3,075 metres (9,777 and 10,089 ft). The Omani Ministry of Information gives the latter figure.
- Andrea Schulte-Peevers; Iain Shearer. Oman. Lonely Planet. p. 222.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jebel Akhdar, Oman.|
- Article by Nizwa.NET
- Oman’s Rose Water in Jebel Akhdar
- flickr images
- SAS action during the Jebel Akhdar war
- http://www.hardfietsen.nl/nl/cols/2632/jabal-ak-akhdhar-green-mountain/[dead link]
- Oman’s 'Green Mountain' declared nature reserve