The team visited the Wadi Mayh, considered to be a unique geological museum in Muscat Governorate due to the presence of many geological formations. Giant folds in the sedimentary rocks formed over millions of years accompanied by formation of mountains as a result of extreme pressure and heat in the Sultanate. The 3rd Global Geotourism Conference was held on October 31 to November 1, 2011.
The participants, consisting of researchers, scientists and specialists in earth sciences and geology, had a chance to learn how Omanis adapted to a normal lifestyle despite a harsh nature. It is known that rocks are a source of water and provides a fertile environment for the growth of trees, help in the formation of oases and promotes grazing activity. Geological studies indicate that the age of rocks in Wadi Mayh is about 250 million years.
The participants also studied Omani architectural styles at the ancient villages in Wadi Mayh where houses were being built on the banks of valleys with local raw materials. They also visited “Al-Raja”, which is considered as a model of the Omani ancient archaeological villages in Wadi Mayh and took an adventure ride along the wadi.
Later, they paid a visit to Bandar al Khayran, where they viewed different kinds of sedimentary rocks whose age ranges between 50 million and 250 million years. Bandar al Khayran is known for its ecosystem due to the presence of mangroves that provide the habitat and food for many living creatures. The participants also came across many amazing creeks at this touristic area.They were briefed about the processes of erosion and denudation which occurred as a result of natural factors like waves, winds, etc. They studied the impacts of such natural factors on the sedimentary rocks and formation of magnificent caves and cavities, which are well-known for aesthetic beauty and which entices tourists and geological researchers at the same time.Salem Adai al Maamari, Director- General of Tourism Development, said: “The visit by the participants of the 3rd Global Geotourism Conference to Wadi Mayh and Bandar al Khayran was a great opportunity to view and discover the geological features that distinguish the Sultanate.It gave them the chance to be acquainted with the unique phenomena of the place and their distinct geological appeal. Geotourism is a distinguished touristic product that attracts great number of tourists from all over the world.”
Al Maamari stated that the participants in the conference enjoyed these unique geological phenomena and natural features. He said that the participants recognised their significance in terms of geotourism.
“The participants at this conference are scientists and researchers in the fields of geology and earth sciences. Therefore, to introduce them to the natural attractions of the Sultanate was an appropriate way that may consolidate our tourism promotion efforts,” he added.