Empty though they may look, the sands support a fascinating desert ecology. A celebrated expedition by the Royal Geographical Society in 1986 discovered 150 species of plant, including the hardy ghaf (Proposis cinera), which plays a major role in stabilizing the dunes, as well as providing firewood and shade. In addition, 200 mammal, bird and reptile species were discovered, ranging from side-winding vipers to desert hares and sand foxes. Most of these creatures are nocturnal, however, so you’re unlikely to see much during the day apart from their tracks.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Oman features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

The Middle East is a paradox. Located at the cultural crossroads between east and west, the region nowadays tends to make headlines for all the wrong reasons, b…

16 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
10 reasons to visit Muscat, Oman

10 reasons to visit Muscat, Oman

Compared to flashy Emirati neighbours like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the capital of Oman is a breath of fresh, sea air. Muscat is famous for dazzling souks and super…

21 Jan 2016 • Anita Isalska insert_drive_file Article
The most spectacular deserts around the world

The most spectacular deserts around the world

Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter), Saudi Arabia Part of the Arabian Desert, the Empty Quarter is made up of 650,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq miles) of sand …

16 Jun 2014 • Helen Abramson camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month