Camels and horses are the new source of entertainment for tourists in Salalah, as they find horse riding and camel riding entertaining and exciting, especially for their young children.
In response to the increasing demand from tourists, the Dhofar Waves Equestrian Club has expanded its facility with more horses and introduced camels and donkeys for family and young riders. The response from the tourists is so good that all rides are normally fully booked during the season.
Jo-Anne Mulder, Manager of Dhofar Waves Equestrian Club, calls these Arabian animals a good source of tourism attraction as both — Arabian horses and Arabian camels — are unique in themselves and “riding an Arabian horse in Arabia is something special!”
Commenting on the kind of rides her riding school is offering, Jo-Anne said: “We offer camel riding and it has been very popular among tourists. I personally think camels attract lots of interest from the tourists and they associate them as part and parcel of Arabian society. Experiencing camel ride excites them.”
“It is a great tourist attraction, as camels used to be the only means of transport in the Middle East in ancient and medieval times. Riding a camel at our place can give the tourists a feel of what it was like some years ago. Also, it allows for a safe environment to get close up and personal with these desert animals.”
Similar is the case with Arabian horses. They are known for their sturdiness and the best performers in races. Tourists come to the Middle East with the hope to see Arabian horses and get excited when they find an opportunity to have a safe ride, that too on one of the beaches in Salalah.
“Arabian horses were originally bred in the Middel East. Therefore, riding our Arabian horses brings people back to the closest ancestral breed in this area. These Arabians are well-known for their stamina, braveness, sensitivity and loyalty to their masters. Although misunderstood in many countries, they certainly are the best breed ever,” she says.
Jo-Anne admits that there is rush for riding during evening hours but there are quite a few riders who prefer morning ride.
“All age groups,” she said while emphasising on the fact that all the rides are done under the supervision of experts, so hardly there is any risk involved. …of course women and children prefer camel ride and it is wonderful to watch sunset at a beach while riding a camel or a horse.”
Riding is popular not only among the tourists but there are locals and expatriates who love to learn horse riding. “We train them under best of the riders, said Jo-Anne confirming that among the learners are men, women and children.
“Riding lessons are being offered to all age groups (children 5 years and older, and adults). It is great way to exercise, improve concentration in children and boost your stamina,” said Jo-Anne.
The riding school also offers therapeutic lessons for people with disabilities. Riding improves self-confidence and social skills, as the rider gets to communicate with the horse without feeling the need to impress anyone, Jo-Anne says commenting on the role of riding in personality development.
Fazah Fort: Situated in the town of Liwa, Wilayat Liwa, Al Batinah Region, Fazah Fort dates back to many centuries and played