Muscat: The Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve will open its doors to visitors from November 1, the Environment Authority has announced.
“Starting from November 1, Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve will open its doors to receive visitors from all over the world and citizens and this period will extend until the end of April 2021,” a statement issued by the authority said.
Located about 18km off the coast of Barka, the reserve spans an area of 100 hectares across nine islands.
“The reserve features pristine beaches on which the white sands are caressed by the sea’s crystal blue waters. This reserve has a rich natural heritage and is replete with several kinds of coral reefs, including some variants that are quite rare,” according to the Ministry of Tourism.
“The island is home to a large number of sea turtles that lay their eggs and nest there, as well as a magnet for migratory and indigenous birds,” it further added.
Becoming part of the Great Barrier Reef Project led to international recognition in 1984. The Daymaniyat Islands are also home to some of the country’s best diving spots. The nature reserve is also on the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Among the species found there are many varieties of birds, which come there to nest every summer, including the red-billed tropicbird (phaethon aethereus), osprey (pandion haliaetus), roseate tern (sterna dougallii), white-cheeked Tern (sterna repressa), bridled tern (sterna anaethetus), sooty tern (sterna fuscata) and common noddy (anous stolidus) nest on north facing cliffs of these islands.
“Al Daymaniyat Islands support a multitude species of coral reefs in the area, which grow densely because of the abundant and un-polluted substratum of the shallow seas,” said UNESCO’s listing for the nature reserve.
“Coral shoals that grow in these shallow seas protect the island beaches. Coral grows mainly on exposed rocks, forming a multi-metre frame. In addition, there are many coral species that grow on either the rocky plains or the shattered coral reefs. They provide excellent habitat for the abundant reef fishes that provide the bulk of the harvest by fishermen.”
You can apply for a permit to visit the reserve through the following website: https://bit.ly/31JWwbI