Found exclusively on the hillsides of Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman’s green mountain, the Jabal Akhdar rose is unlike any other in the world.
The Jabal Akhdar rose is unique to the Green Mountain in Oman. Known in Oman and outside the country for its fragrance, the pink rose is traditionally harvested in March and April, and is widely used in fragrances and herbal remedies, and is also a favourite in spa treatments in the Sultanate.
The blooming of these roses begins on the first of April, with the flowers being plucked during the early morning, after which they are distilled in small boilers. The rose water is then extracted through a method of gradual distillation.
“This craft is not without its hardships. However, the hardship and fatigue soon melt away when the farmer reaps the harvest of his efforts: the distilled rose water,” said Oman’s Ministry of Tourism. “When the flowers bloom in April, farmers cut and transport them to their simple distillation plants. You will see rose water distillation plants during your trip to Al Jabal Al Akhdar. Roses are planted on a large scale in Al Jabal Al Akhdar. Farmers then collect and process them.
“Visitors who come to this area,” the Ministry added, “will not only be amazed by the splendid mountains, but will also have the opportunity to explore green wadis, terrace farms, rose gardens – typical for the production of rosewater, abandoned villages, and stunning viewpoints.”
Many of the roses in Jabal Akhdar are cultivated in the villages of Shuraija, Al Aqor and Seeq. “Along with the neighbouring villages of Al Aqor and Seeb, Shuraija cultivates pink Damask roses in its terraces that are watered by the same ancient irrigation channels,” explained the Ministry of Tourism. “Besides the interesting cultivation of roses to produce rose water, Shuraija has a fantastic view over Wadi Muaydin, making it perfect for any photography lover. Visitors can reach the village by car, but it is recommended to park outside the village as there are not many parking spots.”