Ras Alhadd: Floating Chalets and turtle beaches

Contribution by @rking0901

For a weekend gateway, the floating chalets located near Ras Al Hadd offer a unique way to experience Oman’s coast and turtle beaches.

The Floating Chalets are located on one of the largest bays in Oman, a short drive from the more well known tourism spots in Ras Al Hadd and Ras Aljinz. The drive from Muscat to the floating chalets is just under 3 hours and along the beautiful coastal road to the most eastern edge of Arabia known as Al Hadd (meaning the border or edge).

The chalets are somewhat undiscovered by foreign tourists and bookings can only be done by phone, so some basic Arabic is essential. The bay is home to several chalets which are either comprised of purpose built lodgings or converted dhows which have been built up to incorporate the space needed for a traditional Omani family getaway. The story of this enterprise was featured in an Oman Observer article.

Finding your way to the dock may appear precarious, but don’t be put off by the approach. Just a short drive from the village you will find the chalet keepers who will guide you to a car park perched above the dock area where you leave your car and unload your belongings. It is then just a short boat ride to your floating accommodation which is kitted out with everything you need to stay the night, save for food and drinks which you will need to bring with you.

The chalets can accommodate a large number of people if you are happy to share rooms. Our chalet had 2 double bedrooms, plus a very large living room and a top deck which could accommodate an extended family with ease. Once abroad you can relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the bay an spend time barbecuing on the top deck until night falls. The shallow waters of the bay make for good fishing and you will see local fishermen darting round on their boats in the morning hauling their nets.

After night has fallen you can make use of the chalet’s proximity to the turtle beaches nearby

The government run turtle beach reserve of Ras Aljinz is around 15 km from the floating chalets. The turtle beach at Ras Al Hadd is only 8 km away and could also be reached by boat, depending on the tide. We opted to take the short boat ride back to our car to then make the 15 minute drive to Ras Al Hadd. The turtle beach is a public area that is marked on Google maps.

Walking along the beach and away from civilisation we eventually encountered the beautiful and truly magnificent green turtle. the size of these wonderful and critically endangered creatures is something to behold. We were fortunate enough to not only see a female retiring to the ocean after having laid her eggs, but also hatching turtles starting out on their life journey. It is hard to express how special it is see the turtles in their natural habitat. Hopefully it is an experience that can continue indefinitely if conservation is at the forefront of the minds of any visitors to the beach.

After leaving the turtles we returned to our floating chalet for the night, marvelling at the bioluminescent algae in the water which illuminates as the boat powers you back to to your accommodation. The other chalets around the bay light up the darkness and the top deck provides a great location to stargaze.

Once morning arrives you can continue enjoying your time on the by taking a boat ride, fishing or swimming. We opted for a boat ride out to see the rest of the bay and explore some of the hidden beaches in and around the bay. The highlight of the boat ride is crossing from the calm waters of the bay into the open sea. Here is where you reach the most eastern point in Arabia.

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