Arabian Leopard Sanctuary
Al Wusta is home to the Arabian Leopard Sanctuary, a park set up to ensure the preservation of one the the desert’s rarest predators. Travellers have the opportunity to witness these animals in their native habitat whilst contributing to their ongoing survival through funds raised by eco-tourism initiatives.
Duqum, the capital of Al Wusta, marks the midway point between Muscat and Salalah. The journey between these two cities makes for a truly memorable adventure taking in much of the varied terrain and culture of Oman, and Duqum is a convenient stopover point. Here, the city is being rapidly developed - albeit with typical Omani flair - to create one of the most significant shipping ports of the region. This marks a return to Oman’s past where its location between Europe, Asia and Africa made it a strategic trading hub for spices, textiles, and precious metals.
The Empty Quarter
Lastly, Al Wusta is the entry way into the Empty Quarter, an astonishingly vast region of featureless desert - the largest sand desert in the world - spanning across the western part of Oman and constituting most of neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Here, the distinct lack of any notable variation in the terrain - or any indication of life in any form - is a spectacle in itself. The barren, monotonous desert spans the entire horizon and is reminiscent of a lunar landscape, with the convenience of modern, air-conditioned four-wheel drives allowing comfortable access to what was once impassible terrain.