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Oman - Al Ashkharah (Ashkara, Ashkarah)

Al Ashkharah is one of the closest places to surf on the Indian Ocean with reasonable swell if you're travelling from Dubai. Asilyah is on the way to Ras Al Had, north of Al Askarah but a similar distance from Dubai - the two locations are about 20-30 minutes drive apart.

Journey time from Dubai is about 7-8 hrs at 120 kph cruising speed plus border crossing time and any stopping times for rests and/or food. Dubai to Muscat map is available here and Muscat to Al Ashkarah map available here.

Conditions are usually small or flat from October to May but sometimes there's a good swell from a depression in the Indian Ocean. Check the forecasts. Water temperature is comfortable, no wetsuit needed. Air temperature is pleasant to hot. Winds can sometimes be strong especially in the afternoon but usually the mornings are calm or slight offshore.

From June to September the wind gets stronger peaking in July and August with blowing sand and unpleasant conditions. The waves are also bigger with strong currents making the paddling a bit of an ordeal. Exploring the coast will reveal occasional more sheltered bays but camping out is not the pleasant experience you are likely to have at other times of the year.

See these forum posts for more information...

Accommodation in Al Ashkarah

  • Al Ashkharah Hotel on the main road through Al Ashkharah. New in 2001. Tel +968456222 or mobile +9689362508. Single about 100 dhs and double 10 or 20 dhs more (2002 prices). A couple of family rooms but mostly single rooms with a pull out mattress under the bed to make it a double. Has ensuite with normal loos. Small basic restaurant downstairs, no booze unless you bring your own. Basic but beds are comfortable and has all the facilities you need including CNN (nothing else though) and a fridge. Cheaper than the new Al Ashkarah Youth Hostel.
  • Al Ashkhara Youth Hostel - new in 2004 or so? Closed for renovations during summer 2006 until August 2006. Just across the road from the beach a couple of km south of Al Ashkara. No chance you'll miss it even though the sign's not in English - looks like a hotel. Tidy and modern and clean but expensive at 250 dhs per night for a room (according to Aug 2006 report, have seen an older reference to a price of 150 dhs for a room with 4 beds - that was before 2006 refurbishing).

Hotels in Ibra

  • Ibra has a couple of hotels but that's still 2 hours drive from the coast. One is tel +968-471873 and has a restaurant (Ibra Hotel?), probably a couple of hundred dhs per night (was 140 dhs in 1999).
  • Al Sharqiyah Sands Hotel is about 10 km past Ibra towards the coast and is quite a comfortable place to stay. Has a pool, restaurant and bar. In 2002 was just under 200 dhs per night per room. Expect it to be 250 dhs or maybe even 300 dhs in 2006. Tel +968-9205112 or +968-9205113, Fax +968-9207012, email sharqiyasands@hotmail.com. More information and brochure.
  • Al Qabil Guesthouse is about 25 km past Ibra on LH side of road going towards Al Khamil and Al Ashkharah. Is less comfortable than Al Sharqiah Sands - but cheaper (still perfectly adequate). Should be less than 200 dhs per room - try and negotiate breakfast to be included. Tel +968-593232 or +968-481243, fax +968-590144
    email tours@omantel.net.om. Web www.desert-discovery.com.

Other hotels and guesthouses

  • Ras Al Hadd has a hotel and some cabins which are about a half hour from Asilyah (since the road was upgraded).
  • Sur must have a hotel or two, I haven't been so don't know. Apparently it has a Pizza Hut. Long drive to the beach though.

Maps and Hotel Information

Some previous trips to Al Ashkarah and Asiliah

May also be spelt Al Ashkrah, Al Ashkra, Al Ashkhra, Al Ashkhrah.

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