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Wadi Shab

Jan 8, 2013 by     48 Comments    Posted under: Al Sharqiyah, Natural Attractions, Wadi

Wadi Shab

Wadi Shab (وادي شاب) also spelled Wadi Shaab, is a very popular wadi located in the Al Sharqiyah Region in Oman. It is a very popular outdoor attraction for both locals and expats, and people come here for the nature, to swim in the fresh water pools or just to have a barbecue. The main attraction of the wadi is the water fall in the cave, which you can reach after a roughly 40 mins hike and swimming in 2-3 pools. I really love coming to this wadi as it is not very far from Muscat, is easily accessible even with a saloon car and because the pools are always full with clear blue water!

Wadi Shab

Yes, that is the highway bridge!

Wadi Shab is located in the Al Sharqiyah region in Oman, it is less than 2 hours drive from Muscat and you can combine your trip here with a visit to Wadi Tiwi, the Sink Hole park and/or the lovely beach of Tiwi. The wadi is definitely very popular and it gets very busy during public holidays with many families having a picnic at the entrance of the wadi, so best to avoid it during that time if you don’t like crowded wadis.

Here you start your walk in Wadi Shab

Before You Go:

You may just want to enjoy a leisurly walk at the entrance of the wadi and see some of the pools, or you are more adventurous and would like to dive in the pools from the mountain cliffs (after all, the 2012 Red Bull Cliff Diving final was held in Wadi Shab), you can do both in Wadi Shab.

So what to take is pretty standard stuff:

  • Sun-screen
  • Food, snacks and plenty of drinking water
  • Swimming clothes and towel
  • Slippers or a sturdy water-proof footwear
  • Camera and water proof bag (otherwise you won’t get to take any pictures inside the cave, like me)

How to get there:

You don’t need a 4-wheel drive to get to the Wadi Shab as it just just off the high-way and you get to it by passing through Tiwi village, you can just park your car and start your hike.

View Wadi Shab – OmanTripper in a larger map

Inside Wadi Shab:

Depending on the tide, you may have to get get a boat to take you across the other side from the car park to start the hike. There are villagers there always to take you, and it doesn’t cost more than 200  baiza (its regulated and there is a sign confirming the price so don’t get fooled and pay more). On another note, there is FINALLY a public toilet at the entrance.

Inside you will have to walk along palm groves, on rugged rocky cliffs and swim through some pools to get to the main attraction, which the submerged cave with waterfalls. It will take you about 30-45 minutes walk to get to the cave and to enter it you have to swim through a hole between the mountains. Sometimes the water level is too high that you have to dive under the water to pass through so be careful, especially if you’re visiting after it has been raining. There are ropes in the cave which you can use to climb up the waterfall and jump in the pool, and also go up where there is another small pool, but I haven’t explorer any further unfortunately.

Of course, if you are not comfortable swimming through a narrow slit to get to the cave there is still plenty to do. There are a couple of deep pools and water falls before that, and several spots you can jump from in the fresh waters. In addition, try to find the old semi-demolished houses (which I was told was used to keep cattle) at one of the cliffs.

I personally love going to Wadi Shab since it is so easy to get to and the pools are always amazing and clean. However, something that always bothers me is the large amount of rubbish I see thrown around there, which is unfortunately expected due to the high number of visitors it gets.

Have you visited Wadi Shab? Did you get to go further after the waterfall in the cave?

Wadi Shab

Wadi Shab

48 Comments + Add Comment

  • […] your visit to this wadi with an overnight camp on the Sharqiyah beach and a visit to the popular Wadi Shab and the Sink Hole park, or you can go there for a day trip as the drive from Muscat is just over an […]

  • Be sure to go a little bit up and look for yourself water pockets where you can use as natural tub:D

  • […] to Al Sharqiyah governorate. We usually visit Bimmah Sinkhole on our way back from a trip to Wadi Shab or Wadi Al […]

  • I hope that I’ ll visit this place http://www.photo-travels.org/foto/251/1907/

  • […] Here is the link I found to be useful before going a trip to wadi shab and other Oman’s tourist spots. Written by 2 Omanis who I wish to get to know them personally and have a wild adventures together. http://www.omantripper.com/wadi-shab/ […]

  • I just was there, fantastic! But be sure to wear good shoes!

  • Bring a sealed bag for your camera once you will swim accross the pools to get to the cave.

  • […] much that it took the number one spot for “Best Wadi To Visit” from Wadi Al Arbaeen (Wadi Shab is number three now!). This is mostly due to the unique rocks, crystal clear blue pools and […]

  • […] really find Wadi Al Abyad to be spectacular and what it offers pales in comparison to say Wadi Shab or Wadi Al Arbaeen, but the wadi s still worth a visit if you want to do something close to Muscat. […]

  • Any helpful transport facility to get there from Muscat ?
    There is no licence to drive here for me.. :(

    • Your best bet is to either hire a car for a day or get a taxi ride. Unless you try Couchsurfing to see if you can find someone to share a ride with :)

      • Hi
        Is it possible to get a minibus going to Sur and getting off at Wadi Shab? I also don’t have a car so I am relying on public transport to get me there.
        Any tips would be highly appreciated

        • Hi Alex, you are likely able to get a ride from Sur to Wadi Shab as it is not that far. However, I wouldn’t know if minibuses typically go there, your best bet would be to stop a taxi and negotiate price with him to get you there. Good luck!

  • […] min hike. After this I plan to swim in the crystal clear fresh blue water pools. On the Omantripper http://www.omantripper.com/wadi-shab/ website, I read that swim through some pools to get to the main attraction, which the submerged […]

  • any available public transportation going to wadi shab?

    • Not that I am aware of! Your best bet is to get a grab a taxi and get there. Remember to negotiate price before going :)

  • […] Snake Canyon may not have amazing waterfalls or places to jump in the pools (unlike Wadi Shab or the proper Snake Canyon) but it is a fun place to visit and because of the relatively short […]

  • […] outside of Muscat, for a swim in the clear blue waters and a hike through the stunning terrain of Wadi Shab, are definite […]

  • It’s no longer 200 Baisa per person with the boats, last time I went there it was 1 rial if I’m not mistaken.

  • Hi guys, I need to know if there is possibility to do camping there at wadi?

  • I mean does anyone do camp there or not? Thank you for your help

  • Good afternoon,

    We’re going to Muscat from 28th to 29th of this month. I would like to know if you have any tour, do you? If you has, how much is it?


    • Hi Yasmina,

      Our website is to help visitors find information, we don’t run any tours yet unfortunately. Hope you managed to visit Wadi Shab :)


  • Hi,
    We have 2 persons, we had a 10-day trip in Oman from beginning of April, 2015. We have been fascinated by the beauty of Wadi Shab, and now I found information about Wadi Al-Arbeieen. We would like to come back Oman again, maybe next year. Is it allowed to do camping overnight in Wadi Shab or Wadi Al-Arbeieen in Oman?

    • Hi Phuong,

      Glad you enjoyed your visit to Wadi Shab. There is nothing disallowing people from camping in the wadis overnight. I have seen people camp at Wadi Al Arbaeen near the carpark. However, I’d say it will probably be tricky finding good camping spots and you also have to keep in mind possibility of flash-floods so check forecast beforehand!

  • Hi there

    Looking at having a weekend away from the uae and scouting oman out for some wadi’s.
    Bimmah Sinkhole looks extremely appealing, is this an all year round spot to visit or does it dry up through the summer.
    Now seeing the comments and pictures on Wadi Shab am very keen to spend some time here aswell, same again is it worth going to in the month of May or will it be dried up.
    Is it far to Wadi Shab from Bimmah Sinkhole?
    Once in Wadi Shab are the signs directing you to the best areas?

    • Hi John,

      Visiting Omani wadis is always a great idea and I am sure you will have great time. Just be aware that it might be a bit challenging during the hot summer months, I remember the last time I went to Wadi Al Arbaeen the car temperature showed 44°C where we parked, but that was in July.

      Bimmah Sinkhole has water throughout the year, and so would Wadi Shab (it could be a bit drier than winter I suppose but the pools had always been full even when I visited in summer). The sinkhole is actually on your way to Wadi Shab (its about 30 kms from Wadi Shab) so you can definitely do both on the same visit.

      There are no signs in Wadi Shab but you just need to make your way inside the valley, and as it gets narrower you will encounter the water pools :)

      Happy travels!

  • Do you need to arrange by a local guide to get here? If so and if you know where and how to find them? For non-swimmers but would like to cliff dive, do they provide safety gears like life-jacket?

    Thanks heaps!

    • Hey!
      I wouldn’t know of any local guides that could take you there unfortunately. Your best bet is probably to check with the Wadi Shab resort just opposite, they should have either organised tours or contacts with locals who can help you. Besides that maybe try Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre (who also provide personal flotation devices) but they usually guide advanced places so I’d be surprised if they would do Wadi Shab.

      But to be honest you can explore the place without a local guide. The trek is not very demanding and it is difficult to get lost :) And if you’re not a swimmer just buy a life jacket or take a tube with you :)

      Hope you manage to visit this beautiful wadi!

      • Thank you Ali for responding. Might be there coming September :)

        • You’re welcome, I am sure you’ll have a great time :)

  • Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  • Is Aug a good time to go? Will there be water in the pools?

  • Is August a good time to go? Will there still be water in the pools?

    • Hi there,

      August is probably not the best time to visit, with the scorching heat it will be very tiring to walk through the wadi. However, as far as I am aware the pools should still have water year-round (but probably at lower levels). I visited in June/July a couple of years back and there was plenty of water.

      So if you can wait until the weather gets better, then it will probably be a more pleasant trip :) But if you have to go in August, just take necessary precautions (sunscreen, keep hydrated, etc..).

      Hope that helps :)

  • Approximately how much is the price for a taxi from muscat to wadi?

    • I’m not really sure I’m afraid. If you were to do it I’d suggest you could perhaps negotiate with a taxi driver to be your “driver” for the whole trip, i.e. to stop on other attractions on the way etc.. Again I can’t really think how much it would cost but maybe 40-50 rials? Let me know if you find out :)

  • Can children get in the water ?? Are there shallow , but clean and fresh water?
    can children about 13 years get in the water? do the water cover their chest atleast(but not head to avoid drowning of those who dont know to swim). Pls reply oman tripperr!!
    I am ggoingn there

    • Hi Abhijith,
      The water pools are rather deep especially, and children who can’t swim must be supervised as they’re likely to only be able to play around at the beginning shallow points. Just make sure you keep them off the deep areas, and watch over them the whole time.

  • […] Next was our highlight destination… The famous Wadi Shab. It has a set of amazing natural pools & waterfalls in the midst of the desert, and all of that with a crazy turquoise water color. We parked and caught a boat ride across the river to the trail head. We walked along the riverside and up the cliff side in the blistering heat for about an hour. A big thanks to two previous bloggers who helped us have the confidence that we could do this by ourselves. Check out their posts for more info on how and where to go for this awesome adventure: Fleeting Footprint & Oman Tripper […]

  • How cold is the water in March?
    Any problem to go in March from Muscat port to Wadi Shab by taxi?

    • Hi Monica,
      Weather should be fine in March, might be a bit too hot if you’re not used to it but stay hydrated and it should be fine. There shouldn’t be any problem going from Muscat port by Taxi, but it might cost you quite a bit (still not sure how much, I’m guessing more than 30 rials?).
      Let me know how your trip goes :)

  • I love the pictures of Wadi Shab and the sink hole on the website. My friends and I (from Dubai) are planning to visit Wadi Shab & Sink hole.

    A question
    Is camping allowed by the wadi area?
    Is it a good time to travel by of November….

    • Hi,

      Thanks, I am glad you like them. I hope you have a good time there, November should be a good time to visit just keep in mind the wadi might be a bit busy on weekends as the good weather brings lots of people there :) You can camp close to the wadi in the nearby beaches, it is hard to find a good spot but but it does the job. The best location for me was a couple of kms before you reach the wadi if you’re driving from Muscat, but not sure if there is access any more after they built Wadi Shab hotel.

      Hope that helps, and hope you enjoy the trip :)

  • I am interested in knowing the price for a taxi too.
    Thank you

    • Hi Monica,
      Unfortunately, I don’t know that yet. I really need to find out as I keep getting lots of questions about that :)

  • Ok.Than you.
    We are a family from Spain.We spend one day in Muscat next March.
    Do you know any person interested in be our driver for knowing sinkhole, fins and Wadi Shad?

    • Hi Monica,

      I am in the process of offering guided tours, but haven’t posted any details yet. If you let me know what day you are looking to go to the Wadi specifically (as I can only do weekends), I can drive you there and be your guide for a fee. You can contact me on ali@omantripper.com


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