Oman to host region’s first natural reserve for stargazing
MUSCAT– As part of the efforts to boost tourism by establishing a star-light reserve for people to experience the beauty of the sky, all types of lights will be banned in specified parts of Al Dakhiliyah Governorate. According to Oman Astronomical Society, this will be the first-of-its-kind reserve for stargazing in the region. “We congratulate everyone interested in astronomy and sky monitoring for having such an interest in developing the skills of amateurs in this field, as well as increasing scientific curiosity and scientific research,” the society said.
This announcement was made by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs after the Royal Decree last week. It may be noted that the Article 1 of the Royal Decree said: “A nature reserve shall be established in area of Al Hajar al Gharbi to see the lights of the stars in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate, which shall be assigned the area specified in the Decree.” Apart from encouraging stargazing tourism, the reserve will limit light pollution due to the growing use of outdoor lights, the Decree said. Situated at a height of 25,000 metres above sea level, the reserve will be counted as the highest in the Sultanate that includes the highest summit (Jabal Shams).
The Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs will issue regulations and decisions necessary for the enforcement of the Decree in coordination with the ministries and departments concerned, which will include management of the nature reserve, rules of entry therein of members of the public, prescribed fees, timing of visits, permitted activities, banned activities and suitable administrative penalties against each case.