Wadi Dayqah Dam
Latitude: 23° 05’ 04.5’’ N Longitude: 58° 50’ 56.4’’ E
Wadi Dayqah Dam is the Sultanate of Oman’s largest dam. As far as man-made bodies of water are concerned, it is undoubtedly one of the worlds most beautiful as well.
Wadi Dayqah is about an hour’s drive south-east of Muscat, and one of the most accessible sites in the Sultanate. A walk along the gigantic concrete dam wall, followed by a picnic on the grass adjacent to the dam, makes for an ideal half-day trip and an absolute ‘must-do’ item for travelers.
One of the defining characteristics of Wadi Dayqah Dam is that it is surrounded on all sides by the peaks of the Hajar Mountain Range. The combination of this huge body of water, and sheer cliff faces on all sides (some over 1 500 meters high), is spectacular.
On a clear day, the dam and surrounding areas are a paradise for a photographer.
There is a small restaurant at the main lookout area, but you’ll also be well off bringing your own picnic lunch or breakfast to enjoy at the garden area, where there are grassy and shaded areas to sit around.
Wadi Dayqa had for centuries been the source of irrigation for a system of aflaj open irrigation canals in the area. Now, this ancient system is fed from the new dam reservoir
Swimming in the dam, in the vicinity of the wall, is prohibited. However, it is possible to take a refreshing dip in the rock pools below the dam wall during the summer months, when hardly any water flows from the dam
For the adventurous, there are a few informal trekking paths leading north along the dam’s shoreline.
Originally, about 120 wadis flowed into the area that now contains the dam. There is still a year-round low of water through the dam, with winter being the peak period.
The storage capacity of the dam is about 100 million cubic meters. The entire expanse of water covers an area of 350 hectares. The dam wall itself is 390 meters long, and just over 73 meters high.
A walk along the top of the dam wall gives a literal bird’s eye view of the entire area: Views of the dam, the mountains, and the wadi and small town below the wall. Access to the dam wall and picnic area is free.