Al Hajar Mountain range
Jebel Akhdar, (Green Mountain) is part of the Al Hajar Mountain range in Oman. It is the highest point in the whole of Oman and eastern Arabia. The area is over 2 hours drive from Muscat and one must drive through a passport control point in a 4 x 4 if one wishes to explore the fascinating villages dotted around the area. The locals grow pomegranates, apricots, peaches and walnuts on the ancient terraces which are irrigated by an equally old but sophisticated irrigation system called falaj. The area is also famous for rose water extraction.
I’ve painted a number of commissioned watercolours over the last few years of various views of Jebel Akhdar. I’ve also been a couple of times to paint on location. It’s noticeably cooler than sea level which is why many folk living in Oman often take the journey up the mountains in the scorching temperatures of summer. The new Sahab hotel situated on the plateaux at the summit boasts fine views over the surrounding mountains. It was from their grounds that I did a small sketchbook watercolour and took the photographs necessary to do this large watercolour titled Jebel Akhdar.
In 2018 Susan and I were able to go to Jebel Akhdar again and we stayed at the fantastic Anantara Hotel for a couple of nights. I had great time painting around this spectacular landscape. When we first went to Jebel Akhdar, there was no hotel. Now it has become a must place to visit. It’s a testimony to the way Sultan Qaboos has taken Oman forward into the 21st Century.