Oases – areas of lush vegetation surrounded by desert landscape – have an almost mystical hold on human imagination as they represent the intensity of life surrounded by apparently forbidding surroundings. They reveal the yearning of Mother Nature to force open viable vistas required for human existence and one can only marvel at such attempts. In traditional imagination the existence of an oasis is associated with the famed “Arabian Nights” and provide tremendous fillip to imagination. Oases have been a vital part of the desert economy, offering crucial stops for traders and supporting communities for centuries. They have a rich history associated with them.
Wadi Bani Khalid, Oman is one such oasis that is home to some of the most beautiful oases. Water flows into the oasis throughout the year from a natural spring located in the upper portion of the valley, thus making it an attractive tourist destination at any time of the year.
Located near the Fezzan region in the Sahara Desert in Libya Ubari Oasis comprises a number of small lakes. All the water bodies in the oasis, including Gaberoun which is the largest and can trace their origin to a mega lake called Megafezzan.
Tafilalt, Morocco is the country’s largest oasis and is located at the western edge of the Sahara Desert along the banks of Ziz River. The location of the oasis, which served as a medieval trade route, allowed a number of fortified villages to come up around it over the centuries. Its palm trees are known to produce luscious dates, which are exported to multiple countries around the world.
Liwa Oasis, UAE is located in a natural region that is surrounded by villages and farms hugging the edge of Saudi Arabia’s Rub’ al-Khali or “Empty Quarter.” The glorious landscape holds a special place in the hearts of the people of UAE as it is the birthplace of two of the country’s ruling families – Al Nahyan and Al Maktoum. The citizens visit this place to connect with their roots and absorb the beauty of the place.
Situated around 82 feet (25 meters) below sea level, Siwa Oasis is dotted with olive and palm trees and boasts of a number of springs. It is located 31 miles away from the Libyan border, where visitors can get a glimpse of hamlets comprising mud-brick houses and donkey carts traversing dirt lanes.
Chebika oasis, Tunisia is located at the foot of the Djebel el Negueb Mountains the oasis is called the Qasr el-Shams, the Arabic phrase for “Castle of the Sun.” Palm trees create a unique spot of green against a barren mountainous backdrop. Many scenes from “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977) were filmed here.
Taghit, Algeria is an oasis town in the Sahara Desert and is famous for its majestic sand dunes and tall palm trees that rise around it. Near the town are the Tahtania rock carvings, which are around 20,000 years old. TW