Welcome to Al Ayn
The tiny village of Al Ayn, on the plain at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, would pass as typical but not particularly noteworthy were it not for the fact that is located in an extraordinarily striking location. The Hajar Mountains can boast more than their fair share of dramatic landscapes, but at Al Ayn the scenery is given an ancient, human dimension thanks to a set of tombs that crest a nearby ridge. Unlike the discreet modern cemeteries of Oman, where a simple, unmarked stone indicates the head and feet of the buried corpse, the ancient tombs around the villages of Al Ayn and Bat rise defiantly from the tops of the surrounding hills, as if in a bid for immortality. The whole area, with rocks tinged with deeply saturated bands of colour, feels highly charged, especially at sunset when the tooth-edged mountain, Jebel Misht, appears to catch alight.