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Jebel Shams

Oman’s highest mountain, Jebel Shams (Mountain of the Sun; 3009m), is best known not for its peak but for the view into the spectacularly deep Wadi Ghul lying alongside it. The straight-sided Wadi Ghul is known locally as the Grand Canyon of Arabia, as it fissures abruptly between the flat canyon rims, exposing vertical cliffs of 1000m and more.

Until recently, there was nothing between the nervous driver and a plunge into the abyss, but now an iron railing at least indicates the most precipitous points along the track, and rough car parks pick out some of the best viewpoints into the canyon. Near the summit, the terrain flattens out into a large plateau making an ideal place to camp and picnic...or buy a carpet! There are also a couple of well-established hikes here, the most famous of which is the Balcony Walk just below the canyon rim.