Oman – Rock Climbing, SWBD, and Camping

A few of my classmates are really into rock climbing, so we’ve been practicing up in Dubai at The Wall (

Climbing at The Wall, near Trade Center, Dubai

Fabi and Josh Climbing

We got to put our skills to the test by joining along on a “climbing” trip near Dibba, Oman, about 3 and a half hours north of Abu Dhabi.  Dibba is an interesting place, apparently it’s part of Oman but is not really connected to the main part of Oman, so you can’t travel from Oman to Dibba without crossing through a part of the UAE. It’s on the northern tip of the UAE and Oman, on the Gulf of Oman. So we still have to pass through a ‘checkpoint’ to get there, but it’s pretty straightforward and you don’t even get a stamp in your passport. Most nationalities don’t even seem to need a visa, especially if you have a UAE residence visa. You also don’t need Omani car insurance, a typical requirement for traveling into Oman proper.  Though this past weekend when we went they took a much longer time checking our passports and trunks than previous visits.  Anyway, we made it through and soon after reach the port and boarded the Dhow boat with a bunch of others from numerous nationalities.  It is an unofficial trip organized by a fellow climber and acquaintance of my advisor at Masdar. It’s really a great time. For 200 dhs (~$55) we board a Dhow boat at around 10am, cruise out to sea for a few hours, drop anchor in a cove, swim up to and boulder along a rock wall.

The Cove near Dibba

Climbing the Wall

Climbing the Wall

Emily, Fabian, and Myself on the Wall

So that’s the strenuous, somewhat athletic part. Then comes SWBD.  This is the most important part.  It stands for Shallow Water Beer Drinking.  Of course, this provides the necessary lubrication to do, how do we say it, more “strategic” climbing and maneuvers, including jumping off the Dhow itself…

The Dhow

And then, after a great day at the wall we went on to the next adventure, camping out in Dibba.  A place about 20 minutes from the port was recommended as a great camping spot.  And it was, totally secluded from everything, on a dirt road, in a valley between some rocks, not even visible from the road, with an amazing view of the stars. Just awesome.

View of the Campsite, from Above

The Campsite


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anne Colucci on November 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    What an experience- looks like you are having the time of your life! Enjoy and stay well!


  2. Posted by Mom on November 19, 2010 at 3:25 am

    What an amazing adventure – so, excited for you; seems like u’r making great life-time friends and experiencing the best of the middle east, along w/some studying, of course.

    Wishing you life-long memories and maybe a forth-coming book, after, of course you make a name for yourself in sustaninable energy!!

    love ya,


  3. Posted by Rose Ward on November 26, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Looks like you and your friends are having a terrific time. Can’t wait to see you. Miss you.

    Aunt Rose and Uncle Warren
    Justin and Travis


  4. Posted by uncle joe on May 4, 2011 at 12:02 am

    don’t know if i could do the rock climbing, but i know i would like to join you for a little “SWDB.” have a good time and be safe.

    love, uncle joe & aunt michelle


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