Desert Medicine Course: Why Sharqiya Sands in Oman provides the perfect desert classroom

14 August 2018

Oman is the perfect home for our World Extreme Medicine Desert Medicine Course. It offers exceptional wilderness conditions of the like you’ll not witness anywhere else in the world; with towering sand dunes reaching 100m in places, spectacular mountains that reach up to 10,000 feet into the sky and a desert that extends over an area of up to 10,000 square kilometres.

Over one-week the WEM faculty team led by Dr Sean Hudson MBE who has been exploring and working in desert environments throughout his career and was awarded an MBE for services to ‘Providing Medical Aid and Education’, will take you on a two-part expedition on foot, supported by vehicles and camels through Sharqiya Sands, your home for the duration of the course and where you will learn to overcome the obstacles of the desert, increase your knowledge and skill set regarding hot weather medicine and work with the environment to make the most of your desert expedition.

Here are just a few of the reasons that make Sharqiya Sands the perfect desert medicine classroom:

  • The location
    Sitting on the edge of the largest sand desert on the planet known as the ‘Empty Quarter; the hottest, driest, most inhospitable place on earth, lies Sharqiya Sands. A remote yet inspirational vast wilderness covering 12,500 square kilometres that provides the perfect environment to explore the desert and learn desert medical and survival skills amongst the stillness of the dunes.
  • Accessibility
    Although remote, today you can reach Sharqiya Sands in less than two hour’s drive from the capital city of Muscat, on a modern, three-lane highway. Despite the new road, once you are in the sands, they remain one of those unique, increasingly scarce, silent places where mobile phones don’t work, and where there is little evidence of human activity beyond the local Bedouin community.
  • Unique desert conditions
    As you will discover when on the course, Sharqiya Sands is a ‘living’ desert offering unparalleled conditions perfect for challenging expeditions. Due to its unique location bordering the coastline, the nearby sea regularly results in a heavy dew and thick fog that provides 1mm of rainfall a day delivering life-giving moisture to the arid desert but can also mean you wake up with a wet sleeping bag! This thick fog can make navigation a challenge, especially first thing in the morning, so basic navigation skills are an essential part of your learning on this course.
  • State of the art training facility
    Authorised by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Al Said, ruler of Oman, the Outward Bound Oman Desert Centre is a spectacular purpose-built centre for outdoor learning, the first of its kind in Oman. Officially opened in October 2017 it provides an ideal base located amongst the dunes of the Sharqiya Sands from which to start and end your Desert Medicine learning experience.
  • Sharqiya Sands is the most intensely studied desert ever
    The Royal Geographical Society ran the first integrated geographical survey of one of the greatest sand sea deserts in the world, the ‘Oman Wahiba Sands Project’ between 1984 – 1987 with their top scientists analysing this unique desert environment. The survey showed the area has a unique range of mobile, stable and cemented sands (aeolianite) and a diverse flora and fauna with over 16,000 invertebrate species and 130 flora species in this environment of unique importance.
  • A warm welcome and great hospitality
    It’s well known across the lands of the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula that the Sultanate of Oman is one of the most hospitable countries in the world. The Omani people are known for their legendary hospitality and an unofficial policy of “everyone is my friend, no-one is my enemy” means you will be met with a warm welcome and a friendly face.

To find out more about our Desert Medicine course, please click here. Take your medical career to the next level – book your place today!


Other blogs that may be of interest, include:
5 fantastic reasons to attend the extraordinary 2018 Desert Medicine Course
Desert Medicine: kick start your career as an extreme medicine
Meet the team behind our Desert Medicine course

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