The landscape is often regarded as a subjective issue, rather than one that is important to the quality of life, or to tourism. Just as a littered beach is unsightly to the tourist, so also a cluttered landscape can affect the visitor's impression of a country as a whole.

Even rocky hills or dry riverbeds are part of our wider ecosystem and any impact on them will in turn affect the natural balance of other organisms’ lifecycles.

There is an ongoing issue of compatibility between modern development in landscapes and preservation of natural and cultural ones. As tourism is now an essential component of a sustainable economy for the future, landscape issues become more economically important.

Oman's landscape has been scarred by development over the last 20 years. Examples of this can be seen through the creation of roads, sometimes cutting right through mountains and overhead electricity lines on brightly painted pylons, having a major aesthetic impact on rural areas.

Mountain path, Jabal Shams
© A Al Abri

Grand Mosque, Muscat
© A Thacker