Masirah Island is the largest island of Oman. It is located about twelve kilometers off the east coast of the Sultanate. It is approximately 90 kilometers long and 14 kilometers wide, its surface is partially mountainous. Masirah is easily accessible by ferry from Shannah.
The broad, sandy beaches are ideal for long walks and observation of nature. Between November and December many migratory birds breed on the island; off the coast whales and dolphins can often be observed in the same period. The coral reefs at the south end of the island provide food and shelter for a variety of fish, sea turtles lay their eggs on the beaches. For the loggerhead turtle Masirah is even the world's most important nesting area.
10,000 people are currently living on the island. They live mainly on fishing, some are employed on the air base on the island. Tourism is gaining slowly in importance; especially during the stormy summer monsoon months, with the island becoming an insider tip in the kite-surfing scene. Kiters from around the world are found here from June to August soaring above the waves with their kites.
However, the exposed location of the island in the Indian Ocean wind stream has its drawbacks. Cyclone Gonu hit with unbridled violence on the island of Masirah and caused extensive damage.