A headland north-west of As Seeb, with a khawr and a beach, and sandbars and a group of eight islands offshore. Extensive mudflats occur in the khawr, and the headland is surrounded by sabkha and flat, sandy terrain. There are important archaeological sites of settlement on the two largest islands, more than 4,000 years old.
See box for key species. The islands are an important site for breeding Falco concolor. Other island-breeding species include Egretta gularis (c.25 pairs) and Pandion haliaetus (at least 2 pairs). The mudflats hold fair numbers of wintering and passage waterbirds, especially roosting gulls and terns (Laridae).
Non-bird biodiversity: There are some high quality coral reefs around the islands.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site (including the islands) is a very popular recreation spot; people can wade across to the islands at low tide, and excessive disturbance of nesting birds is a critical problem: the increasing number of visitors threatens the survival of the nesting colonies of Egretta gularis and Falco concolor, whose nests are destroyed or their eggs taken by fishermen. Building development is encroaching on the mainland. The area is a proposed National Scenic Reserve.
Data-sheet compiled by Simon Albrecht.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ra's as Sawadi - Juzor as Sawadi. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2022.