Muscat: Director of operations of Al Hoota Cave, a two-million-year-old natural wonder, said that the plan to expand facilities and renovation work will commence soon.
Salim Bin Ali Al Shaksi said that the number of visitors to the cave before the pandemic ranged between 50,000 and 60,000 annually, but the number dwindled to 12,000 now.
Al Hoota Cave, located in the southern part of the Green Mountain (Jebel Akhdar) Range, on the slopes of Jebel Shams, has a rich ecosystem.
There are 4 lakes inside, 3 of which are small to the north of the cave, while the other is in the middle which can be reached by foot. It is estimated that the lake contains about 30,000 cubic meters of water and is about 15 metres deep. Blind rare fish can be seen in the lake. There are many faunas in the cave, including bats, arthropods, molluscs, spiders, snails and water beetles.
Studies indicate that the cave was formed as a result of chemical and hydrographic erosion of limestone by acidic water and extends more than 5 kilometres underground.
Salim pointed out that there are teams working on promotional plans to increase the number of visitors to the cave.