كهف الهوته

Al Hoota Cave - Al Hoti Cave - Al Fallah - Al Hota Cave - Al-Hoota Cave - Al Hotta Cave

Useful Information

Location: Central Hajar Mountains, Jabal Akhdar, Northern Oman. Wilayat of Al Hamra in the Dhakhiliya region. 140 km southwest of Muscat.
(23.0820677, 57.3543586)
Open: All year daily 9-16.
Online booking is required.
Fee: Omani: Adults OMR 3.675, Children (6-16) OMR 1.050, Children (0-5) free, Students OMR 2.100.
Foreigners: Adults OMR 7.350, Children (6-16) OMR 3.675, Children (0-5) free, School Pupils OMR 1.050, Students OMR 2.100.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: L=5,000 m, T=25 °C, H=85 %.
Guided tours: L=700 m, D=45 min, St=225, Max=750/day. اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ - Arabic English V=75,000/a [2007].
Photography: forbidden, no cameras allowed inside
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Sanir Hanna, Mohamed al-Belushi (1996): Caves of Oman, SQU 1996, pp. 49-61.
Peter J. Ochs (2000): Maverick Guide to Oman, 2nd ed. 2000, pp. 277-78.
Rudolf Pavuza, Robert Seemann, Karl Mais (1998): The Hoti-Cave-System in the Jabal Akhdar (Oman), Die Hohle, 49(2), 33-41, 1998. (Deutsch - German)
Christa Frank (1998): Gastropoden aus dem Hoti-Hohlensystem (Oman), Die Hohle, 49(2), 42-49, 1998. (Deutsch - German)
Address: Al Hoota Cave, Western Hajar, Al Hoota Caves Access Road, Rwadah-Hamra Road, Al Hamra, Tel: +968-25422197, Cell: +968-7117-5308. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1995 start of search for potential show caves by the Oman Government.
MAR-2005 cave scheduled to be opened to the public.
JUL-2006 revised inauguration date.
18-DEC-2006 cave opened to the public.
2012 cave closed for renovations after floods.
01-JUN-2015 cave managed by the company Omran.
05-SEP-2016 cave reopened after renovation.
MAY-2019 to JUL-2019 cave closed due to rain.


Al Hoti Cave comprises an underground cavern and subterranean lake system. Al Hoti Cave is a 2.7 km tunnel which runs in a north-south direction through the Hajar Mountains. There are many offshoots to the main tunnel, but so far, only approximately 5 km have been charted by experienced cavers. There are two entries to Al Hoti Cave: the Al Fallah entrance, which is taken through a large gaping entrance below a cliff overhang; or the Al Hota entrance which is strictly for experienced cavers. The latter entry must not be undertaken without ropes, safety equipment and a guide as it involves fairly perilous scrambles down slippery rock faces.

Within the Hoti Cave exists an subterranean lake which is home to unusual species of aquatic animals such as blind fish which sense their way around the lake with feelers. The main lake within the cave system is around 800 m long, but please do not be tempted to swim in the waters and disturb the delicate eco-system.

The main chamber of Al Hoti Cave is around the size of the Al Bustan Palace Hotel's ballroom and contains some magnificent cave formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns which have evolved over millions of years. These beautiful structures are delicately coloured in shades of pink, yellow, gold, beige and grey.

Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.

كهف الهوته (Kahf Alhuatih, Al Hoota Cave) is hard to find on the internet. The reason is simple: we use the English name, which is a transcription of the original Arabic name. Unfortunately there seem to be several transcriptions. So far the spelling Al Hoti Cave was common, but the company which does the marketing for the new show cave, decided to use Al Hotta Cave. Then some time ago they changed to Al Hoota Cave. Each time the domain name was changed, and after the second name change they ran out of names, so they started changing the top level domain. As a result they replaced alhootacave.com with alhootacave.om

Al Hoota Cave is developed with a walkway with iron railings, illuminated by coloured electric lights. There is a cave train with a capacity of 36 passengers, which brings visitors from the entrance into the cave. The Visitor Centre was built in front of the cave, a two-storey Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) structure. It houses the ticket counter, a restaurant, a souvenir shop, a geological museum, and the station for the train.

The train actually does not work very well. The Austrian company, which produced it, seems to have underestimated the climatic difficulties and so regular failures resulted in a complete shutdown of the train. So for most of the first three years, the visitors had to walk into the cave. This failure is rather astounding, as Austrian made cable cars are known to work very well under the most extreme conditions all over the world. However, it seems the management has decided that it is not possible to repair the existing train, and in 2009 Oman's Tourism Ministry invited international companies to submit bids for a contract to supply and install a new electrical train. While they actually did not publish any further background info, the train is still or again defunct in 2023.

The cave lake is filled with fresh water by the rare desert rains. This makes the cave a sort of underground wadi, which means it is due to flooding and rather dangerous. Weather conditions are checked by the guide. The 800 m long lake of 23 °C warm water contains blind cave fish (Garra barreimiae).

Access to the cave is restricted to 750 visitors per day, at least for the first time. This means if 750 visitors are reached, the cave will be closed for that day. The reason is the fragile ecosystem and the fragile speleothems in the cave. The capacity of the cave was studied carefully, and this is the limitation for sustainable management of the cave. There are different monitoring programs going on, which may lead to rapid intervention if the number of visitors is still too high. On the other hand, there may also be an increase of visitors if the cave environment proves to be stable enough.

Visiting the cave has numerous obstacles, beneath the maximum daily visitors and the defunct train there are mandatory online booking at least 2 days in advance and the weather. And a bone of content is taking pictures in the cave, which is not only forbidden, it's not allowed to take cameras inside. They must be locked into boxes at the entrance. In the age of smartphones, this actually means that all smartphones must be locked in too. The cave is closed on rainy days, which is rare in northern Oman but still occurs. We found the report by John Pint quite funny, who visited the cave with Prof. Paolo Forti after the Third Global Geotourism Conference in Oman in 2011.

The conference was over but Show-Cave expert Paolo Forti and I had one extra day in Oman (a day neither of us will ever forget!) which we had planned to spend at celebrated Al-Hoota Cave which, we had heard, the Omani government had developed sparing no expense. As we approached Al Hoota Cave, there was a slight sprinkling of rain on the windshield. “Sorry, Paolo,” I joked, “the cave is probably closed due to rain.” Inside the visitor center, we were welcomed by a familiar face we’d seen at the conference. “Ah, the speakers from Mexico and Italy: marhabbah (welcome), but I have bad news: the cave is closed due to rain!” Paolo was in a state of shock and argued to no avail. It appears to me that the company that undertook the Show Cave transformation utterly failed to assess the cave’s function as a drainage system for the nearby mountain range and had mis-designed the cave tour. They should have used my group, Desert Caves Consultants, because only real cavers understand caves.
John Pint, 2011.

It's sad that this exceptional cave was actually made quite annoying, and this with the best intentions. And John Pint was definitely right, the cave is closed for several month in most years ecause of rain. And between 2014 and 2016 it was closed for years due to damages caused by flooding.

However, while they tell they were caring for the cave, they actually do not care for the visitor. A guide tells the story "that a shepherd lost his goat, and that’s when the cave was discovered in 1960”. A quite popular cave legend and definitely untrue. This cave is huge and there is an intermittent river running through. At the upper end of the cave, the village Al Hoti is located, and there is a sinkhole with a 60 m high entrance portal, which is hard to miss. It's been known since millennia. A 100 m deep shaft leads down to the cave river. The inhabitants of the village actually built a staircase down to the water, which they used as drinking water. And of course, the locals were aware where the water which flowed into the cave in the sinkhole reappeared. Such a massive river is hard to miss. Telling such a nonsensical story insults the intelligence of visitors.

And finally, the prices: there are actually different rpices for locals. This is quite common in 3rd World Countries, where foreign visitors are so much wealthier than the locals, that the prices are adapted. But Oman is not a 3rd World Country, actually the inhabitants are richer than most western countries, and charging the double price for visitors who do not have the luck to sit on the worlds oil reserves, is just plain rude.