Malayali Businessman Builds an Oasis in Oman
It is the time of the year when the rising mercury levels bring down your mobility. Call it pangs of summer which may force you to abandon a weekend picnic to a popular hangout or a daylong fishing trip on a boat or a desert camping programme or a swimming expedition to the Wadis…
“Oh! It’s too hot and humid outside. We’ll feel tired before reaching there. The long drive itself is cumbersome,” are the common excuses for abandoning the trips to stay inside the cool confines of their homes, either watching a popular television show or enjoying a computer game or reading a favourite book.
But, how about spending a weekend at a farmhouse, in nature’s lap? Sohar, which is roughly 300 kilometers away from capital Muscat, boasts of an excellent farm house where labourers toil hard to make the land fertile and produce high quality vegetables and fruits, besides rearing animals and birds. So a weekend amid lush greenery, swaying palms and orchards laden with ripe fruit does offer a soothing experience to the urban dweller who spends the better part of the week in a concrete jungle that’s devoid of the lures of the countryside.
The cool climate that welcomes you while entering Al Ajmi Gardens itself can soothe your body and soul. Walk a little further and you can find a sheath of lush greenery around you. You will soon realise the amount of hard work that has gone into making the arid land into an oasis and will feel excited while farmers pluck fresh vegetables, long beans, carrots, tomatoes, bitter gourds, snake gourd, to name a few, from the field.
Once you are done with the farm trip, it is time to cool your heels in the swimming pool. A little while later, you can wake up from your afternoon siesta listening to the chirping of birds. At night, the vast lawn can be transformed into a party area where you can prepare barbecue and engage in games. If you think that the night is still young, you can simply lie on the natural green carpet looking at the moon and counting the stars at your own pace!
It was in 2008 that Sebastian, a successful businessman from Malayattoor in Kerala, began to develop the farmhouse. The facility, built in more than 8,000 square metres, received its first guest four years later. Now, it is a much sought after destination as people from Muscat, Sohar and neighbouring United Arab Emirates flock the Gardens during the weekends. “People come here either to spend holidays or for parties. Many companies host their get-together in our facility. We have a swimming pool, banquet hall and six spacious and well-maintained bedrooms,” says Arun A.M., manager in-charge, Ajmi Gardens, and adds: “We rear plenty of animals (monkeys, rabbits, dogs, cats and deer) and cultivate almost all vegetables at the farm. Those who come to our farm can take a tour to understand the rich variety of flora and fauna.”
The facility can provide beds for six families while the banquet hall can accommodate 80-100 guests. “Companies hire the facility for meetings and project discussions too,” he informed. The management relies only on word-of-mouth for publicity. “Most of our guests know about us through word-of-mouth. So weekends are always fully booked and it is better to make prior reservation before venturing out to visit our facility.”