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About Salalah

Salalah

twelve hour drive from the capital, but worth the ride. Unbelievably lush thanks to its tropical climate and even in summer the temperature never rises above 30 C.

Salalah the main town of the region is fringed by these mountains which in summer change like a chameleon into an emerald green land. Instead of date, the palm in Salalah is the sub-tropical coconut. However Salalahs’ fame is enhanced by the Frankincense tree which provide the sap that was so sought after in the ancient world.

The best place in Oman to buy Frankincense is Haffa (Al Husn) Souq where you can chat with traders speaking one of the ancient languages that are spoken domestically here instead of Arabic.

Out of town there are the UNESCO World Heritage sites associated with the Frankincense trade. Perhaps the most attractive is that of Sumharam set in the picturesque Khor Rori a creek opening out into the sea.
Khareef Festival: a bird’s-eye view

Salalah Khareef Festival, which celebrates the monsoon splendour and the cultural heritage of Oman is expected to draw a record number of visitors this year.

Dubbed as the family meeting place, the festival offers cultural, art, sport, heritage, contest and shopping activities.

Salalah, about 1,040 kms from Muscat, is well connected to the rest of the country by good tarmac road. The Oman National Transport Company operates two daily coach services between Muscat and Salalah.

The return ticket is priced at RO 13. The drive can be covered in 10-12 hours with several guesthouses at Nizwa, Haima, Al Ghabah, Al Ghaftain and Qatbit.

Spread along the coast the Salalah mountain plantations produce a large variety of fruits and vegetables. Salalah is a major tourist spot for people from the GCC countries.

Besides the enchanting scenic beauty, the festival offers modern entertainment facilities for families and people of all age groups. Baladiya Entertainment Centre in Eteen plain is the main area for most festival activities. Equipped with modern facilities, the centre has a modern theatre, heritage village, Child Village and spacious grounds for exhibitions.

That explains why the number of visitors to the festival has been increasing every year.

About one million visits were recorded to the Baladiya Entertainment Centre during the Salalah Khareef Festival-2013.

The souqs of Salalah offer an experience to cherish.

On sale are fresh fruits and vegetables along with frankincense and incense burners, gold and silverware, and traditional Dhofari dress of velvet with glittering beads and sequins.

Salalah has three main souqs, namely the Al Haffa Souq, the Gold Souq, and the New Souq. The Al Haffa Souq in the main corniche area sells fruits, vegetables, incense burners and frankincense.

The small shops of gold and silver souq are near the Nahda-Salam roundabout in the city centre, on small side road. The New Souq is known for fresh seasonal seafood, such as lobsters, abalone and prawns, which is best bought early in the morning. The Hamdan Complex in Al Wadi district offers modern shopping experience in Salalah.

Since the Dhofar region has potential for year round tourism attraction, the National Priority Action Plan for Tourism Development in Oman has suggested the establishment of a consolidated tourist facility area along the beachfront to the east of Salalah.

This star resort facility of about 300 rooms can be very fruitful if it is integrated with the Al Baleed archaeological site where a museum, culture auditorium and traditional village shopping will be provided, says the PAP. Around 137,234 people enjoyed the festival last year against 113,920, showing an increase of 23,314 tourists.

The Khareef Festival is becoming increasingly popular among Gulf nationals, expatriates and foreign tourists. Over the years, it has grown into an international festival, thanks to the long-standing efforts of the authorities to expand the existing tourism infrastructure in Salalah.

Offering an ideal place for families to enjoy their summer holidays, the Salalah Khareef Festival (15 July-31 August) is expected to attract a record number of visitors this year.

The increasing popularity of the Salalah Khareef Festival can be traced to the region’s richness in natural assets and cultural heritage.

Indeed, Salalah provides an attractive and safe destination for tourists. Authorities here are committed to the well-planned development of tourism.

Within the GCC region, Salalah is emerging as a distinct, highly attractive quality tourist destination that showcases Dhofar’s natural assets, culture and heritage and offers a highly competitive tourism experience.

There is much to see in Salalah because it has an array of historical and archaeological sites, protected areas, coastal scenery, scenic lagoons and a wealth of wild life, including the red fox, flamingo, ibis, coots, herons, egrets and valuable marine creatures such as lobster, sardine and abalone. Agriculture thrives here with bananas, papaya and sugar cane.

The mystique of caves of Dhofar is slowly but surely giving rise to cave tourism. To sum it up, Salalah has something to offer to people of all tastes, age groups and walks of life.

Salalah (صلالة in Arabic), is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah is 178,469 as of 2005[1]. Salalah is located at 17°2′6″N, 54°9′5″E

Salalah is the second largest town in the Sultanate of Oman and a traditional stronghold and birthplace of the Sultan, Qaboos bin Said. The Sultan traditionally lives in Salalah rather than in Muscat, the capital and largest city in Oman; Qaboos has bucked this trend, however, and he has lived in Muscat since he ascended to the throne in 1970. He does however visit Salalah fairly regularly to meet with influential tribal and local leaders; his last visit was in 2006 and before that he visited in 2002
Geography

Salalah, despite lying close to the Arabian desert, enjoys a temperate climate through most of the year. The town is subjected to the south-west monsoons. This period (late June to early September) is known as the khareef season. Visitors from across the Persian Gulf flock to Salalah to enjoy the monsoon and avoid the harsh heat faced by the rest of the region during the same period. Also in this period, the town’s population nearly doubles and various fairs are organized, such as the Khareef Festival at Ittin.
Transport

Salalah is by an airport, mainly catering to domestic flights from Muscat and some regional cities such as Kuwait, Dubai, and Doha. Seasonly flights, some from as far away as Sweden, can be seen though during the Khareef season, the peak of the tourist season. Oman Air currently operates several daily flights to Salalah Airport from Muscat.
Demographics

The town has a large expatriate community, mainly from India,Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as a Pakistan and Indian communitty Schools.
Economy

APM Terminals part of the A. P. Moller-Maersk Group of Denmark, manages the Port of Salalah. Which is an important transhipment hub for container shipping in the area. It is also the largest private employer in the Dhofar region. Salalah Free Zone, situated right beside the port is emarging as a new center for haevy industries in the Middle East.
Tourism

The city of Salalah is known as the “perfume capital of Arabia.” The city is a popular destination for tourism due to the natural attractions of the Qara mountains (Jabal Qara‚ in Arabic) and abundant stands of frankincense trees lining mountain wadi courses. Around the city and into the mountains the countryside is lush and green during the monsoon period with the vegetation supporting herds of cattle. The climate supports wildlife often more commonly associated with East Africa, such as leopards and hyenas.

The beaches and coastline are also major attractions for scuba diving and bird watching.

Salalah is a city of antiquity, boasting both the ruins of a fortified town Sumharam an important port from 100BC-400AD and the resting place of the Koranic prophet Ayoub Job in the nearby Jabal Qara. It is also the alleged resting place of Nabi Imran, father of the Virgin Mary. Modern Oman is also represented by the Port of Salalah, located approximately 15 km to the southwest of the city. The strategic location of this port has

Salalah is the capital of Oman’s southernmost Dhofar region. It is often considered to be the “second city” of the Sultanate, although some of this designation is probably due to its distinction as Sultan Qaboos’ birthplace.

The Dhofar region is famous for its khareef (monsoon), and the Khareef Festival is an annual event here. Many locals will in fact be quite surprised to see non-Arab visitors at other times of year.
Salalah Weather

A twelve hour drive from the capital, but worth the ride. Unbelievably lush thanks to its tropical climate and even in summer the temperature never rises above 30 C.

Salalah the main town of the region is fringed by these mountains which in summer change like a chameleon into an emerald green land. Instead of date, the palm in Salalah is the sub-tropical coconut. However Salalahs’ fame is enhanced by the Frankincense tree which provide the sap that was so sought after in the ancient world.
Salalah Attractions

The best place in Oman to buy Frankincense is Haffa (Al Husn) Souq where you can chat with traders speaking one of the ancient languages that are spoken domestically here instead of Arabic.

Out of town there are the UNESCO World Heritage sites associated with the Frankincense trade. Perhaps the most attractive is that of Sumharam set in the picturesque Khor Rori a creek opening out into the sea

Job’s Tomb (an-Nabi Ayyub) makes a very popular excursion from Salalah. The drive itself affords great views of the area, while the mausoleum can be visited (and photos taken) by all-comers. Just remember to take your shoes off first!

The Mughsail (or Mughsayl) Blowholes are a local attraction. In certain weather conditions, the inflow from the sea will result in waterspouts being forced through porous rock. Even when this is not happening, the eerie sound is rather impressive.

Khor Ruwi is an archaeological dig near Salalah. For a small fee (roughly OR2), visitors can walk around the edge of the dig. Don’t expect any explanation for what has been found, though.

The small fishing communities of Taqah and Mirbat (or Mirbaat) are quite pleasant to wander around. Taqah has what is described as a “Castle” but is in fact a fort, which is not open to the public at the present time.
The Frankincense Trail, Salalah

An ancient trade route with remains of the caravan oasis and trading ports.
Attraction type: Ancient ruins
Nabi Ayoub’s Tomb, Salalah
Attraction type: Cemetery
Mughsayl Beach

40 kilometers west of Salalah. Know for its beautiful beach, Blow Holes, stunning sea views and jagged cliffs and mountains. The Mughsayl Beach Tourist Restaurant located by the beach, offers visitors an international menu and water sports.
Prophet’s Emran’s Tomb

Located near the Clock Tower. The tomb of Prophet Emran is an extraordinary site to visit. It is around 30 meters long. Prophet Emran was the father of Moses, a famous biblical prophet.
Frankincense trail

The Frankincense trail are excavation sites protected by UNESCO and marked as under the World Heritage Sites. The Frankincense trail can be visited at Al Balid – downtown Salalah, at Khor Rohri, 37 kilometers from Salalah and Ubar at Shisr – believed to be the site of the Lost City, the Atlantis of Arabia discovered by the famous explorer, Wilfred Thesiger
The Magic Road

Believe it or not This road is a dirt track that lies on to your left when you hit the road from Taqha to Mirbat. The road leads to a short drive down a hill on an elevated dirt-trail. When you reach the base of the trail, you have to switch off your engine and put the gear into “neutral”. Keep your foot on the brake lightly to “regulate” your speed when the anti-gravity thingy kicks in..!!!! Here’s what happens: your vehicle instead of rolling down the slope begins to roll back UP hill.
Salalah History

Salalah and Dhofar are historically famous for the frankincense trade. The region has tended to be rather independent over history, although this has changed since Qaboos’ acession to the throne. The Jibbali (Arabic: those of the mountains) tribes maintain a slightly distrustful stance of the government in Muscat, although this is more a stance of custom than anything else. Interestingly, the tribes speak a different language to the Arabic spoken throughout the Peninsula, although visitors are unlikely to encounter it