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The Green Escape

Looking for something to do this summer? Well, you're in luck because The Salalah spring has begun early this year.

Dhofar Governorate is famous for its seasonal weather, locally known as monsoon or “Khareef”, when it witnesses its best period, clothed in lush greenery and its hills surrounded by white fog. Light rains drizzle to cool the air. During this time, it is frequented by many visitors, especially from within Oman and the neighbouring countries. Salalah Tourism Festival takes place from 15 July to 31 August every year. The festival is part of Khareef (monsoon) that extends from the end of July until the beginning of September.

Dhofar Governorate stretches over an area of one-third of Oman and forms the Sultanate’s southern part. Dhofar includes a distinctive natural diversity where the coast blends with the mountains and the desert in wonderful harmony so that the mountains look like a fertile crescent, rising to a height of 1,500 mands then descending into a flat plain that embraces sandy beaches stretching for hundreds of km.

One can imagine the magnificence of this province when most parts of the Arabian Peninsula witness a rise in temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius in summer. But, in Salalah, the capital of Dhofar that lies 1,040 km away from Muscat, temperatures never rise above 27 degrees Celsius. There are daily flights between Muscat and Salalah, as well as other Arab Gulf states.

A total of 826,376 people visited Salalah Tourism Season last year compared to 644,931 visitors in 2017, an increase of 28.1% according to the results of a survey conducted by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) of the visitors to Salalah.

Visitor spending last year also rose by 14.5 per cent to OMR75 million compared to OMR66 million in 2017. 

The National Centre for Statistics has already begun implementing the fieldwork for this year’s survey of visitors during the tourist season. The joint effort is expected to continue until September 21 in order to provide a reliable survey of the tourism sector in Dhofar Governorate.

Most of the coastal wilayats in the Governorate of Dhofar and its surrounding mountains, from the wilayat of Dhalkut in the west to the wilayat of Mirbat in the east, have a great climate during this period, with light rain, fog and green mountains. 

Dhofar is blessed with white beaches, soft sands, a range of mountains, valleys, flat plains, desert extending to the Empty Quarter, water springs, natural fountains and various caves. 

Shopping malls and shops in the city are also witnessing remarkable development. Salalah markets are full of traditional products and industries this season, especially the sale of frankincense, incense, silver and pottery industries, Omani sweets, meat, fresh milk and agricultural products.

The Salalah Agricultural Plain is also characterized by various tropical products, the most famous of which are coconut, banana, papaya and sugarcane, along with beautiful bamboo, natural reserves, rich livestock and marine resources.

Photo credits:
Mohammed Al Hadi


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