Salalah, Oman (Visited September 2017)
Ever wondered what the hype is about Salalah?
Salalah is the second largest city in the Sultanate of Oman, and the largest city in the Dhofar Province. Salalah is the birthplace of the current Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Salalah attracts lots of people from other parts of Oman and the Persian Gulf region during the Khareef season, which spans from July to September.
The climate of the region and the monsoon allows the city to grow some vegetables and fruits like coconuts and bananas. There are many farms within the city where these vegetables and fruits grow and makes you feel like in Zanzibar with all the green banana plantations.
We visited Salalah end of September and were so happy to find it still green and much less people around. It was nice to enjoy the good weather and have all the sights just for ourselves. See for yourself.
In order to see Salalah properly you need to have a 4x4 ideally. We decided every day to start with some specific sights and then just go along and ask around the area we were at. But overall, we knew where we were going. The excuse of “why to hurry, we have time” didn’t work out so well.
If we had to describe Salalah to someone who has never been there, I would say it feels like Ireland. Why? Because of the amazing view of the coast line by the Indian Ocean. The vast white beaches with tall standing palms, remind me of Zanzibar. The lavish green mountains, have a very European feel to it. The fact that camels are literally everywhere you go, is a fun fact that I had to wrap my head around. So get used to having camels and goats everywhere you go.
Once you drive to city center, you feel like catapulted to how I imagined the gulf states 50 years ago. Very old buildings, suddenly a wide sand pit, then endless plantations of banana palms and then you end up by an empty white beach by the ocean.
In order to round up the experience, once you drive into the city center, the Souq and the malls, you will find the majority of woman are completely veiled and wear a Niqab.
The main sights to see in Salalah are the following (If I were you, I would take note now):
Museum of the Frankincense Land
Mugsail Blow hole
Al Mugsail Beach
Waterfalls Ain Razat
Sumhuram Old City
Souq al Hafa
Nabi Ayoub's Tomb