Where is Salalah and When to go?
Dhofar is the Southern region of Oman which stretches from the east coast to the border of Yemen. This region has a very unique climate. Unlike any other gulf country, Oman specifically Dhofar has a Khareef season. The Khareef runs from June to September During this time the coastal region is subject to conditions that come from the Indian ocean. Monsoon rains settle over the mountains causing the countryside to become green. Resembling a European countryside during these months you find a large tourism boom from surrounding gulf countries. They flock to the mountains, and foothills that are shrouded with clouds and mist. The heavy rains create many waterfalls, wadis, and a general change in livelihood. Although this might attract the Arabic family this isn’t a season were diving is possible. Due to the heavy rains the dive sites turn from the colorful coral fields into dense kelp forests. Visibility becomes limited at best, large winds cause unpredictable currents, and the temperature drops down. Starting in September the climate changes back to the warm, sunny temperatures you would expect in the gulf. It doesn’t take long for the green mountains to return to the assumed appearance from the coastal view. For those who seek adventure you can still venture up into the mountains where you will be rewarded with secret wadies, valleys which remain lush and green throughout the year. With a constant ocean breeze the temperature averages a low 30 degrees, through the majority of the season. The air is pleasantly dry excluding the end of September and beginning of may where the humidity starts to take over in preparation of the new Khareef.
Oman being rated amongst the top 10 safest countries in the world allows visitors a easy transition to the Middle East. Take the term ‘city’ lightly as you wont find any skyscrapers blocking out the sun here. The locals have managed to remain true to their culture through the years of development still with a friendly and quiet outlook. Thanks to the khareef it is the only country in the gulf that has the ability to sustain natural growth of coconut, banana, and sugar canes. Driving through the eastern end of Salalah you can find many plantations where out front modest huts sell a variety of locally grown and freshly picked fruit and vegetables. Venturing into the sooque you will immediately be rewarded by the calming aroma of frankincense. Here you with not only a glimpse into the lifestyle of an Omani but have a chance purchase any souvenirs that you may want to return home with.
Dry Days, Driving, and Dining.
Assuming your intentions in Salalah are to include many days below sea level. You might be wondering what to do on the days that you decide to stay dry. Though options are endless a few recommendations to keep in mind while visiting Oman. The incredible cliffs that rise up to 1500 m and plunge straight into the Indian ocean break only to provide the stunning and private beaches that can only be accessed by 4×4. With no metro, or buss system transportation can seem limited. Although taxis are readily available at most hotels, they aren’t necessarily suggested for short distances or multiple trips as the prices are often raised for foreigners. If you are planning to do several drives renting a car, or booking a tour with a trusted company are great options. Many times you will find the smaller companies are able to provide private, custom tours for very reasonable prices. Lastly, and to many most importantly. What are the choices for dining? Depending on how adventurous you are and what type of trip you are planning there are many varied options. If you are staying in an all inclusive resort most meals are taken care of without a second thought. However maybe consider reserving at least one meal for a more cultural experience. Salalah offers copious ‘fast food’ restaurants that you can order directly from the seats in your car! If you are looking for a true Middle Eastern delicacy though, camel can be found at a few local restaurants and is surprisingly delicious.