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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Khareef (Rainy) Season in Salalah , Southern part of Oman

Each year towards the end of June or Mid July Dhofar province is blessed with monsoon showers and this season lasts for nearly 2 months. Once bleak and brown mountainous ranges around Salalah starts turning green and beautiful. Unlike the normal monsoon rains, there is constant drizzle through out the day reminding you of English weather.

During these two months there is a steady flow of Arab visitors from all over the gulf countries who come here to camp in the mountains and enjoy the unique climate in the Middle East. Expats also visit Salalah during this period as it gives them a few days of respite from the scorching sun at Muscat and other parts of Oman. During these two months it is very difficult to find a cheap accommodation at Salalah and the cheapest possible is at Riyal Omani 35-40 ( Equivalent to approximately $95) . During the off season the accommodation is available for R.O 15.000.

From age old times Salalah is known as the "Perfume capital of Arabia" since extract from the Frankincense trees which are found in abundance was used in making local perfumes which have a very strong smell. Dried extract is also used as incense even to this day in most Arab houses.

Tomb of  An Nabi Ayyub (Job's tomb as per christians) lies on the hill abutting Salalah and is one of the destinations for tourists. The saint's foot print is cast just outside the tomb and if that is the size then his foot is huge.

Mughsayl beach is around 40 km away from Salalah on the way to Yemen which has a pristine beach . The tourists flock to see the water coming out of the natural blow holes in the limestone coast when the tide comes inshore.


                 Coastline along the Mughsayl.

Wadi Darbat is another crowd puller and is about 60 Km away from Salalah on the way to Mirbat. We need to take a winding mountainous road to reach the wadi which has water almost through out the year.

During the khareef season when it rains heavily the water from the wadi overflows and forms a waterfall.... which i have not seen last couple of years. Boating is a tourist attraction at Wadi Darbat during the season.

Other interesting tourist locations are the Coastal road between the sea and cliffs at Hasik, Drive up the mountains on the way to Yemen , Taqah a fishing village near Mirbat and the Mirbat beach itself. Will post pictures of these areas in my next post.