Best Tourist Spots in Salalah, Oman
Salalah widely considered to be the “Second City” of the Sultanate (next to Muscat) was the traditional capital of Dhofar. The city reached its top level of prosperity in 1300 because of the incense trade. In the 19th century it was absorbed by the Sultanate of Muscat. Between 1932 and 1970. Salalah became the capital of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman under Said bin Taimur. After the latter’s death, his son Qaboos decided to move the capital of Oman to Muscat.
Though Muscat being the largest capital city in Oman, Sultan traditionally lives in Salalah. Qaboos has bucked this trend and has lived in Muscat since he ascended to the throne in 1970. The city like many other in Arab states of the Arabian Peninsula has relatively large expatriate community mainly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Things to Remember When Visiting Salalah Oman
Ibadi (sect of Islam)
Sunni or Shia Muslims
Khareef Season in Salahlah
Salalah is one of probably only two places in the Arabian Peninsula (besides Yemen) that experiences a monsoon season, which is called “Khareef” and lasts from July to September. Khareef means “Autumn” in Arabic, but it refers to monsoon when describing Salalah.
The word monsoon in English is derived from the Hindi word Mausam which means season or weather. During this time, the brown landscape of Salalah and its surroundings is completely transformed to a beautiful and lush green and locals and tourists alike flock to Salalah. During the Khareef, it is hard to imagine that Oman’s first and second cities share the same continent. From mid June to mid August monsoon clouds from India bring a constant drizzle to the area and as a result, the stubble of Salalah’s surrounding jebel is transformed into an oasis of misty pastures. Year round, Salalah’s coconut fringed beaches and plantations of bananas and papayas offer a flavor of Zanzibar in the heart of the Arabian desert.
Best Places in Salahlah Oman
Top 3 Salalah Oman Tourist Attractions
- Center to the city lies the Sultan Qaboos Mosque named after the king of Oman. It is considered as one of the most extravagant looking mosques in the world. The mosque architectural style features a combination of Islamic, Middle Eastern and Omani influence.
- Wadi Darbat is a natural park with majestic views of waterfalls, lakes, mountains, caves, wildlife and lush green vegetation. There is a 100 meter waterfall and many cave chambers with old stalactites and stalagmites. The caves were used by the shepherds as shelter and one can see colored paintings of animals on the cave walls. At the end of the Wadi, there is a cave which is considered to be the largest natural cave in Oman.
- Salalah Museum is the cultural centre of Salalah and has on display the Al Musnad writings, ancient scriptures and coins dating back to 11th century AD, pottery dating back to the middle ages and traditional irrigation tools and manuscripts.
Also known as Raysut Harbour. It is the Salalah Port Terminal situated in Dhofar Governorate.
Main Mosque in the Sultanate of Oman
The beautiful valley with lake on the Eastern side of Salalah
The largest museum in town. Free admission. Opening hours 7:30 am to 2:30 pm.
Other Salalah Oman Sightseeing Adventures
1. Sumhuram Old City
- It has an off white ruins on top a small hill.
2. Sultan Qaboos Mosque
- The world's most beautiful and extravagant mosque is situated in Oman. It was named after Qaboos bin Said al Said, a Sultan of Oman.
3. Taqah Castle
- This popular castle in Dhofar was built in during 19th century. In 1994, the castle was renovated and reopened as a museum.
4. The Frankincense Trail
- It is located in the region of Dhofar. The place is known as the world's Frankincense trading destination of ancient times.
5. Nabi Ayoub's Tomb
- The mosque and tomb where Nabi Ayoub, a prophet, remains are located.
6. Sultan's Palace
- It has a mushroom pillars in blue and gold color. The location of the palace was once a former British Embassy building.
7. Nabi Umran A.S Tomb
- Many believed that the remains inside the tomb are from Virgin Mary's father named Umran (Imran), a local Arab prophet. It is located in downtown Salalah.
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