Fun and Rains in Oman
Fun and Rains in Oman
Salalah Tourism Festival celebrates the Khareef Season
Muscat, the capital city of Oman is humid and hazy in the summer heat. People start to wilt like cut flowers until the cooler evening air welcomingly descends upon the neighbourhoods. Luckily, us desert dwellers have a cooler option within the country, just an hour’s flight away – Salalah.
Salalah is situated in the Dhofar region of Oman, which is the southernmost region in the country. Its geographical position entitles it to a unique climate from June through to September, known as the Khareef season, which is astonishingly different from the searing summer temperatures in the north of the country; a happy anomaly from the rest of the weather in Oman.
The government, making the most of the idyllic climate, and natural beauty, has initiated the Salalah Tourism Festival, which is one of the best events in Oman and runs from 1st to 31st July, just shy of the holy month of Ramadan, and features an array of events and attractions suitable for all ages and nationalities.
An emphasis on native music and dance runs throughout the festival program, spotlighting the Omani youth who will keep the music alive for another generation to learn from. International acrobats, dazzling the audiences with their colourful displays, perform daring circus-like skills.
The heritage village demonstrates the art and crafts that originated from various locations in the area and gives an insight into Omani life not too many years ago.
Children are kept entertained with activities including rides on horses and camels, face-painting and video games. And throughout the various festival sites, an abundance of stalls selling freshly cooked food will fuel you for the endless shopping opportunities that lie ahead.
But a visit to the Salalah Tourism Festival is not just about consumerism; the light rain and natural air-conditioning provided by the seasonal cloud cover makes exploring the fertile region very pleasant indeed. Salalah during the Khareef is heaven for the photographer, however amateur they may be. The rolling mist that blurs the edges of the dark, craggy mountains, also nurtures impossible life from the usually arid soil. The landscape is momentarily covered in a carpet of green, water cascades down forgotten falls and streams once again meander through the rocky terrain, bringing life to everything in its path.
Take a day off from the bustling festival to explore Salalah’s natural attractions such as the blowholes in Mughsail, where powerful jets of water burst through the rock unexpectedly, to the delighted squeals of children and adults alike. Or walk along the misty beaches where ferocious waves crash into shore with masses of foaming white water. Do not attempt to take a dip however, unless you fancy battling the infamously strong currents and large finned fish!
Historically, Salalah played an important role in the trade of Frankincense and the trade still carries on to this day. A more perfect souvenir from the region could not be found than a locally made clay incense burner to use with some fragrant Dhofari frankincense. Archaeological sites of historical and religious importance can be explored with a guide who will fill your head with myths and legends, from which you can find your own truth.
Flying into Salalah is easy from Muscat or Dubai, as is driving if you have ten hours to spare and like very long and sandy roads. On arrival, a number of accommodation options await you from small local guesthouses to 4 and 5 star hotels.
Muscat, the capital city of Oman is humid and hazy in the summer heat.
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