Muscat: As the rest of the GCC region reels under the hot humid weather, Salalah, Oman’s southern city and the Dhofar region that Salalah is part of, present a pretty cool picture, quite literally. The monsoon or the annual Khareef season that started at the end of June has given way to salubrious weather. It is no wonder that this region has been making the right noise as an amazing get away. While the tourist turnout is a virtual nil this year with the COVID-19 restrictions, residents of this beautiful region are enjoying nature’s bounty.
“How often do you find yourself having your coffee, watching fog descend in your front yard or have a meeting with your client in the backdrop of a verdant mountain mildly lashed by a persistent rain?”, asks Anita Miskiewicz, a Polish engineer working with Al Baleed Resort Salalah.
Anita has been in Salalah for over four years and is loving every minute of her stay and work.
“When you work in a place you like this work becomes a pleasure. Rains that come in here are mild and lingering. They turn the entire landscape green and bring down the temperature which right now is 27 to 28 degree Celcius, as I speak. Weekends for me are for discovering new places and there are beautiful patches of places that are still not known to tourists, which is a boon when you want to enjoy the beauty and solitude of the place. What more, I get farm fresh vegetables for my kitchen and when I am in a mood for fish, I go fishing to get a fresh catch of that too.”
Anita’s words are echoed by Ghanim a tour guide with Aryaf Jebreen Tourism.
“Khareef season has started now with night rains almost daily that will last for the next three months. These rains feed the waterfalls and water springs that come spectacularly alive in the rainy months. I see the rolling fog over the mountains and also the waterfalls on my way to work. Dhofar region has three beautiful natural features that make it unique - the white sands beach, verdant green mountains and the golden dunes of the desert.”
Ghanim had an excellent season last year, with plenty of new arrivals from Eastern European cities, who were clearly impressed by the place.
The conducive weather has also given rise to ubiquitous farms that are engaged in seasonal farming of vegetables and fruits. “Salalah is also famous for its coconuts and banana farming, which are sold all over Oman apart from the neighbouring countries,” says Ghanim, whose long-time wish is also to start a food manufacturing unit.
Riaz Fareed Sheikh a long time resident of Muscat who moved to Salalah eighteen months ago says that he finds Salalah more appealing to his taste and preferences. “The lovely weather throughout the year, the simple and sincere Omani citizens and the affordability of the place make an ideal living condition.” he says.