Friday - - Travel -

The cap­i­tal city of south­ern Oman’s Dho­far prov­ince is renowned for mor­ph­ing into a tourist mag­net from July to Septem­ber – the famed Kha­reef sea­son – when the oth­er­wise dry re­gion turns into a stream­laced and wa­ter­fall dot­ted land­scape thriv­ing with veg­e­ta­tion. There’s some­thing here for just about ev­ery tourist, a long-time Oman res­i­dent and a good friend told me.

If you are a lover of his­tory and ar­chae­ol­ogy, visit the ru­ins of Samharam. With a his­tory that dates back to 1000 BC, it’s be­lieved to have been a link be­tween Dho­far and the rest of the world. Jars of Omani frank­in­cense bound to the Queen of Sheba were said to have been loaded from Samharam Port. The area is cur­rently called Bokhor Rori.

Look­ing to pick up some typ­i­cal Omani sou­venirs? Check out the Al Hafah and Al Husn souqs. Frank­in­cense, Omani lanterns, wood carv­ings – and even the curved dag­ger that is Oman’s na­tional sym­bol, can be found in these souqs about three kilo­me­tres from Salalah.

In­ter­ested in ma­rine life? The seas off Oman, and par­tic­u­larly Dho­far, are home to a va­ri­ety of whales and dol­phins. From the In­dian Ocean hump­back dol­phin and the Indo-Pa­cific hump­back dol­phin to the com­mon bot­tlenose dol­phins and long-beaked com­mon dol­phin, the chances of spot­ting at least a few va­ri­eties are very high. There are plenty of tour op­er­a­tors who can ar­range a tour to watch these crea­tures.

If you’re vis­it­ing dur­ing the kha­reef sea­son, don’t miss a trip to Wadi Dar­bat, near Taqah, off the Tawi-At­tir road. Boat lovers have lots of op­tions to choose from. There’s plenty of pic­nic spots where you can set up a bbq, too.

The ro­man­tic type? Go for a walk with your loved one along Ad Da­hariz beach. A stretch of white sand with co­conut palms fring­ing the beach adds a novel touch. There’s also the pic­turesque Ad Dahriz Park next to the beach. Lo­cated on the east­ern part of Salalah.

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