Salalah, the capital of the Dhofar region, is a colourful, subtropical city that owes much of its character to Oman’s former territories in East Africa. Flying into Salalah from Muscat, especially 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 flavour of Zanzibar in the heart of the Arabian desert.
The giant Salalah Port at Raysut has brought new wealth to the city, not to mention thousands of day-visit cruise-ship passengers. As a result, the city has undergone a beautification process and lots of helpful brown signs help steer visitors around Salalah and surrounding sights of special interest.