A wonder that is Salalah

Salalah has slipped into the magnificence of the monsoon season. The season here is distinct amid distinctive natural diversity of Dhofar where the coast blends with the mountains and the desert is in wonderful harmony so that the mountains look like a fertile crescent, rising to a height of 1,500 metres and then descending into a flat plain that embraces sandy beaches stretching for hundreds of kilometres.

One can imagine the magnificence of this province with 20-26 degrees Celsius temperatures when most part of the Arabian Peninsula witnesses temperatures beyond 45 degrees in summer. And there is good news for those who were waiting to hear whether khareef has settled in Salalah or not. Two days of continuous drizzling in the city confirms that it has settled, while it settled on the mountains for more than a week now.
Mountains are receiving more rains and most of the brown patches have turned into green. People seem to have sensed it. The long queues of cars on the roundabouts leading to Itin Mountain are testimony to that.
The moderate rain has brought a feeling of freshness all over the city, which has started receiving guests from other cities of Oman and neighbouring GCC countries. The hotels and tour operators, however, are waiting for the influx any moment. “We are expecting this to happen as early as possible,” said Mohammed who has put up a food outlet in the festival ground in Itin.

People here are welcoming even the water patches in some low lying areas in New Salalah and Sanaya.
The mountain villages of Qairun Hariti, Zeik, Hagif, Gadau, Titam, Al San, Madinat al Haq and Tawi Atir has been receiving continuous drizzling for the for the last 24 hours.
The drizzling during the night and thick clouds hovering over Salalah during the day has changed everyone’s mood here, as the residents have started flocking near open area coffee shops spread over in many parts of the city.
From July till September the annual summer monsoon touches the mountain slopes and the coastal area with its delicate drizzling fog. For three months the dry wadis are filled with water, while tourists from all over the Gulf region start their annual visit to Salalah. They enjoy the mild foggy weather while picnicking on dew-covered fresh grass — happy to escape the heat of their home countries.
Tropical fruits, coconut trees and green plantations are typical features of Salalah, which is situated in the coastal plain at the bottom of Jebel Qara. The khareef fog protects the city against the dry desert, while the famous frankincense trees get perfect growing conditions in the wadis and valleys which are located towards the desert.
With widened roads, new bridges and several new link roads, the city this year has better infrastructure than previous years. Accommodation is no more an issue with many new furnished apartments all over the city.
Star hotels have upgraded their facilities to receive the guests. They have lined up food festivals across the season to give the guests a unique experience of enjoying Salalah amid continuous drizzling and greenery everywhere.

Kaushalendra Singh