Oman Observer

Challenge of restoring access to tourist sites

SALALAH, June 2 – The Dhofar Municipality has taken up the challenging task of restoring access to tourism sites which faced rough weather during the adverse weather conditions. Many of them either need immediate cleaning or restoration of damaged link roads to those sites. The task has become more challenging due to the fact that only 18 days are left for the official start of Salalah’s khareef (monsoon) season. As per the official calendar, khareef season starts from June 21 and continues till the end of September. Among the tourist sites, Al Mughsail is one of the worst-hit.
The link bridge which connects Al Mughsail to Sarfait was washed away. This has caused an isolation between Rakhyout, Dalkhout and Sarfait.
These are the areas in the northwest of Salalah which are great in demand in terms of tourist visits, as this area has many beautiful beaches and turn into charming glory during three months of khareef season and its impact remains almost all through the year.
A senior official of Dhofar Municipality admitted that the cyclone caused large scale damage to the area. “The road leading to Al Mughsail has been damaged, electric poles have been uprooted and thus huge damage to overall infrastructure,” he said.
He, however, assured that assessments of such damage were being done and the tourist sites, which received a little or least damage, would be managed as soon as possible.
The committee looking into all aspects of the damage is working tirelessly to restore access and all possible services and facilities as soon as possible. “Most of the tourist sites need post-cyclone maintenance as some damage has been done to all of them.” If damage is not there, heap of garbage, carried by the mighty deluge, has been deposited at all those places,” said a Salalah-based tour operator.

Similar is the case with Ayn Garziz, an important tourist site in northwestern Salalah. The access to it has been totally vanished.
The place attracts many tourists due to its location and a kind of small waterfall and a natural spring. “Many tourists love to have a glimpse of this spring either while going up to Nabi Ayub on Itin top or coming down from there,” said Rajan who works in Salalah and loves to indulge in Salalah nature whenever he gets time.
He suggested immediate measures to restore access to all the tourist sites and let people know through media that everything has been restored so that they do not miss any of the sites during their stay in Salalah during khareef. In the east are Ain Athoom and Ain Tabrooq.
They also have lost access and the road near wadi Ginin has been washed away. The entry bridge slightly ahead of Mirbat has also been badly damaged.
People love to visit this area due to the fact that many beautiful beaches are located here.
According to a Ministry of Tourism official, it is really a challenging job as this is the time Salalah starts preparing for the khareef season and along with that preparation everyone is busy with the restoration job.
“Everyone is doing his bit to restore services especially for khareef. A committee comprising different departments is overseeing all the aspects and at many places the work has already started,” he said.

Kaushalendra Singh