Salalah gears up for khareef

With the announcement of the dates of Salalah Tourism Festival (STF), the Directorate of Tourism in Dhofar reiterated its commitment to offer the best possible services to the tourists visiting Salalah during the majestic monsoon season called Khareef.
As per official calendar, the Khareef season starts on June 21 and continues till the end of September.
Since the season is coinciding with Ramadhan and likely fall of Eid in the last week of June, the STF Organising Committee has decided to open the festival on June 30 and continue till August 31.
Top on the Directorate’s agenda is to offer the best possible accommodation to all sections of visitors in facilities ranging from one star to five star hotels and hotel apartments.

Rawas bin Hafeidh al Rawas

As per the official data of the Directorate of Tourism in Dhofar, a total of 3,165 rooms are available in Salalah and its adjoining areas.
Keeping in mind the destination’s popularity among the tourists, the numbers above are far less than required.
Everyone including big and small tour operators and authorities involved in tourism and civic affairs admit the situation.
“We have exhorted the big hotels and resorts to explore some expansion to add more hotel rooms in their premises to meet the rising demand while work on some new hotel projects is already on.
“Moreover, we have made things easy for the investors in tourism and hospitality sectors to facilitate new investments,” said Marhoon Said Mubark al Amri, Director General of Tourism in Dhofar.
He gave reference to a meeting with the general managers of hotels ranging from one star to five star and hotel apartments in which the hotels were asked to be ready for the Khareef season and maintain their facilities as per classification given to them.
“We have constituted an inspection team, which visits all the facilities to ensure that things are up to mark. In case of any shortcoming, we take action and tell them improve as early as possible… though this is a regular process, we do this exercise more extensively before the advent of Khareef,” he said.

Marhoon Said Mubark al Amri

Rawas bin Hafeidh al Rawas, Director of Investor Services and Quality Control Classification Department, also focused on the accommodation part during khareef season and said, “Our aim is to provide quality accommodation to all segments of tourists according to their needs and requirements.”
“We do regular inspections to maintain standard and call upon the hotels to assist the guests nicely so that they go from here happy and spread good words about the destination… Dhofar has emerged as an all-season destination still Khareef holds special status for the people coming from different parts of the Sultanate as also from whole of the GCC countries,” he said.
He put stress on proper maintenance of tourism sites in association with other relevant authorities and called the residents to work for the conservation of some unique tourism sites, which draw lots of tourists every year and offer employment opportunity to local people.

By Kaushalendra Singh