It was a pleasant surprise for the residents of Salalah as the city received first rain of the khareef season. The drizzling that started as early as 2 am on Friday continued till late in the evening. It is a good coincidence that the Salalah Tourism Festival (STF) also opened at the Municipality Recreation Ground in Itin on the same day. The news of rain seems to have travelled among the residents and Eid holiday visitors even during the night, as many of them were seen roaming randomly on the Salalah streets either in their cars or just in front of their houses soon after the drizzling started.
It was a sigh of relief for both the residents and visitors, who were waiting for the rain since the beginning of khareef (monsoon) season on June 21 and start of Eid holidays including weekends. Many early visitors were disappointed due to the late arrival of khareef, but there were people who found themselves lucky for their decision to come to Salalah in the last leg of the holiday.
“Including our weekends we got a total of nine days this Eid to celebrate with our friends and family. Hearing that there is no rain, I chose to visit places around Muscat for the first five days and came to Salalah only yesterday. We were delighted to see rains in the morning… it was such a relief from heat that I cannot express. We still have one full day to indulge in Salalah. We will enjoy and go back on Saturday,” said Jacob who came from Muscat along with family and friends.
The moderate rain brought a feeling of freshness all over the city, which is ready for large scale tourist arrival during the season. The regular feature traffic getting slow due to pool of water in some low lying areas in New Salalah and Sanaya during khareef was witnessed during the day. The mountain villages of Qairun Hariti, Zeik, Hagif, Gadau, Titam, Al San, Madinat al Haq and Tawi Atir received some drizzling as well.
The drizzling during the night and thick clouds hovering over Salalah during the day suddenly changed everyone’s mood in this southernmost city of the Sultanate, as the residents have started flocking near open area coffee shops spread over in many parts of the city.
Khareef is the time when Salalah turns into lush greenery and its hills are surrounded by white fog. Light rains drizzle to cool the air.
During this time, it is frequented by many visitors, especially from within Oman and the neighbouring countries.
Dhofar includes a distinctive natural diversity where the coast blends with the mountains and the desert 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 temperature when most part of the Arabian Peninsula witnesses a rise in temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius in summer.