Tuesday, March 21, 2023 | Sha'ban 28, 1444 H
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Smitten by Salalah

January 2016.

A tour guide-cum-interior designer got off the Oman Air flight from Munich in Salalah with the warm air caressing her face.

She had a very special feeling, one which she had never felt so intensely during any of her travels.

Uta Ohme, from Bad Lobenstein, a spa town in East Germany, felt home coming amid the cool climate of Dhofar Governorate.

This ‘feeling’ intensified and after 7 regular trips in 5 years, her passion for Oman has never waned.

She continues to inspire tourists in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to choose Oman as the country for their next vacation.

Having high regards, Uta is fascinated by Sultanate’s hospitality. She says: “The citizens are extremely friendly, its breathtaking nature or the safety I experience as a woman travelling alone – combination of everything that makes this country so special.”

A few weeks back in Germany, she longed to be in Salalah and came back again, meeting with Omani friends and visiting their homes.

“I got to know authentic life far away from hotel tourism and loved it. They (Omanis) live a tradition paired with path to modernity making it more exciting. My stay here grew longer and longer, and enthusiasm for this country was not without consequences. Lots of friends booked their vacation in Oman, which they didn’t know much before, and they loved it... just like me.”

Years later, her passion turned into profession.

She now works as a tour guide for first time German-speaking tourists travelling to Salalah. In addition, a travel blog was created on Facebook and Instagram through which many people follow and enquire her about the country and life here.

“I’m always looking for new, interesting tours, hiking or camping. Dhofar is so versatile, there is something new to discover during every season and locals are already asking me about the places I have visited to see for myself.”

Everything looked different until 2020. “Covid-19 shocked the world and was not without its consequences, especially in this touristic country. Personally, I didn’t go back to Germany, but spent all my time here. I had a lot of time to discover nature, especially during Khareef last year which was a personal enrichment.”

Hiking in the wadis, breathtaking waterfalls and outdoor activities with friends made the time special for her.

Al Fazayah Beach, one of the best beaches in Salalah, is her favourite place for hangout.

Fascinated by Oman, she launched Your Salalah Tours along with Rashid Aran, her Omani partner.

She has set herself for the Khareef season and plans to promote her new venture to the outside market. She is now collecting new ideas for special tours and individual tours far away from mainstream ones. Uta also plans to implement ‘woman-only trips’ and showcase the culture and how the family stays during the present pandemic times.

“Cooking local cuisines with local woman and wearing Bedouin clothes like an Omani offers new activity,” is her idea.

During the pandemic, Uta emphasises need to observe hygiene concepts. She strives to keep her travel followers up-to-date about the situation in Salalah which they take very positively and are happy to hear something from their favourite travel destination.

“When travelling is possible again, many of you will experience and feel the beauty of Dhofar,” she assures her friends back in Europe.

Besides travelling, Uta also draws and decorates shop windows and stage as an interior designer. Her travel updates are on Facebook (Uta’s Salalah Reiseblog) and Instagram (utas_salalah_travelblog).

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