Thursday, February 02, 2023 | Rajab 10, 1444 H
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19°C / 19°C

Drive to Salalah with caution

A pleasant weather awaits visitors to Salalah, the summer paradise in the Sultanate of Oman. However, authorities have urged caution while driving to the tourist destination.

“Since it is khareef season in the Governorate of Dhofar, a lot of vehicular movement is expected on the Adam-Salalah route. Special bulletins will help travellers to take necessary road safety precautions," the Oman Meteorology Department has said.

"Traffic looks set to be stronger for this time thanks to the Eid holiday break as more people will be travelling to Salalah to escape the scorching heat in other parts of the country and region," an official at the Met Department told the Observer.

The Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority announced its readiness to provide all services to citizens, residents and visitors of Dhofar Governorate during the khareef season.

First Lieutenant Musallam al Amri said field teams have been placed at different locations and command centres along the many carriageways to provide assistance to travellers.

“These teams, in addition to creating awareness on safety and guide the travellers, help people reach their destination without any damage to life and property," he said while urging visitors to follow the Authority's media platforms to check out and benefit from brochures and awareness messages.

During this time of the year which is known locally as khareef, Salalah turns into lush greenery. With intermittent rains, misty fogs and green pastures, Salalah and its surrounding areas are visited by people during the three-month period of pleasant weather.

With Eid al Adha holidays already announced, the hospitality industry along with other sectors in this summer destination is expecting a tourism peak in contrast to the last two years when coronavirus restrictions dampened travel.

“Visitors have already started arriving. The coming weekend, which coincides with Eid al Adha holidays, will see Salalah humming with thousands of them," said Hamoud al Alawi, a customer care official and guide at a hotel.

Hotels and tour operators have already come up with different packages which include single full-day tours to even week-long accommodation in hotels, return airport transfer to people who are eager to book a holiday staycation.

All big hotels are showing good occupancy all through July and August. Furnished apartments are in good supply in areas like Saada, Dahariz, Sahalnut and Awqd.

Demand for local agriculture products goes very high during the khareef season. This is also the time traditional markets become alive with buying traditional Omani items from clothing to gold and silver handicrafts, and of course a wide variety of frankincense.

“Eid holidays and khareef are the times when we do maximum business. There were no people during the last two years. We expect good demand for products like coconut, papaya and bananas this time,” said Mohamed Usman, roadside fruit seller.

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