A new chapter of adventure tourism is opening in Dhofar with the launch of a climbing competition at Jabal Samhan on Friday. Arabian Leopard Challenge, which is being organised by the Directorate of Tourism in Dhofar and Hussak Adventure, is likely to have 84 participants of which 44 are women from around the world, Marhoon bin Said al Ameri, Director-General of Tourism in Dhofar, said: “Different kinds of tourists arrive in Salalah, which is fast emerging as a major tourism destination in the GCC. Adventure tourism is one such area and with this climbing completion we have taken a small step… many things are in the pipeline,” he said.
The event includes 50 km race and an opportunity for those who are into nature photography. There are exit points every five km where the participants can have health checkup, water or juice or even exit the competition.
Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve spread over 4,500 square kilometres is home to leopards, gazelles, Nubian ibexes, Cape hare, rock hyrax, Indian crested porcupine, desert hedgehog and several bird species.
Al Ameri called the climbing challenge an important event to promote Salalah at a time when Khareef season had just concluded and Winter season had started. “It would promote Salalah among those who love to indulge in adventure tourism, as a large number of European tourists come to Salalah during the winter season in charter flights,” he said.