(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat -
Salalah is one of the most popular wilayats of Oman that has been attracting tourists from across the world for some years. Visitor numbers to the wilayat increased considerably during the khareef season.
Situated in the Governorate of Dhofar, Salalah has some unique landforms that has mesmerised visitors over the years. Besides water springs like Humran, Arzat, Tabraq and Athoum, it is also known for its soft sandy beaches, gently rolling green mountains and beautiful caves. The city is also a treasure trove of historical sites such as the Al Baleed Archaeological Park, footprints of the camel of the Prophet Saleh and other religious sites such as tombs of Prophets Ayoub and Imran.
Salalah is home to some charming and breathtaking water springs such as Ain Hamran (north of the Al Mamourah area), Ain Arzat, Sahalnoot fountain, Tobruk and Athoum springs, Garziz spring, Arabot, Ashouq, Mishdeed, Ghait and Manhal. The Ain Arzat, which is one of the biggest water springs, is about 17km from Salalah and a favourite with photography enthusiasts especially during the khareef season.
Faisal al Mawali, a resident of South Batinah governorate who was in Salalah to enjoy khareef said, 'The khareef season is exceptional this year. The fog and the beautiful weather is not confined to the mountainous areas, but it is also in the cities. Salalah is known for its diversity of terrains, fountains and caves. These are the elements which make the sites attractive to tourists.'
The Mughsayl beach is located west of Salalah and has natural fountains. The soft silver sand beaches are a major attraction for tourists and residents. The area is also famous for some exotic caves such as Al Muzainif.
Salalah has a number of other caves such as Ishour cave in Hamreer area and Khor al Maghsail, located on the eastern end of Jebel al Qamar. Khor has its own importance in preserving important types of endemic and migratory birds.
Salalah is also famous for its monuments such as the Al Baleed Archaeological Park located between Al Dahariz and Al Haffah. One of the oldest historic city, it was an important commercial port. Earlier, it was known as Al Dhiffah. It flourished in the 12th and 16th centuries.
The Kot Hamran Fort is an archaeological landmark of the wilayat. It is situated about 14km from the Salalah city on the road leading to the wilayat of Taqah. The tomb of the Prophet Imran or Umran, located in the Qouf area next to Haffa House is important historically and religiously.
Ahmad al Marhoon, in-charge of tourism awareness in the Tourism Promotion Department at the Directorate General of Tourism of Dhofar, said, 'With the cooperation and partnership of the Directorate General of Scouts and Guides of the Ministry of Education in support of youth activities, the Directorate General of Tourism of Dhofar governorate participated in programmes and activities. Lectures were also presented to spread awareness on protecting tourist sites, and public facilities.
'A first nature forum of female guides will be held on August 24. The Bilad Point Tourist Resort is coordinating for the visit of 50 female guides who will be taught the importance of preserving tourism facilities.'
Another visitor, Mohammed al Wardi while enjoying the light drizzle in Salalah, said, 'We are enjoying the beautiful weather and the greenery of mountains.'
Abeer al Araimi, from the wilayat of Sur, said, 'The landscape and the beautiful weather of Dhofar governorate is awesome. This beautiful atmosphere relieves you from the fatigue that work gives you.'