Dhofar has played a strategic role in the history of Oman down the ages. Famed for its frankincense trail, traders laden with the precious burden travelled from the town of Ubar in Dhofar to faraway lands like Alexandria, Damascus and Jerusalem, and also to places beyond the western Mediterranean Sea. The Dhofar Mountains extend to a distance of 400 km. east to west from the Hallaniyat Islands to the Yemen border, with the highest peak in this range rising up to 1400 meters. Dhofar is a land of dramatic contrasts. The coastline with its pristine beaches on the one hand, the mountains with its many unexplored caves rising as we proceed a little further and finally the dunes of the Rub Al Khali with its vast stretches; all these combined with the stuff of legends, make Dhofar an enchanting place in the Arabian Peninsula. The ancient caravan routes , the many archaeological sites, the early mosques, the famous tombs , the ornate houses - the region thus exudes a mystique that makes it the pride of the nation.
Over the centuries, Dhofar has served as an important link between Oman and East Africa, a gateway to the Indian Ocean and also provided safe passage to the hordes of caravans plying trade and commerce within the Arabian Peninsula. Another distinct characteristic of this region is that it is the only place in the Peninsula that receives the South East monsoon showers from June to late September or early October, known as the Khareef. Khareef literally means “winds of plenty” and it is the season when people flock to see the land of mist and mountains in all its glory. The entire region is swathed in green, with the showers causing a significant drop in the temperatures, thus ensuring the capital city of Salalah a permanent place in the tourist map of Oman; with visitors from within and also neighbouring countries making a beeline to escape the searing summer heat that is prevalent all over the Gulf.
A total of ten wilayats make up Dhofar governorate. They are Salalah, Taqah, Mirbat, Sadah, ShalimWaJuzor Al Hallaniyyat, Rakhyut, Dhalkut, Thumrayt, Muqshin and Al Mazyunah. The region boasts of lush green vegetation with a variety of tropical crops like bananas, papayas, coconut palms and many other vegetables cultivated here.
Dhofar Governorate stretches over an area of one third of Oman and forms the Sultanate’s southern part. You can reach Dhofar through the following routes :
How to arrive at Dhofar
By Land :
For visitors arriving from Muscat, they must follow Adam - Salalah road. For those, arriving from the UAE, they should take the road from Al Buraimi - As Sunaynah - Ibri - Bahla - Izki - Adam, and for those coming from the Republic of Yemen they should take the border road between Yemen and the border gate post of Oman (AI Mazunah - Salalah)
By Air :
Domestic flights from Muscat to Salalah are available. Regular direct international flights are operating to Muscat International Airport. You can continue your trip to Salalah by domestic flights from Muscat to Salalah.
Important tourist attractions within Salalah:
Diving, Snorkeling, Boating and Dolphin watching