Destination Dhofar: the tropical side of Oman

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The Sultanate of Oman has a secret. A secret as wonderful as it is unexpected. And a secret that visitors are now discovering for themselves. Eastern monsoon rains bring cooler temperatures to Dhofar Governorate and a carpet of lush greenery emerges, wadis and waterfalls begin to flow and livestock and tourists enjoy the surroundings.

Known as “Khareef”, this phenomenon usually lasts from July to September. With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on international travel, as well as the launch of the advanced digital platform VisitOman.om to serve the regional and international B2B travel and tourism sector, Oman is poised to once again welcome mass visitors.

With tourism identified as a key sector in Oman’s Vision 2040, it continues to have a ripple effect on the growth of infrastructure, employment, service industries and opportunities for local suppliers to expand into new markets. Oman has seen steady growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years in the tourism industry and is now looking to leverage its unique tourism offering to attract new investment.

Historically, Salalah has been known as the “Land of Frankincense” and is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the ruins of Al Baleed Port and Khor Ruri which still bear the signs of trade during ancient times. . Modern Dhofar is most famous for its white-sand beaches and the selection of four- and five-star beachfront hotels that are springing up as Integrated Tourism Resorts (ITCs), a growing trend in Oman’s tourism industry.

Hawana Salalah, the largest ITC in the country, is located in Dhofar. Built and operated by internationally renowned builder of fully integrated cities, Muriya, a joint venture between Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN) and Orascom Development Holding (ODH), Hawana Salalah currently has 1,200 hotel rooms spread across luxury hotels four and five stars. seaside hotels.

This is in addition to a marina surrounded by cafes, shops and restaurants, Oman’s first water park, as well as freehold residential properties available for all nationalities and hotels ready to welcome visitors for the summer season. Khareef. Working with Muriya, local and international tour operators have been able to add year-round flights to Salalah Airport from France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic as part of package holidays. As tourism picks up again, in the first six months of 2022 alone, Hawana Salalah welcomed 30,532 visitors.

Mohamed Abdelaziz, Acting Managing Director of Muriya, said: “As part of our commitment to Oman, we have dedicated our strategy to the development of Hawana Salalah, which aims to unlock the potential of Dhofar and serve as a catalyst for new investments in the governorate, while opening up new opportunities in investment and the promotion of tourism. Hawana Salalah is the flagship destination of Muriya and has introduced a platform for job creation, local and international investment, as well as tourism promotion.

As the Khareef is in full swing and international tourists flock to enjoy the greenery and serenity associated with the season, Salalah and Dhofar Governorate continue to welcome visitors to enjoy the unique landscape and pleasant climate. This destination offers an in-depth look at Oman’s past and present, as well as its future as a thriving international tourist destination.


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