Salalah, Dhofar Governorate, Oman

History | City districts and suburbs | Economy | Tourist attractions | Education | Air transport | Bus | Public transport | Water transport | Media

🇴🇲 Salalah is the capital and largest city of the southern Omani governorate of Dhofar.

Salalah is the third-largest city in the Sultanate of Oman, and the largest city in the Dhofar Province. Salalah is the birthplace of the former sultan, Qaboos bin Said. Salalah attracts many people from other parts of Oman and the Persian Gulf region during the monsoon/khareef season, which spans from June to September. The climate of the region and the monsoon allows the city to grow some vegetables and fruits like coconut and bananas. There are many gardens within the city where these vegetables and fruits grow.


History Salalah was the traditional capital of Dhofar, which reached the peak of prosperity in the 13th century thanks to the incense trade. Later it decayed, and in the 19th century it was absorbed by the Sultanate of Muscat.

Between 1932 and 1970, Salalah was the residence of Said bin Taimur, the Sultan of Sultanate of Oman Sultan Qaboos acceded to his father's throne in 1970, and decided to move his capital to Muscat, the largest city in Oman, where he lived until he quietly left for treatment in Germany. His absence was much regretted in Salalah, where his palace was always kept ready to receive him. His Majesty's last visits were in 2006 to meet influential tribal and local leaders, and in 2010 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his accession with a massive parade watched for several hours by an estimated hundred thousand spectators.

Despite the Sultan's generally benevolent government running Oman without national taxation thanks to its vast mineral resources, and with all menial work done by Asian labourers, Salalah saw peaceful protests for a few months in 2011 in the domino effect of the Arab Spring. Some Omani protesters requested the dismissal of current ministers, better job opportunities, salary increases, a solution to the increasing cost of living, or the establishment of Islamic banks.


City districts and suburbs • Al-Dahariz • Al-Haffa • AL-Qouf • Al-Mughsail • Al-Mutaaza • Al-Saada • Al-Wadi • Auqad • City Center • Eastern Salalah • Ittin • New Salalah • Western Salalah (also known as Al-Gharbia, and Al-Qantra).


Economy APM Terminals, part of the A. P. Moller-Maersk Group of Denmark, manages the Port of Salalah; one of the largest ports on the Arabian Peninsula which is an important transshipment hub for container shipping in the area. The Port of Salalah is also one of the most vital ports on the peninsula connecting together Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. But the port is outside the city, to the south. It is also the largest private employer in the Dhofar region. The Salalah Free Zone, situated right beside the port, is emerging as a new centre for heavy industries in the Middle East.


Tourist attractions Salalah has an international tourist economy with many Middle Eastern tourists during the Khareef season from June to September. In this season the mountains turn green, and there are many waterfalls to visit, such as at Wadi Darbat, Ain Athum, Ain Tubrook, and Ain Khor. There are four reputed tombs of Islamic prophets: Nabi Imran, possibly the Virgin Mary's father but more likely a local prophet; Nabi Ayoob, the biblical Job; Nabi Houd; and Nabi Salih. The city received more than 600,000 tourists during the khareef season in 2017.

Amongst the Dhofar Governorate's cultural attractions is the Salalah carnival, which includes the usual rides, family activities, concerts, cultural events and vendors.


Education Currently Salalah has two colleges, the Salalah College of Technology and Salalah College of Applied Science, both of which are government owned and sponsored.

The Salalah College of Applied Sciences incorporates an English Department. Its aim is to offer students a solid grasp of the English language so that they may go on to complete further studies in important sectors such as I.T. and Communication and Design.

Salalah is also home to a private university, Dhofar University which is one of the largest in the region. It has significant shares owned by Mustahil Al-Mashani, uncle of Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Recently the university has constructed a new campus worth 25 million OR.

The Indian School Salalah is an Indian-run, self-financing, co-educational institution, primarily established to meet the academic needs of children of Indian expatriates working in Salalah. The Indian School Salalah is the largest English-medium school in Salalah and it also admits children of other nationalities. The school is located in the North Dahariz area, of Salalah town.

Pakistan School Salalah is a Pakistani co-educational high school which was established in the year 1982. The school is situated adjacent to the Indian School in Salalah Dahariz north.

British School Salalah was founded in 1970. The school follows the National Curriculum of England and Wales, and offers schooling to children from Reception to Year 10 (Year 11 from August 2021). It is also situated in Dahariz next to the Indian School and Pakistani School.


Air transport Salalah International Airport mainly caters to domestic flights from Muscat and some International flights from India and regional Arab countries such as Qatar, U.A.E, and Saudi Arabia. Oman Air, the national airline operates five flights daily from Salalah to Muscat, the capital city and also two flights to Dubai weekly. Oman Air introduced Oman Air Pass for regular travelers between Salalah and Muscat. Qatar Airways has daily flights from Salalah to Doha connecting to over 130 destinations worldwide. Very convenient connections are available to destinations in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia. There is also a direct weekly flight from and to Kochi, Kozhikode (Calicut), and Thiruvananthapuram operated by Air India Express for the Malayalee expatriates. During the Khareef Season (Monsoons) there are weekly flights to other international destinations including Sweden and Turkey. There are also transit flights to almost all countries. The new International airport opened on 15 June 2015 and the old Airport has since then been converted into a Domestic and emergency Airport.


Bus There is a daily bus service from Deira, Dubai, UAE to Salalah at 3pm. There is daily bus service between Muscat and Salalah from many bus service providers.


Public transport Salalah did not have a public transportation system within the city limits until 2018, but in 2019 Sultan Qaboos announced a bus service within the city from Salalah airport to city centre and city centre to Salalah port.

Oman National Transport Company (Mwasalat) has started daily public bus service in Salalah from December 2018.

Long-distance air-conditioned buses are operated daily from Salalah to Haima, Muscat, Nizwa, Al-Buraimi, Dubai, Al-Ain, Al-Ghaydah, Mukalla, and Seiyun, as well as PDO locations such as Marmul. Other forms of public transport popular in Salalah are taxis. Generally fares vary from half a Rial to 2 Rials depending on the distance to destination. Taxis are color-coded orange and white and provide semi-personal transportation in the form of both individual hire and the same opportunistic roadway service as Baisa buses, which are not as popular in the city.

Minibuses, colour-coded orange and white, are unmetered like taxis, after several government initiatives to introduce meters were rejected. The fare is set by way of negotiation, although drivers usually adhere to certain unwritten rules for fares within the city. One should always find out the normally accepted fare for one's journey from one's hotel or host before looking for a taxi.


Water transport The Port of Salalah is one of the deepwater ports in Oman and also eleventh-busiest transshipment port in the world, second-busiest port in the Middle East, which is located at Port Raysut (Salalah). It can accommodate large vessels up to 18m draft. It is the main container tran-shipment terminal of the region. This port is operated and managed by Salalah Port Services Company (S.A.O.G.). The port also welcomes cruise liners and luxury ships.


Media The English-language radio stations are Hi FM and Merge, which are the only English-language stations in Oman. There are also a number of Arabic radio channels. In Salalah almost all TV channels are available.

Muscat Time 
Muscat Time
Image: Adobe Stock Angelo D'Amico #249585089

Salalah has a population of over 197,169 people. Salalah also forms the centre of the wider Dhofar governorate which has a population of over 416,458 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Salalah see: Twitter:

Twin Towns - Sister Cities Salalah has links with:

🇧🇬 Sofia, Bulgaria
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Salalah is: -125.908,-17.014

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