Salalah a favourite haunt for UAE nationals, expats

ABU DHABI – The picturesque Salalah in Oman, which is famous for its year-round temperate climate never exceeding 33 degrees centigrade even as summer simmers elsewhere in the Gulf, has become the favourite haunt for UAE nationals and residents during the September-December period when the popular Khareef Festival is celebrated, says an Omani tourism official.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 31 May 2005, 10:46 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:55 PM

"From June to September, the south-western tropical monsoon wind crosses the Indian Ocean and envelops Dhofar in cool, moist weather," Ghazi Ahmed Qatan, tourism promotion officer, Oman Tourism's Dubai office, told Khaleej Times in the sidelines of a road show organised to market the Khareef festival to the capital-based tour operators.

He said that the number of visitors in 2004 showed a handsome increase during the period June 21 to August 11, reaching 122,529, an increase of 31,210 compared to the previous year. The number of domestic visitors was 59,707.

The largest increase in the GCC region was noticed in the arrivals from the UAE which was 36,832 visitors, followed by Saudi Arabia with 7,854 visitors, Kuwait 2,418, Qatar 1,258, Bahrain 747 and 5140 from other countries.

"The total number of visitors from all the Governorate entrances reached 2,09,045 according to the Ministry of Tourism, which is a clear indicator of the increasing number of visitors to Dhofar, a hill range area best known for springs, streams and lush green providing a refreshing view to visitors, Ghazi Ahmed Qatan said.

An official from Oman Air said that at present, there were 6-10 flights daily between Dubai and Muscat, while for Salalah, there were three weekly flights, besides a daily flight from Abu Dhabi via Muscat.

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