By Kabeer Yousuf and Lakshmi Kothaneth -
The misty, drizzling Salalah, clad in smoky long robes with green crochet works, is wooing visitors from across the globe as the Salalah Tourism Festival is way through a
Various tourist spots such as the Wadi Darbat, the Aiteen Mountain, and the Ayn al Hmran have been abuzz with visitors from across the region and far afield to feel for a lifetime its monsoon marvel.
The misty mountain of Aiteen where nature is at its best with snowy clime and drizzles, and where the Oman TV and Radio has its transmission station, has been a perfect outing for families. Both locals from faraway places and expatriates find a perfect rejuvenation to their emotions in the thick haze.
The majestic Wadi Darbat, which literally redefines ‘heaven on earth’, pulls people to its numerous waterfalls, lakes, mountains, caves, wildlife and lush green vegetation.
There is a 100-metre waterfall and many cave chambers with old stalactites and stalagmites. Legend has it that the caves were once used by shepherds as shelter and the coloured paintings of animals are visible on the cave walls.
A cave which is considered to be the largest natural cave in Oman is amply situated at the end of the Wadi Darbat.
Ain al Hmran, yet another scenic location of natural spring with cloudy clime, is an excellent spot for bird watching too.
Several hundreds of visitors are making it to the mountains of Ain al Hmran every day. Seven different species of eagles have been identified at Ain al Hmran by a group of international bird watchers some time ago.
Additionally, a host of cultural programmes that stir the interests of people is on offer for the visitors including children at the Aiteen Municipal Ground.
The Salalah Tourism Festival was previously known as Khareef Festival, and was introduced as part of the monsoon specialities. But these years, the festival has evolved into a carnival and shopping festival.
With temperatures dipping to as low as 20 degrees Celsius and below, Salalah Tourism Festival is a celebration of the country’s rich heritage, immaculate culture and time-tested tradition.
This festival comprises folk music, traditional games, art shows, poetry, children’s contests, seminars, awareness campaigns, sports and more.
Oman’s tour operators as well as the Ministry of Tourism have in recent times launched several programmes in all Gulf countries to market the Salalah Tourism Festival. They are also keen to add value to tourists’ overall experience.