Monsoons Turn This Oman City into a Green Miracle During Summer
Every year from June to September, Salalah in southern Oman receives a blessing from nature that no other region in the Arab Gulf is fortunate to experience – the monsoon. Locally known as Kharif, it drapes the desert with a blanket of green and brings temperatures tumbling down. Salalah is also the land of frankincense, and part of an ancient trade route that goes back thousands of years.
The annual monsoon transforms the wadis into a verdant paradise. (All photos: Yahoo India/Oman Tourism)
Salalah is the second largest city situated in the Dhofar governorate in the south of the Sultanate of Oman. It is a ruggedly beautiful region with a rich history rooted in the ancient frankincense trade. For this reason, it is often known as the Perfume Capital of Arabia. It is also the only region in the Arab Gulf, besides Yemen, that is blessed with a Khareef (rainy) season. During this time, when the monsoon winds blow moist and heavy through the region, Salalah dons a green blanket.
In fact, from June to September, the arid desert is unrecognizable, covered as it is with lush greenery. Even as the rest of the Arabian peninsula scorches at over 113 degrees, it rarely gets warmer than 80 degrees in Salalah, with date palms all over from June to September. The lush greenery that one witnesses in Salalah during the Khareef season is comparable to the greenery of southeastern India, giving Salalah the title of “Kerala of the Middle East.”
Fisherfolk haul in a catch in Salalah, southern Oman.
These little-known treasures of Salalah deserve a place on your bucket list:
Frankincense is the aromatic resin of the Boswellia tree, which grows in southern Arabia, northern Africa, and India. From Biblical times, it has been regarded as a precious substance, and various books of the Bible are replete with mentions describing it as such. Frankincense is used in perfumery and medicine.