Salalah is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009.
Salalah is the second largest city in the Sultanate of Oman, and the largest city in the Dhofar Provence. The coastal city of Salalah is a traditional stronghold and birthplace of the Sultan, Qaboos bin Said. The Sultan traditionally lives in Salalah rather than in Muscat, the capital and largest city in Oman; Qaboos has bucked this trend, and has lived in Muscat since he ascended to the throne in 1970. He does, however, visit Salalah fairly regularly to meet with influential tribal and local leaders; his last visit was in 2006 and before that he visited in 2002. In mid-2009 the massive Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque was opened in Salalah, 39 years after he had taken the throne.
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. In 1932-1970 Salalah was the capital of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, under Said bin Taimur. After the latter's death, his son Qaboos decided to move the capital of Oman to Muscat.
How to Reach
Salalah airport mainly caters to domestic flights from Muscat and some regional countries such as Kuwait, U.A.E, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Oman Air, the national airline operates 5 flights daily from Salalah to Muscat, the capital city and also 2 flights to Dubai weekly. There is also a direct weekly flight from Kochi / 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. There are also transit flights to almost all countries.Currently a new international airport under construction and is planned to be opened in 2014.
Places to visit
The Frankincense Trail
Salalah does not have a public transportation system within the city limits. However long distance air-conditioned buses are operated daily from Salalah to Haima, Muscat, Nizwa, Al-Buraimi, Dubai, Al-Ain, Al-Ghaydah, Al-Mukalla, and Seiyun, as well as PDO locations such as Marmul.
Other forms of other public transport popular in Salalah are taxis. Generally fares very 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.
Baisa buses, also colour-coded orange and white, and like taxis are unmetered 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.
Series in which intrepid presenter Kate Humble follows the ancient frankincense trade route of Arabia across the amazing modern world of the Middle East.
Al Marnif Cave
Kates journey along the 2,000-mile trail that first connected the Arab world with the West takes her on a quest thats steeped in history, searing with desert heat, and full of characters and adventure.
Al Marnif Cave lies in Shatti Al Mughsayl area about 40 kilometres from Salalah in Governorate of Dhofar. It overlooks the Arabian Sea and Al Mughsayl fountains (blow-holes), which are a natural phenomenon resulting from the momentum of the water surging into the cavities of rock that lie mostly under water. In monsoon, when sea levels rise and water currents become more active, the running water rips through the rock cavities, resulting in the surge of the water fountain, noted for its outstanding beauty. The sound of the gushing water lends the place a unique ambience of its own.
The Salalah Museum is notable for its rich collection of inscriptions on large stone slabs and rocks. Most of these inscriptions were found in Khor Rori where excavations unearthed the Port City of Sumharam. The ancient inscriptions are southern Arabic and were used in Dhofar and Yemen in the pre-Islamic times. Ancient Dhofari inscriptions have also been found in many caves in the region.
Quriyat occupies a narrow strip of coastline along the Arabian Gulf, the Wilayat of Muscat to the north and to the south east the Eastern Region Wilayats of Sur. South west is Dimma and Al Ta'iyeen, also in the Eastern Region. Eastwards is the Arabian Gulf.
Wilayat Al Ameratt
The Wilayat has 29 villages and towns, including the town of Quriyat itself. These are Al Hajer, Al Wasta, Al Ma'ala, Al Jinan, AI Sahel Salalahein, Killiat, Affa', Al Kerib, Al Ramla, Al Makhasrat, Al Shahbari, Dhaher Muhaisa, Hail Al Ghaf, Al Masfaa and the Municipalities of Daghmar, Mazar'ia Al Abraiyeen, Al Misfa'ah, Al Hiytan and Al Abayaa.
This Wilayat is situated south of Muttrah and south west of Quriyat. It runs south west along the direction of the watercourse of the Wadi Al Sireen at the end of Seeh. To the east is Muscat at the two towns of Marazeh and Yiti. To the west is Bowshar from which it is separated by a chain of mountains.
Its population is 40,868 living in six principal villages: Al Amerat, the township of Al Hajer, the township of Jahlout, the township of Wadi Al Meeh, Wadi Al Sireen and the city of Nahda