Middle East, Oman, Travel

Unexpected Salalah, Oman: The Jewel of the Middle East

November 14, 2016

Salalah, OmanGreen is not what you expect to hear when you hear someone talk about a country in the Middle East, but it is when you speak about Oman. Especially, if you are talking about Salalah, Oman during monsoon season. Yes, I said monsoon season! You may even be wondering where Salalah is at this point. Located in the southern part of Oman, Salalah is about 200 kilometers from the Yemen border. It is perfectly safe to visit, as the border with Yemen is far from anything that is happening there.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Salalah, Oman

Even though I had seen pictures, I wasn’t quite convinced that this lush green oasis existed in the harsh Middle Eastern landscape. Since it is a short two-hour flight from Doha, I decided to visit right at the beginning of Khareef (monsoon, but literally autumn) season. In the city of Salalah, Oman it is greener than Doha and Dubai, but not lush. There are more trees and many banana plantations. Once you leave the city, it gets greener and greener as you head into the mountains.

Salalah, Oman

Mountains are the other feature that astonished me. Most of Qatar is quite flat, and I know that mountains exist in the Middle East, but I always thought they would be small and not very impressive. I was wrong! The mountains are part of the reason that Salalah, Oman is so green as they catch the moisture and increase the rainfall in the mountains. As you can see from the pictures, it was misty and raining most of the time. So green, mountains and camels mixed together make for an unexpected trip to the Middle East.

Salalah, Oman

What to do in Salalah, Oman

Frankincense Museum and Al Baleed Archaeological Park – These two sites are next to each other. You pay one fee per car, and it gets you into both. The Archaeological Park is an excavation of a settlement that dates back to 2000 BC, and they have done an impressive amount of work to uncover the village. The museum covers the history of Oman and the region with a focus on shipping.

Salalah, Oman

Salalah, Oman

Al Mughasayl Beach and Marneef Cave – While you can’t swim at this beach during monsoon season as the waves are too rough; you can visit the blowholes. The mountains meet the ocean here, and small blowholes have developed. Stand on the grates covering the blowholes and get soaked. Go very early in the morning before the huge crowds show up!

YouTube video

Salalah, Oman

Wadi Darbat – One of the most spectacular sites in the Middle East. First, you head up the Dhofar Mountains and drive through winding roads at about 20 kph because of the thick mist. Follow the signs for Wadi Darbat, and you suddenly head down into a valley. The valley opens up to what at sometimes is a flowing river. You can walk through the Wadi, but be careful you don’t slip and fall, like me! I am still paying for that fall. (Hint: wear appropriate shoes!) You might want an umbrella.

Salalah, Oman

Salalah, Oman

Salalah, Oman

Go north to Mirbat – Yes, this is not Salalah, but you should see the abandoned house here. These houses are built in the traditional Yemeni style but are in disrepair. It is a great place for photography. The houses are built right on the natural bay and have calmer seas than at Al Mughasayl Beach. The nearby castle might be worth checking out but don’t go on a Friday as it is closed.

Salalah, Oman

Salalah, Oman

Salalah, Oman

Meet Friendly Camels – There were more camels in Oman than I have ever seen in Qatar. This camel was very interested in us and wanted to get really close. I, on the other hand, was hoping to keep a safer distance.

Salalah, Oman

Salalah, Oman

How to get there

Fly to Salalah! From Qatar, there is a two-hour direct flight. If you aren’t coming from Qatar, you will probably have to layover in Muscat or Dubai. However, the flights from these places are very short. You can drive from Muscat, but the drive is very long. Plus you will probably want to spend time in Muscat as well. Once in Salalah, I recommend renting a car to explore the area. Everything was an easy drive, and most things had good signage.

Have you been to Salalah, Oman?

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Sally Clark November 14, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Amazing! This place has been on my list for years. Your post has definitely moved it up the list! <3

    • Reply Tiffany November 14, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks! It was so beautiful. You have to go during the monsoon season though to get this green effect. You will love it!!

  • Reply Caitlin Jean November 14, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Yay! Such happy memories 🙂 I wanna go back when there is sunshine

    • Reply Tiffany November 14, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      I do too. It must be so different. I need to send you the pictures of you from the trip.

  • Reply Ms. Hala November 17, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    If the drive from Muscat is feasible, I’ll to to head to the museums and say “hello!” to the camels. Otherwise, might have to make up another excuse to fly back to Oman! =) Thanks for the tips Tiff!!

    • Reply Tiffany November 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      It’s a long drive. You can fly from Muscat. You are welcome. Enjoy your trip! Happy Birthday in advance!!

      • Reply Ms. Hala December 13, 2016 at 10:52 am

        Yea, 8 hours so we’ll plan it on my next visit to Oman Insha’Allah. Thanks =)

  • Reply Jaina November 21, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Visited Oman for the first time this year, and definitely want and need to go back again. Salalah is high on my list of places to see on a revisit!

    • Reply Tiffany November 21, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      I need to go back to Salalah during the non-monsoon season to see what it is like. Hope you make it soon!

  • Reply Pgye July 7, 2017 at 2:41 am

    Never have thought about it to go here! But it looks like an amaaazing destination which could be one of my next stops if i see this:)!

    • Reply Tiffany July 11, 2017 at 10:07 am

      You should try to go! I would love to go back.

  • Reply Joyetic March 11, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Oman has becomes to be known as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Middle East thanks to the country’s strategic location and its unspoilt natural beauty with its scenic landscape. Salalah Oman is one the best place to visit.

    • Reply Tiffany April 27, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      It is such a great spot. I hope to go back one day.

  • Reply Jamie Hardward July 23, 2019 at 11:36 am

    This was really enjoyable to read. Having read this there seem to be some wonderful places to visit.Had a quick look at your blog and love it already.

  • Reply Hussain May 18, 2020 at 2:53 am

    This is a great post on Salalah Travel. Salalah is a beautiful place and everyone must plan to visit it and explore the contrast it has to offer.

    Beautiful Salalah Blog

  • Reply Ahmed June 16, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    I love Salalah and i am happy to know you loved it too. Perfect post on Salalah, Oman

  • Reply Pratik Sharma August 6, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Great; the Salalah is the best place to travel.

  • Reply Kate April 15, 2023 at 5:15 am

    Really great article about Khareef Season in Salalah. Especially your pictures really catch the atmosphere about this time in Salalah so your reader feels like he is there. Best regards,

  • Leave a comment!

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.