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Salalah is the capital city of Oman's southern Zufar and Dhofar region. It is often considered to be the "second city" of the Sultanate, although some of this designation is probably due to its distinction as Sultan Qaboos' birthplace.
The region is famous for its khareef, and the Khareef Festival is an annual event here. Many locals will in fact be quite surprised to see non-Arab visitors at other times of year.
Oman Air flies from Muscat to Salalah at least three times a day. The flight takes roughly 90 minutes. The same carrier flies from Dubai to Salalah, with the flight taking some 2 hours scheduled on Wednesdays and Fridays.There are direct flights to Indian cities of Kozhikode & Kochi, and Thiruvananthapuram via Kochi. Air Arabia flies twice a week to Sharjah on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Beware, the taxi from the airport is 10 or 20 times the normal taxi rate. The taxi fare for airport to dharaiz is 5 rials and to awqad it's 7 rials
It is possible to drive from Muscat to Salalah. The trip takes roughly 12 hours. From the starting point sure its a cheerful trip where you can enjoy the wild beauty. Rusayl, Nizwa, Haima, Thumrait and next is the most beautiful Salalah.
Driving to Salalah from Muscat can either be an amazing and memorable experience, or a very uncomfortable one depending on what kind of traveler you are. The first 5 hours will be very scenic, as you pass Nizwa and other towns.
There are daily buses between all Omani cities, very cheap compared to the cost of taxis, airfare, etc. Expect to pay rather less than 20 R.O. for a return ticket. There are several busses making a nightly journey from Dubai.
There is at least one operator in Muscat that will charter you to Salalah.
Salalah is quite a small city in tourist terms, as most places of interest are close to each other. During warmer times of year, though, walking may not be the best idea. The usual unmetered Omani taxis operate here.
The average taxi fare to travel within the city is 500 baiza.
What to see
Sultan Qaboos' Palace
The Haffa Souq
The old city is confined to the area called Haffa. The Haffa souq(market place) has wide range of collectables to offer: frankinsence, dates, handicrafts, souvenirs etc.You'll need to practice your bargaining skills before you go shopping there. Better would be to have a local resident accompany you while you shop, so you know you are paying for the real thing.
Salalah Gardens Mall, Besides Hamdan Plaza Hotel. This is the first modern shopping mall in Salalah and hosts branded shops, Carrefour, City Cinema and Food court.
Al Baleed Archaeological Site, As Sultan Qaboos Street. Its a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins of Al Baleed site are approachable by walking or taking a ride on the golf cart. There is also a museum there called Frankincense Land Museum.
What to do
Remember to collect your road map from the airport, or any agent promoting Salalah as a tourist destination. It might help if you get lost someplace and need directions to your hotel.
Don't go swimming in the sea or permit toddlers/children to wander off at beaches. The sea shore in Salalah has very strong ocean currents and steeps drastically. It is very unsafe for swimmers, even experienced swimmers.
Always drive cautiously outside the city as visibility can be bad due to fog/mist. You could be lucky to have an encounter with camels/cows/goats at the most unexpected times, so stay within speed limits even if the road is not monitored by radar.
If you decide to visit places outside Salalah city (good advice for traveling anywhere in Oman), remember to carry some food packed for emergencies (fruits, fruit juices, sandwiches recommended) as there are few restaurants outside the city. Always carry a bottle of drinking water since you may not find any store on the highways. There is, however, a delightful ocean-side cafe on the way to Mughsayl and the tidal geyser there.