Salalah

Salalah is the capital city of Oman's southern Dhofar region. It is the second largest city in the Sultanate, and has the distinction of being the Sultan Qaboos' birthplace.

57 things to do

All Places



Footprint of Prophet Saleh's Camel

A shrine housing the footprint of an enormous camel in the bedrock. According to the Quran, the camel was said to have appeared from nearby mountains as a miracle, yet was killed three days later by unbelievers who refused to recognize the Prophet Saleh. In punishment a severe earthquake was said to have destroyed the entire city and its inhabitants. As in other religious sites, visitors are requested to remove their shoes and women should cover their hair.

SEE   —  A Daqah St

Arabian Sea Villas

An Omani-Belgian enterprise located directly on the beach of South Dahariz, adjacent to the coconut groves. This is one of the best budget options in Salalah; rates include breakfast and wifi (available in the breakfast/coffee room). Note: it is best to book a room directly by email or telephone, as the booking service on the website caters to German tour operators, with significantly higher nightly rates.

SLEEP   —  +968 23 235833 —  Dahariz Beach


Tomb of Nabi Umran

Umran (Imran) was a local Arab prophet, believed by some to have been the father of the Virgin Mary, and believed by others to have been the father of Moses. The sarcophagus is 33 m long. Visitors should remove their shoes before entering, and women should cover their heads with a scarf.

SEE   —  Al Matar St

Hilton Salalah

A popular choice for European visitors. It is located roughly 12 km outside the city and runs a daily shuttle service to and from the Gold Souq. However, the hotel cannot really be recommended as the service is appalling and a general sense of "the inmates running the asylum" pervades.



Extra Divers Salalah

Organizes guided tours for diving and snorkeling, and conducts a full range of PADI courses. Most of their dives take place outside of Mirbat, where they also have a dive centre. The centre is closed during the khareef from the end of May until 1 October.

DO   —  +968 92 873560 —  Map

Haffa Souq

The Haffa souq (market place) is the best place for frankincense and incense burners, and a wide range of other collectibles including handicrafts and souvenirs. Haggling is necessary, or alternatively have a local so you know you are buying genuine goods

BUY   —  As Sultan Qaboos St


Haffah House

Old rooms, basic but decent. Very close to the airport and in the centre of the city so it's easy to reach any place you want to get to, reasonable swimming pool, gym and tennis courts. Banking and rent a car services are available in the same building.


Juweira Boutique Hotel

From Juweira you can get a clear view of the artificial 'Juweira Island' which is spectacularly illuminated during night. There are many wonderful cafes, lounges and restaurants in Juweira. There is also a fashion boutique and a children's play area.

SLEEP   —  +968 23 239600 —  Taqa Rd


Oman Air

Flies from Muscat to Salalah at least three times a day, with a flight time of 1hr 30min. Operates direct international flights from Dubai W-Sa, with a flight time of some two hours, as well as to Jeddah Th and Sa, with a flight time of 2hr 50min.

OTHER   —  Map

Dhofar Hotel

The hotel offers basic accommodation at very affordable prices. Located in the city centre it is a convenient option for those who are not looking for luxuries or a beach-facing hotel. Service is very friendly and hotel is reasonably clean.

SLEEP   —  +968 23 292300 —  Al Matar St

Oasis Club

Offers a wide selection of international cuisine at a very reasonable price (a fraction of the cost of the hotel restaurants and better quality). This restaurant is also fully licensed. Take away and delivery available.

EAT   —  +968 23 219248 —  Port Rd

Burj an-Nadha

The clocktower may not be a sky-scraper but it is indeed the icon of Salalah, featured in the coat of arms of Dhofar Governate. The tower looks stunning during nights due to the colorful light display.

SEE   —  Map

Khawr Salalah

Avid birdwatchers can find many species of birds within the city itself, as this lagoon is noted for attracting flamingos, ospreys, and many migratory birds. Bring your binoculars.

DO   —  Map

Sultan Qaboos Palace

Sultan Qaboos was born in a fortress at this location, which is now the grounds for a modern palace. It is not open to the public, but tourists may photograph it from the outside.

SEE   —  Al Bahri St

Salalah Museum

This museum houses an eclectic collection, with sections devoted to regional geology and history. There is also a permanent display of Wilfred Thesiger's photographs.

SEE   —  Map

Gun Souq

A small informal open-air market for vendors selling all types of weapons, from antique rifles to traditional knives and daggers. Best in the early morning.

SEE   —  As Sultan Qaboos St

Job's Tomb

Believed by many to be the tomb of the biblical figure Job, on a hill-top overlooking Salalah. There is a small restaurant nearby with wonderful views.

SEE   —  Map

Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah

A better alternative for luxury accommodation as the property is much larger than the Hilton and more importantly it is close to the city centre.

SLEEP   —  +968 23 235333 —  Dahreej

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Completed in 2009, this mosque can accommodate 14,000 people. Conservative dress required; women must have their ankles, wrists and hair covered.


Lebanese House Restaurant

This restaurant offers good Lebanese food at a reasonable price (10 OMR for 3 people - starter & main incl. 1 drink each). Delivery available.

EAT   —  +968 23 212100 —  Al Salaam St

Salalah Tourism Festival

Held annually during the khareef period, this festival celebrates Dhofari culture and traditions with food, music, and entertainment.

DO   —  Map

Al Baleed Archeological Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, these extensive ruins were once the 12th-century trading port of Zafar, visited by Marco Polo in 1285.


ONTC Bus Station

Oman National Transport Company runs buses to/from the Ruwi station in Muscat three times daily, with the trip lasting 12 hours.

GO   —  +968 23 292773 —  Map

Lulu Supermarket

More centrally located than Lulu Hypermarket (see listing above), but with a much smaller deli and no camping gear.


Baalbeck Lebanese Restaurant

A small family restaurant serving very good Lebanese food. Has excellent hummus, tum and shwarmas.

EAT   —  +968 23 298834 —  23 July St

SubAqua Dive Center

Offers full dive packages in the waters by Salalah as well as by Mirbat. Offers PADI courses.


Traditional Dhofari houses

To see some older Yemeni-style architecture, drive east on Al Bahri Street along the beach.

SEE   —  Al Bahri St

Ayn Razat

Freshwater springs surrounded by gated rose gardens, with several pools and caves nearby.

SEE   —  Map

Khareef Salalah Restaurant

A sister branch of Hassan Bin Thabit Restaurant, with a varied international menu.

EAT   —  +968 2321 0030 —  Bldg No 54

Cascade Tandoori Restaurant

Offers a large range of Indian dishes, particularly well-known for their vindaloo.

EAT   —  +968 23 288233 —  23 July St

Museum of Frankincense Land

This excellent museum has displays on the history of the port and of the region.


Qatar Airways

Operates direct flights from Doha on Sa Su T W, with a flight time of 2hr 10min.

OTHER   —  Map

Pizza Hut

Always an option for any Americans wanting a taste of home, delivery available.

EAT   —  As Salam St

Al Kutaini Restaurant

Offers a wide range of continental dishes but specialize in Pakistani cuisine.

EAT   —  +968 23 294179 —  23 July St

Bin Ateeq

Part of a small chain of Omani restaurants, and a good place for Omani food.

EAT   —  +968 23 292384 —  23 July St

Browniz Coffee House

This cafe/restaurant offers a good range of European food. Free wi-fi.

EAT   —  +968 23 297575 —  As Salam St

Lulu Hypermarket

A branch of the UAE chain. Good for picnic supplies or camping gear.


Annapoorna Restaurant

A traditional South Indian Restaurant serving only vegetarian food.

EAT   —  Al Ferdows St

Air Arabia

Flies from Sharjah on Su M W Th, with a flight time 1hr 45min.

OTHER   —  Map

KFC

American fried chicken, sit-down restaurant and drive-through.

EAT   —  Ar Rubat St

Family Book Shop

Has books in English and Arabic, and a good selection of maps.

BUY   —  Al Matar St

Chopsticks

Indian-styled Chinese restaurant with decent food. No buffet.

EAT   —  +968 24 783384 —  23 July St

Al Isteqrar Hypermarket

Groceries are on the ground floor, and a food court upstairs.

BUY   —  Al Fayha St

Goal Sports

Has outdoor sporting goods, including camping supplies.

BUY   —  +968 23 296624 —  As Salam St

Handicraft Souq

A good place to pick up traditional hand-crafted items.


Good Hopes Restaurant

Surprisingly one of the better restaurants, licensed.

EAT   —  Map

Hassan Bin Thabit Restaurant

Serves Arabic, Chinese, European and Indian cuisines.

EAT   —  +968 23 291010 —  23 July St

Ittina Cafe

Offers decent food and an excellent view of the city.

EAT   —  +968 9814 1067 —  Atin Rd

Chinese Cascade

Chinese restaurant offering decent food. No buffet.

EAT   —  +968 23 289844 —  23 July St

Bin Ateeq

A second branch of the popular Omani restaurant.

EAT   —  23 July St

16 Ajwa

Offers Pakistani and Hyderbadi food. No buffet.

EAT   —  23 July St

Spinney's

Small supermarket with international food.

BUY   —  An Nahdah St

Rotana Jet

Operates from Terminal 2 in Abu Dhabi.

OTHER   —  Map

Al Hanaa Hotel

Within walking distance of downtown.


Salalah Beach Villas

Located directly on the beach.

SLEEP   —  +968 23 235999 —  Ad Dahariz St

Hamdan Plaza Hotel

Free breakfast with wi-fi.

SLEEP   —  +968 23 211025 —  Al Wadi St

New Souq

BUY   —  23 July St

About Salalah

For most visitors, Salalah is the gateway to Oman’s most southerly governate of Dhofar – a historically independent, and culturally and ecologically unique region.

As the traditional regional capital, the city’s history stretches back two millennia, when, thanks to its strategic location, it was an important stop on the frankincense and silk trading routes. In the 19th century the region was incorporated into the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, and Salalah served as the country’s capital from 1932 until the accession of Sultan Qaboos in 1970, who relocated the capital to Muscat. Salalah was the Sultan’s birthplace in 1940, and his mother was a member of a prominent regional Jebbali tribe; to this day the Sultan maintains close ties to the city.

Today Salalah is still known for the cultivation and trade of frankincense (albeit now on a smaller scale), and is famous for its summer khareef (monsoon) and annual Salalah Festival, when visitors flock to the region to escape the blazing hot temperatures elsewhere on the Arabian peninsula. As lodging and eating establishments outside the city are scarce, it serves as a useful and interesting base for travellers wanting to explore the wider area at any time of year.


Source: wikivoyage