Muscat: With thousands of visitors flocking to the Dhofar governorate during the Khareef Season this year, there are many who are planning their next trip already.
Tarek Wahid, who was visiting family in the United Arab Emirates from Jordan, came to Oman to experience the Khareef with his extended family in the Emirates, and has said he can’t wait to visit Salalah again.
“My wife, two girls and I were visiting my sister in the UAE when we stumbled upon the pictures of Salalah during Khareef season while browsing a Facebook page,” he said. “I honestly wasn’t sure if it was true so I called my brother who works in Muscat to ask for the whereabouts. When he told me how beautiful Salalah gets between June and August, I literally cut down the stay with my sister and booked a direct flight to Salalah.
“Frankly speaking, we were a bit sceptical about finding a direct flight and were dreading stopovers due to our four-year-old and seven-month-old girls, but to our surprise we found a bunch of direct flight options,” Wahid said.
Even if I wanted to put our whole experience in words, it would be difficult. It was serene, magical and so green! Who could have thought about a place in the Middle East that became so, so green? The locals were extremely nice in guiding us over how we could make the most of our stay.”
“Therefore, we went to Jabal Samhan, where you could literally see the clouds below the mountain, Jabal Atin to visit the grave of Prophet Ayoub and Madinat Al Haq that was a lush green land with cows grazing on the grass. I can’t wait to do this all over again.”
Annie Stetler, an expat based in Muscat said: “I still remember that I was visiting one of my friends to watch season six finale of Game of Thrones. After it was over, we were discussing what to do for the Eid Al Fitr holidays, which were in the first week of July, and a friend suggested taking a trip to Salalah. I jumped at the idea because I have been hearing so much about the Khareef season and had been longing to go with a group.”
“We honestly planned everything, accommodation, flight tickets and a 4x4, within two days and were all ready to go,” she recalled.
“The moment I stepped out of the airport I couldn’t believe I was still in Oman. It was all so green, misty, cool and raining. I can still taste the delicious grilled chicken and rice I had on my way to a mountain cliff.”
Khalid Al Maamari, an Omani citizen said that although he had visited Salalah only once, he still remembers the fresh fruit carts.
“Even though I have visited Dhofar only once so far, we have a plan to go this year,” he said.
“We’re hoping to go everywhere from Jabal Samhan to the cliffs and take in the festival. I remember Salalah very fondly from my childhood. When my parents took me there I was young, and for the first two days I thought that we were in a different world. I remember the fresh fruit stands clearly, as if they were in front of me right now.”
Ali Al Nabhani, another local, added, “I was invited for a friend’s wedding during the Khareef season, and it was like a fairy tale come true. They got married on the beach, which was part of a hotel, and with the waves in the distance, the swaying palm trees, the rain, the mist and the greenery all around, it was an amazing experience.
“The Khareef made that wedding far more special that it would have been otherwise, and it just shows you how nature automatically makes everything you do more beautiful,” he added.