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Useful information for excursions in Salalah
We have compiled the following information about the cruise port, the most beautiful sights and many useful tips for shore excursions in and around Salalah for you.
The most beautiful sights in and around Salalah
Salalah is one of the greenest areas of Oman. Here the barren desert landscape gives way to fertile coconut palms, banana trees and a beautiful city beach. The city, known as the “Caribbean of Oman”, with its green plants, beautiful sandy beaches and palm trees is a popular holiday destination for locals and Europeans. After Muscat, Salalah is the most developed area in Oman and is home to one of the country’s longest beaches. The port of Salalah, due to its size and significance, is regularly compared with Rotterdam and is one of the largest employers in Oman.
Salalah is located in the southwest of Oman and is a real oasis mainly due to the rain during the summer months. The green surroundings with palms and trees are famous for its tropical fruits, which you can buy at the numerous stalls where they are sold directly from the tree. The ripe fruits spread a delicious scent. Between flowering splendour and culture, there are some highlights you should not miss.
Old Town Al Haffa
The Old Town is home to most of the sights, making it a good starting point for exploring Salalah. You can see the impressive Yemeni architecture of the houses here. The historical flair and the traditional architecture invite you to wander and discover.
One of the highlights in the old town is the Al-Husn Palace, the Sultan’s summer residence. Another building represents a well-known landmark of the province – the clock tower Burj an-Nahdah. It is a great location for photos especially in the evening with its atmospheric lighting. Another highlight awaits you in the centre of the city: The Sultan Qaboos Mosque. It is the somewhat smaller version of the mosque of the same name in Muscat and yet offers space for 14,000 believers to pray. For non-Muslims, it is open about two hours a day. The church has impressive architecture and is worth a visit.
Especially during the cooler evening hours, a visit to the market is a good idea, which you could almost exclusively identify with your sense of smell. The scent of various spices, fruit, aromatic oils and above all incense fills the entire environment. Incense has its origins in the Salalah region, and the ancient Egyptians participated in it. Today it is said that the best incense in the world comes from Salalah. A visit to the market is worthwhile here because the Omani are very pleasant traders and will neither surround you nor try to cheat you. Nevertheless, you should trade in the markets, because that’s part of it. Begin with half the price asked.
Al Mughsail beach is about 20 kilometres away from Salalah. This seaside resort is worth a visit. It has a magnificent combination of green meadows and an eight-kilometre-long paradise beach. The surrounding mountains not only provide a beautiful backdrop but are also home to numerous dromedaries who like to show themselves near the beach during the summer months, which can make a visit to the beach a real spectacle. But nature has, even more, to offer here – the so-called blowholes. These are sea caves from which up to ten-meter-high water fountains shoot up due to the pressure of the seawater. They can be found in the southwest of the beach. There is also a vantage point here, which gives you a beautiful view of the coast.
The Gardens Mall is a large, air-conditioned shopping centre with numerous shops and restaurants that invite you to shop and relax. Those who want to escape the warm temperatures can spend a few relaxing shopping hours here. You can find local products such as incense, perfumes and handmade incense pots here which are available at affordable prices.
Another great attraction near Salalah is Taqah, a coastal town with an old fortress in the centre. On one hand, The Taqah Fort consists of the fortress and on the other hand the residence of the former governor and was thus partly a residential resort. After the residence was still inhabited until 1984, the renovation work began in the following years. Ten years later, the fortress was opened to the public and has a beautifully furnished interior that allows you to immerse yourself in the past. Old exhibits show the life of the people in this area since the 12th century. In addition to countless corridors, staircases, terraces and small rooms, the bedroom of the castle is also a real highlight. You can still find the old canopy bed from the time, in which the castle served as a residence. Also, the upper part of the castle should not be missed, because a great view of the beach is waiting for you.
A good two hours from Salalah, is Ubar, with its legendary archaeological site. The magical city is located behind the largest sand desert in the world, the Rub Al Khali desert. Both in the Koran and in the Bible Ubar is described as a magnificent city decorated with columns, but it could not be traced for a long time. It was not released until 1992. Ubar was one of the most important trading towns on the Weihrauchstrasse. Today there is also a Museum where excavations and photographs can be examined.
Map of the Cruise port in Salalah
It is not without reason that the port of Salalah is often compared to Rotterdam – the container and industrial port is located on the Arabian Sea and is therefore important for regional and international trade. This is also the reason why the port is one of the largest employers in the region.
Cruises also play an important role here. The ships moor directly in the industrial harbo
ur. As the port area is very spacious and passengers are not allowed to move freely, there is a free shuttle to reach the port exit. The location of the port is quite far outside Salalah with about 18 kilometres from the centre. Taxis are therefore available at the port exit. You should use these or shuttle bus possibilities, since between the port and the city nothing but barren desert landscape and industry is to be found. A guided shore excursion to the natural beauties of the region is also worthwhile.
Useful Facts for Land Excursions in Salalah
Shipping companies and routes
Within the framework of Orient Routes, Oman, as well as Salalah, are a popular destination for the various shipping companies. Among others, the Mein Schiff fleet of TUI Cruises and other shipping companies such as Crystal Cruises, AIDA Cruises and MSC Cruises call at Salalah.
Dubai is usually the start and end port on these routes. Other ports that are frequently visited in the course of this are Abu Dhabi, Doha and Muscat, for example.
Entry and Visa
Most cruise ships stay in Salalah for only a few hours, so guests are usually exempted from the general visa requirement provided their stay does not exceed 24 hours. All you need is your boarding pass and a tourist entry permit. You will receive both from your shipping company.
If you stay in the Sultanate of Oman for longer than 24 hours, you will need a visa. In addition, German, Austrian and Swiss citizens need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months during your trip. This can also be temporary.
To be on the safe side, please check with your cruise line about the entry requirements for your cruise.
The national currency in Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). One pound corresponds to around 0.48 OMR. The OMR is divided into 1000 Baisa.
With the credit card, you can withdraw money in Oman without any problems at appropriately marked ATMs. You also have the option of exchanging money at the banks. They are usually open from Saturday to Wednesday between 8:00 and 12:00 and Thursday from 8:00 to 11:00.
Taxi and public transport
If you are travelling on your own, a taxi is the best way to get around. These are usually always available at the port. There is no public transport within Salalah. There is also the possibility to rent a car in the centre of Salalah.
Especially in our cold winter months, Salalah has pleasant temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the winter months are the best time to visit the city and the region.
Cruise ships usually operate in the region from October to May.
Website of Port operator and tourism organisation
Video: Impressions of Oman
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