Each year the atmosphere and landscape of Salalah, the most populated city in the south of Oman, changes with the rainy season known as Khareef. Brown and dry mountain faces transform into lush and green views you will remember for a lifetime. The number of things to see and explore in the Salalah area during this time are endless, but one of the greatest activities for you in the city is the Salalah Tourism Festival. This carnival-like event, also called the Khareef Festival, is an amazing opportunity to see and experience portions of Omani culture and tradition otherwise inaccessible to visitors.
Opening around July 15th and running until the end of August, the Festival is a celebration of Oman and is geared specifically toward the thousands of visitors flooding into the city. Within the Festival, you will find many different areas for learning and fun. There are Bedouin tents in which native people perform traditional songs, dances, and other cultural rituals. You will have an opportunity to visit the market tent in which you can shop for traditional Omani clothes, incense, spices, frankincense, along with other items popular with local people. Just down the street from the market tent, there are small buildings in which local women work hard to make fresh Omani culinary delights available for purchase. In this area of the Festival, you can also visit the handicraft stalls and watch women weave baskets, paint pottery, among other activities.
Within the amphitheaters and buildings of the Salalah Festival grounds, performances and competitions are held nightly. You can experience singing contests, performances by local musicians, and entertaining acts brought in from surrounding countries for this special occasion. Shows are at various times each night and schedules can be found on the fairgrounds. If you are looking for something a bit more interactive, there are many amusement park rides for all ages.
The doors are open to the public each day from 4pm until midnight, with the market tent opening at 5pm. If you have not filled up on the fresh Omani foods from the food buildings, can find restaurants throughout the Festival with local and fast-food options available.
Your trip to Salalah during Khareef season will be unforgettable and a visit to the Festival is sure to be one of the cultural highlights of your overall experience.