Muscat: Thousands of tourists are expected to flock to the country’s southern region in Dhofar as the Khareef (monsoon) season will begin on July 10, the authorities announced.
The Khareef season is expected to continue until August 25.
Shaikh Salim Bin Ofait Al Shanfari, head of the Dhofar Municipality and head of the organising committee of the Salalah Tourism Festival 2018, said that the completion of all facilities for launching the festival’s activities for this year as planned.
He also noted the readiness of the Municipality Recreational Centre to host this tourism event and receive visitors to the festival; thanks to the continuous efforts by Dhofar Municipality to repair major damages caused by the recent Cyclone Mekunu, which affected the public facilities in the centre.
Cyclone Mekunu battered the country on May, left at least seven people dead and caused substantial damage to the infrastructure and properties.
He added that Dhofar Municipality has established five new halls as per the world class standards to set up exhibitions for the public and private organisations to be an addition to the Municipality Recreational Centre.
Al Shanfari explained that this year’s festival will include a range of religious, economic, cultural, social, sports, arts and recreational events.
New events will be also introduced alongside the successful events that have been organised in the previous years.
The Head of Dhofar Municipality said that Salalah Tourism Festival will organise an event on July 23 to mark Renaissance Day.
He stressed the keenness of the Festival’s management to set up cultural events, such as the sixth version of the Holy Quran Memorisation Contest, photography and fine arts competitions, which will be held for the first time. It will also organise competition for mass theatres.
Other events will be held as well including Salalah Tourism Festival Cup, Shooting Competition and Marathon, in addition to Salalah International Football competition.
A spokesperson from the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) said: “It is noteworthy that even though areas in the sultanate experience high temperatures during summer, Dhofar, which is located in the south of the sultanate, differentiates itself with its amazing moderate temperatures. The region is a treat to all of one’s senses and is characterised by mountainous slopes, plains and valleys; with its beaches extending along the coast of the Arabian Sea.”
From June to September, the mountains and plains in the region become lush green, making Dhofar an important tourism destination.
Last year, the Khareef season attracted 630,000 visitors from June 21 until September 5, as per the statistics from a survey conducted by the National Centre for Statistics and Information.