Middle East

Salalah receives record number of tourists during summer

Salalah, the gateway to Oman’s most southerly governate of Dhofar, has been one of the sought after tourist places in the Middle East during the soaring summer season from 21st June to 21st September 2018. As per the statistics revealed by The National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI), 826,376 tourists visited Salalah during this period, citing a record hike of around 28 per cent against the same period in 2017.

As per the reports, around 94.4 per cent of tourists visited Salalah for recreational and entertainment purposes.  779,703 tourists visited Salalah with this purpose during this period, which were 604,774 in 2017.

12,966 tourists came to Salalah to visit their relatives, families and friends; while 23,281 were on business trips and 10,426 visited Salalah for other purposes.

According to NCSI statistics, visitors form GCC countries, including from Oman, comprised 90.6 per cent of the tourists, with their total number being 748,515. It is 29.9 per cent more than that of 2017, during the same period. Number of Asian tourists for the period was 48,907 showing significant increase, when compared to 44,801 in 2017.

Tourists from other Arab countries, who visited Salalah during the season was 22,306, while those from the European countries reached 4,293. The number of tourists from other countries was 2,355.

The largest number of visitors to the Salalah tourist season came during the period from July 1 to July 31, reaching 239,156. It was followed by the period between August 1 and August 31, with the total number reaching 372,998.

Salalah is known for agriculture and the cultivation and trade of frankincense (an aromatic gum resin obtained from an African tree and burnt as incense ) 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.