Salalah is Oman’s second largest city and the culture found here is an exotic mixture of Arabia and East Africa, quite different from Muscat which is around 1000km away. It is known by some as the ‘city of gardens’ due to the abundant banana plantations and coconut palms which surround it and its climate, which is more tropical than the north, with a monsoon that hits between June and August. Salalah is also famous for frankincense, grown in the mountains to the west of the city and harvested each year in April and October. A visit to the Museum of the Frankincense Land to learn more about this is an interesting thing to do, as is a potter around the atmospheric alleyways of the Al Haffa Souq and onto the splendid Al Haffa Beach. Travel east from the city and you will hit small fishing towns like Mirbat, dreamy beaches and coastline which looks out across the Arabian Sea towards India. Salalah is also the gateway to the ‘Empty Quarter’, a vast expanse of desert which covers most of Oman’s southern provinces of Dhofar and Al Wusta.

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