Situation: The Dhofar Governorate is the largest of the eleven Governorates in Oman in terms of area. It lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen
Population: 275.000 people in 10 provinces: Salalah, Thumrait, Taqah, Mirbat, Sadah, Rakhyut, Dhalkut, Muqshim, Shaleem and 3 small islands: Al-Hallaniyah, As_Sawdah and Al-Hasikiyah
Capital: Salalah. To arrive from Muscat, we have several options:
- Car 1.040 kms. Through a highway (in good condition but dangerous due to the duration of the trip, high traffic and accident rates). The distances are: Muscat – (174 Km) – Nizwa – (56 Km) – Adam – (119 Km) – Al Ghabah – (199 Km) – Hayma – (90 Km) – Al Ghaftayn – (65 Km) – Muqshin – (64 Km) – Qatbit – (195 Km) – Thumrayt – (77 Km) -Salalah
- Bus ride: ONTC. Duration 11 hours.
- By plane: Omanair. Duration 2 hours (some companies take your vehicle by road from Muscat to Salalah).
Geography: it has a suface of 99.300 km² where we can find:
- A coast line (with a length of 400 kms.)
- Three Mountain Chains of 2.500 meters tall (Jebel Al Samhan, Jebel Al-Qara, Jebel Al-Qamar) that create a shield for the winds of the monsoon (Khareef) whose clouds bring tropical rain from June to September. During this season the mountains turn green giving life and color to the area.
- To the North of the mountains (limiting with Saudi Arabia) you will find the Desert of Ar Rub Al Khali, the world largest sand desert (It´s a dangerous place if we do not go with an expert guide). At its gates the city of Ubar (commercial enclave of the incense route); with the ruins of the Shisr fortress built on groundwater that sank into the sands.
Climate: it has a subtropical climate about 27ºC (81ºF) during the entire year. This place has two seasons, humid and dry.
- Humid: from June to September (rainy and cloudy).
- Dry: from October to May, Sunny days without rain.
Incense Route: this region is considered a World Cultural Heritage due to its historical and commercial importance.
To visit the región of Dhofar, I have divided it into 4 geographical blocks (with towns and cities):
- East Coast: Qaysad, Lakbi, Sawqrah, Shelim, Fagharah; Ash Shumaymiyah, Jinawt, Ras Almuntajib, Hadbaran, Ras Tihrar, Hasik, Natif, Ras Naws
- Jebel Al Samhan: Hadbeen, Sadah, Mirbat,
- Jebel Al-Qara; Taqah, Khour Rouri, Wadis, Ayn, Raysut, Mughsayl y la capital, Salalah
- Jebel Al-Qamar: Fizayah, Adjarawt, Rakhyut