When planning any trip, we try to visit a place where its climate is at its best! Because let’s be honest, whether you’re there to explore or simply relax, nobody wants to set foot in a place burning like a stovetop or freezing to the point of frostbite!
Therefore, if you’re contemplating visiting Middle Eastern countries like Oman, it’s best to check which months have the most pleasant weather. And while Oman is a tropical desert, it has cities with somewhat different weather than the rest of the country.
We’re talking about Salalah, Oman’s third-largest city.
Located in the Dhofar province in Southern Oman, right on the coast of the Arabian Sea, Salalah is famous for its amazing beach resorts, architecture, history, and, not to forget, diversified climatic conditions.
Talking of climate, here’s a detailed guide on the best time to visit Salalah. We will also throw in some information about the climate and the special events during specific seasons in this coastal desert.
Khareef Season in Salalah
The climate in Salalah varies all year round, but it is mostly hot and dry, except for Khareef, the monsoon season. It starts sometime around late July and continues till September.
This is when most tourists visit Salalah from all over Oman and neighboring states.
So, what’s it about Khareef that has people rushing to Salalah?
The Good Part About Visiting Salalah During Khareef
As I said, people usually visit Salalah during Khareef.
The reason? Instead of torrential rains that confine you inside your houses, Salalah experiences light rain showers and mist during Khareef. This means you can easily roam around the city, enjoying the light rain and cool temperature.
Secondly, this is the time of the year when fog engulfs the city, and lush green forests, waterfalls, and springs gush out of the mountains. Would you miss a chance to experience such a magnificent ecological habitat of the coastal fog desert along the Arabian Peninsula? I wouldn’t!
Also, the temperature is between 20 to 25 degrees, which is significantly cooler than the other cities of Oman and Gulf states. So, if you’re looking for the ultimate summer getaway, visiting Salalah during Khareef is the answer.
Precautions for Visiting Salalah During Khareef
While Khareef is the time that brings out the best of Salalah, it can be a bit dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions when visiting during this misty season.
For instance, the fog and mist can restrict your view while driving, so it is recommended to drive slowly, so you don’t get into an accident or run over animals crossing the road.
Also, a lot of flora and fauna sprout up during Khareef; therefore, when visiting the villages and other hilly areas, park your cars in the designated parking space to avoid ruining the blossoming plants. Plus, always ride in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to prevent skidding and slipping if you’re travelling off-road.
Next, if you plan on taking the cruise or a boat ride, make sure the tour guide has a valid license and safety equipment approved by the law. All this is to stay safe from accidents due to the high tides and fog.
Many tourists like to camp in the wadis but keep it to a minimum during Khareef due to unexpected flash floods.
Taking these preventive measures when touring Salalah during Khareef will help you stay away from danger and have a memorable time.
Oh, and cost. Make no mistake; you’re not the only people in the Middle East seeking cooler climates at the peak of summer. Hotel pricing in Salalah is at its highest over July and August (and this year, expect the pricing hike to start from Eid in late June)
All-Year-Round Climate in Salalah
Now that you know all about the Khareef season in Salalah, let’s go through the climate for the rest of the year so you can find an ideal time to visit.
Starting from the beginning of the year, the temperature from January through March is somewhere between 16 to 26 degrees. This means that it’s not too cold or hot; instead, it’s quite pleasant.
You can easily enjoy outdoor activities and even have fun at the beach in this climate! However, as the sun sets, the temperature tends to fall a bit, and it gets a bit chilly. Hence, keeping a light sweater or jacket for the evening is a good idea.
From April to July, the weather is hot and dry all day, marking the peak of summer – though nowhere near the summer peaks you’ll experience elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula.
If you’re coming from a cold climate area, you might enjoy the warmth during these months; however, for people looking to escape the summer heat, I would recommend waiting for Khareef to visit Salalah.
July to September is Khareef, which we discussed earlier.
So, moving on to October, November, and December. The temperature during late autumn and into winter ranges between 19 to 27 degrees, which is again not very hot nor cold.
In short, the climate in Salalah is pleasant all year round, and you can visit anytime during the year to enjoy this coastal desert. However, Khareef is relatively cooler, and the best part is that many festivals are organized during this time of the year, making for a truly unique Omani experience.
|Ave. Daily High °C
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Special Events in Salalah
Many events are organized in Salalah throughout the year, some by the resorts and some by the locals. Here are a few notable ones:
1. Salalah Tourism Festival
The Salalah Tourism Festival takes place every year from 15th June till 31st August (cancelled last 3 years due to COVID).
The timing of this festival is the peak Khareef season, when the city is bustling with tourists from all over. That’s one more reason to visit Salalah in July and August!
The Salalah Tourism Festival is a festive and joyful affair with everything people love! You will find plenty to do at the event, from great food to lively music, fun games, circus, entertainment, and stalls that sell clothes and souvenirs.
2. Havana Fiesta
The Havana Fiesta is hosted every Saturday by the Havana Marina, a resort in Salalah. At this event, there are many activities to entertain the guests, like performances by Omani performers, kids’ games, delicious food, and music. You can also get various arts and crafts products from local vendors.
The Havana Fiesta has free entry and is open for all!
More FAQs on Visiting Salalah
To fully experience the Khareef in Salalah, the best time to visit is July and August.
That entirely depends on what you’d like to see and do in Salalah. If you are seeking to see the tourist highlights, this can be done in just a few days, but for a longer relaxing break at the beach, you could easily spend a week.
January is historically the coolest time of year in Salalah, with daytime highs averaging only around 20C.
On the whole and compared to other parts of Oman, yes, the remote capital of the Dhofar Governate of Oman is not a cheap place to visit. This is because it is quite remote, and tourism services are somewhat limited, meaning higher prices are charged to tourists from hotels to restaurants and taxis. It is particularly expensive to visit Salalah during khareef when demand is sky-high.
Yes, you will still find Salalah is quite lush and green in September, and the crowds will be fewer than visiting in July and August as most schools return from summer break.
If you’re heading beyond Salalah in Oman, make sure to check out our complete guide to the best time to visit Oman.
More on Salalah & Oman
If you’re planning a trip to Oman, you may also be interested in:
- Best Family Resorts in Salalah – chose the best family-friendly accommodation to make the most of your time in the Dhofar region
- Best places to stay in Musandam – a uniquely different side to Oman, visit the exclave in the Persian Gulf
- Best Muscat Resorts & Family-Friendly Accommodation – starting your Oman adventure from the capital, these are the best family hotels and holiday apartments, along with the best things to do in Muscat with kids
- Family-friendly highlights of Oman – follow along with this itinerary covering all the eastern coast highlights of visiting Oman
- What to wear in Oman dress code advice for all the family with a downloadable packing list
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