Welcome to the Salalah cruise port guide. If you want to go to the true middle east you will find a very nice example in Salalah. Salalah is the 2nd biggest city of Oman with a little over 200.000 inhabitants. It has that great combination of the traditional Omani heritage and an international lifestyle. Salalah is also known as the “perfume capital of Arabia”, because the Frankincense produced here is the finest in the world. The city centre of Salalah is quite nice, although not as nice as capital city Muscat. You’d might be especially interested in the surrounding area’s of Salalah. Think of the city as a true look into Arabia without all the fairytales around it. As soon as you step out of the city you are surrounded by majestic mountains, a vast desert and there truly is a lot to do in this area. Find some suggestions underneath. Oman and Salalah are a suprise to many and for many this is an eye opening experience. Many wouldn’t think the middle east can be so friendly and so incredibly safe. But as you will drive the clean and quite streets of Salalah you can figure out that this is country that has things figured out. Watch Oman closely as this might just be the next up and coming country.
Cruise ships dock in the regular container port of Salalah. There are limited facilities at the cruise dock and keep in mind you will need transportation to visit the city center. More information on this can be found in the full cruise port guide on Salalah.
This is what the official taxi’s look like. White with orange. They do not have a meter. The taxi driver often speaks English and will take US dollars.
The palace from the 19th century used by many generations of Sultans. Sultan Qaboos might have moved to Muscat, but is still used as his summer residence. A immense complex of palace that make up the perfect spot to welcome important guests with hundreds or luxurious apartments right next to the palace.
The “castle market” is a small market where you’ll see a lot of the traditional products Oman has to offer like clothing. daggers, perfumes and scarfs. This is especially also the place to buy Frankincense. Make sure the locals tell you what to do with it and how to use it. You can pay with US dollars on the market.
It is not the most spectacular things to visit although the drive to it is very impressive. For most of us It is one of those “been there, done that” things. From port it is 30 km / 45 min drive to the North.
There are still several Frankincense trees to find in the desert of Salalah. At about 45 minute drive into the North West direction you’ll find them next to the road. Make sure to make a cut and have smell. If you are on the scout for the best frankincense in town make sure to check the color! The best quality is almost transparent with green glow. Did you know you cannot just burn this stuff, you can also make tea out of it and originally it was used as a gum to chew on. Go try it yourself. Frankincense has a medicinal power so you can never go wrong.