Salalah, Oman

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Tucked between the Dhofar Mountains and the Arabian Sea, subtropical Salalah is the gateway to Southern Oman’s pristine white-sand beaches, dramatic natural beauty and ancient frankincense-trade routes. Each year from July to September, the rains of the khareef, a monsoon that blows in from the Indian Ocean, transform the Dhofar region’s stark desert vistas into lush oases dotted with seasonal waterfalls and grazing camels. Enjoy a scenic drive through these misty-green peaks and wadis, worlds away from the bone-dry Omani heartland to the north. Spend an afternoon strolling under coconut palms and frankincense trees on one of Salālah’s hidden beaches. Follow in the footsteps of famed travelers like Ibn Battutah, Marco Polo and the Queen of Sheba at the region’s four \"Land of Frankincense\" UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These waterfront archaeological parks bear witness to a rich history of traffic in incense and spices dating back to the Neolithic period. Merchants from all over the world once swarmed Salālah’s ports and markets. Today, the city retains its identity as a crossroads for cultures, climates and landscapes. A journey through Salalah’s tropical-fruit plantations and bustling souks will transport you from the Arabian Desert to Zanzibar, India and beyond.