Good news while planning travelling to Oman….just push the e-Visa apply button…Read More
Here in Europe, we take our umbrellas and hope the rain passes quickly….
In Dhofar, in the south of Oman, while the temperature in the Gulf countries hits 45 degrees and more, in Salalah, the second capital of the Sultanate, its 27 degrees. From mid June till mid September, the south west monsoon also called Khareef provides water for agriculture in the dry weather months coming up afterwards…Khareef turns the mountains in green paradises where exotic flowers comes alive…South west monsoon brings people together from the Gulf countries, India, Europe…and as tradition requires the yearly Salalah Tourism Festival is already announced…
There is always something happening in the sky. Next day’s coming up, not only in Oman, but in the whole Muslim world, the moon is focused. High-tech instruments will be in search of the Ramadan moon.
Although the date of 27th of May is already fixed by astronomy on the calendars, only when the crescent moon is visible by the naked eye, Ramadan will be announced.
During Ramadan the sky is also lighted up. In December 2014, scientists using a NASA-NOAA satellite announced that they had detected significant changes in the amount and distribution of nighttime lighting during holiday seasons in the Middle East and North America. For instance, nighttime lights in some Middle East cities were 50 to 100 percent brighter during the holy month of Ramadan. The change made sense because Muslims fast during daylight in Ramadan, pushing meals, social gatherings, commerce and other activities into nighttime hours. To confirm that the nighttime signal was not merely an instrument artifact, the team examined all of the nighttime data from spring 2012 through autumn 2014. They found that the peaks in light use closely tracked the Islamic calendar.
This year with the ‘Ramadan Kareem’ month ahead the same will happen again.
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Between 2013 and 2015 other groups and individuals tried to do their …’In the footsteps of’…
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But the first ever who crossed the Rub al Khali without the means the former travelers had was: Muhammad al Auf, Rashid guide who led Thesiger across the Empty Quarter. He had crossed the desert before-once alone….
In Salalah, as in Muscat, the crowning achievement of contemporary mosque architecture are the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosques. In 2009 the Friday mosque also open to non-muslims in Salalah was inaugurated.
Detail of beauty is the paneled wall decoration of the Mihrab in the main prayer hall. It took four months to fix 20.000 miniaturized pieces of different types of marble on panels by using water jet cutting and laser.
Sunday 23th it’s World Book Day. In Oman you don’t need a book to discover the area. In the north, the geology of the landscape is an open book, geologists told me. In Dhofar the geology of the landscape is a more hidden matter. That’s why perhaps it is also the region where the magic rituals of the frankincense still exist. The ‘Rub al Khali’ has seldom been inhabited. That’s why local call this ecological region the ‘Empty Quarter.’
Geologists nicknamed the Rub al Khali , the ‘Valuable Quarter,’ caused by findings of plant species and 24 different birds. Studies have shown that as recently as 40.000 years ago this desert was an area of lakes and rivers, where water buffalo’s thrived…The protected sandgrouse adapted to the desert, is one of the rarest of the Sultanate’s bird species. Rarely found by birdwatchers, this bird can even out fly a falcon. To reach spotting area’s you better take a guide with you…Read More
It’s worthwhile to do the drive to Hasik area, about 205km east from Salalah. Hasik was involved in the ancient frankincense trade. It has a natural sheltered harbor. The area refuges nestling turtles and migrant birds. And…there is always the magic of the steep limestone hills broken by wadis, small creeks and sandy beaches…What are you waiting for….!Read More
Sightseeing in Dhofar is always exciting. Besides beautiful cliffs plunching down to the sea, typical for the west of Salalah, there are the camels who makes the environment alive. Historically camels were important when frankincense trade was at the highest point. Still today the camels make their way independently during the day. So you can find them everywhere even on and along the road. For several reasons camels have a special place in the heart of the Omani’s as expressed in the pictures of our guests during their tour to Jebel Al Qamar .
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