The capital of Dhufar stretches like a belt along the coast. It is the seat of administration for the south of Oman and the economic center of Dhufar. Numerous plantations stretch between the town and the coast. The remains of the ancient Middle Age settlement are an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The capital of Dhufar has much in common with Muscat. Salalah, too, stretches like a belt of modern buildings along the coast, and presents a variety of faces, not all of which may be noticed by an outsider at first. It is the seat of administration for the south and the economic center of Dhufar. An airport, hotels, and, to the west, the container port of Mina Raysut, are all to be found here.
Numerous plantations are stretched out between the town and the coast. Coconut palms thrust heavenwards and in their shadows banana and papayas cluster together. Small, narrow roads wind their way through these miniature tropics. Small huts arrayed alongside the road offer freshly harvested fruit and coconuts.
Remains of the ancient Middle Age settlement, which once reached as far as today’s plantations, can now be found at Al Balid (from al Balad, meaning ‘town’), a spit of land in the lagoon at the eastern end of the beach at Salalah. This UNESCO World Heritage site is now an archaeological park.
The oldest parts of Salalah are al Husn and al Hafah, whose suq has been completely rebuilt and remains a lively trading post for fruit, handicrafts produced in southern Oman, and for perfumes. The women of Salalah mainly offer incense and their own famous mixtures of incense, known as bokhur, often sold in old nondescript cosmetic tins and jars, together with clay incense burners.