The Khareef season kicked off on 21st June at the Governorate of Dhofar

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The Khareef Dhofar season kicked off on Wednesday 21st June and will continue till 21st September 2023. Khareef season is considered as one of the most important tourism seasons in the Sultanate of Oman, which, owing to exceptional weather gives the governorate of Dhofar a unique atmosphere. This uniqueness, along with multiple tourism elements, has created a diversity in the tourism products in all the cities of the Governorate of Dhofar.

The preparation for Khareef season comes within the framework of the efforts made by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) to enhance the tourism season and maximize their utilization to achieve the highest gains, in accordance with the objectives of Oman Vision 2040. Many tourism projects will also be inaugurated during this season. 

The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is intensifying its efforts to enhance the tourism reputation of the Governorate of Dhofar as one of the best sustainable tourism destinations in the region, maximizing the richness of its tourism products to form unique and diverse experiences for visitors and tourists. The destination offers comprehensive tourism services that meet the requirements of all groups of visitors, including the availability of well-established accommodation services with 50 licensed hotel facilities boasting over 6000 rooms. The integration of the government efforts, the private sector, and the tourism sector partners in the Governorate of Dhofar, are working as a team to meet the needs of the visitors.

Marwan bin Abdulhakim Al-Ghassani, Director of Promotion at the Directorate General of Heritage and Tourism in the Governorate of Dhofar, said, “The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has set a plan to promote the Khareef Dhofar season and developed a marketing strategy for all its periods. For three months, the promotion will be done through many tracks, which includes spreading the word in media and paid advertisements through social media, as well as entering partnerships with airlines and hotel establishments to implement a joint promotional campaign throughout the season.”

He added. “There is also existing cooperation with airlines and hotels to set attractive promotional packages, out of which many have been offered and sold through the tourist office platforms and websites, as they have witnessed great demand and interest.”

Al-Ghassani pointed out that the Ministry has succeeded since last season in promoting periods where tourist movement weakens at the beginning and at the end of the season due to the incomplete autumn weather and the start of the school year. They have focused on various tourism segments such as adventure tourism and hosting international sports competitions and tournaments. In addition, in joint efforts with the Oman Convention Bureau, the Ministry has allocated the period of September and October for organizing conferences and specialized international exhibitions.

He emphasized that direct flights will be operated from several airports in the Sultanate of Oman, as well as regional and international airports, to Salalah Airport, with more than 160 weekly flights during the season, to provide options for travellers to enjoy the fall season. The Governorate of Dhofar is being promoted in regional and international conferences as well as travel and tourism markets, where the events and activities during Khareef Dhofar have been highlighted.

13 weekly flights from Saudi Arabia

Regarding the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism to promote the Khareef season regionally and internationally, Marwan bin Abdulhakim Al-Ghassani said, “The Ministry is carrying out many promotional efforts to promote Khareef season, including mobile promotional workshops that were organized in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, starting from Riyadh, passing through Dammam, and then Jeddah, where the campaign focus on the Saudi market keeps pace with the volume of growth of visitors from this market to the  Governorate of Dhofar, as well as to other destinations in the Sultanate of Oman. The focus of the promotional campaign has been on some Saudi cities due to the presence of 13 weekly direct flights from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam to the Sultanate of Oman.”

He added that the Ministry has been cooperating with travel partners throughout the season to prepare attractive packages for tourists.

The Governorate of Dhofar is one of the most important tourist destinations in the region. It has an infrastructure that includes roads linking tourism sites and water springs, which are among the famous tourist attractions in the governorate. Road construction and maintenance works have been carried out to provide a safe and integrated structure with urban and economic development. It is worth noting that the number of visitors to the Khareef Dhofar season of 2022, reached 813 thousand, compared to 767 thousand visitors during the Khareef season of 2019.