Khareef is knocking Salalah as it has already arrived on the adjoining mountains and outskirts of Salalah. It is Dhalkout which receives the monsoon first and then travels down to Salalah covering most of the mountain villages. Khareef has already arrived in Dhalkout with a combination of fog and mist and light drizzling most of the time. Salalah is under its impact now with late night drizzling almost daily from Wednesday and settling of low clouds in the evening sand early mornings. Hardly some kilometres towards any one of the mountain villages and one can easily encounter some fog on his way up and down Salalah city.
Salalah resident Ali al Shahri visited Dhalkout on the very first day of khareef season and was happy to witness the arrival of monsoon. He was among the very few from Salalah to grab the moment in his mobile camera and spread it on the social media as a strong evidence. He is convinced that the monsoon would settle down in Salalah very soon. “I have been witnessing the phenomenon from my childhood. I have my ancestral house on the Sahal Hamrir Mountain and have been witnessing that the monsoon comes first to Dhalkout and covering a vast semi circular path, it reaches Salalah after 10 to 15 days via Rakhyout.”
Even though he is living the khareef season every year, Ali is so excited about it that almost every year he visits Dhalkout covering a long distance of some 200 km. He enjoys being there. “It is every year phenomenon that the news of drizzling in Dhalkout, 160 km west of Salalah, circulates through social media and by the evening everyone starts talking about khareef,” he said. The drive from Al Mughsayl to Dhalkout is very exciting, but Ali cautions the drivers about the sharp curves and steep slopes are there all through the journey. Fog has started building up in Rakhyout and while progressing further towards Dhalkout, visibility is as low as one metre sometimes. “So, one has to be careful. But the nature has started blooming and in another 10-20 days everything — the valleys, the mountains and even plains along the roadside would become green giving you a feeling of Switzerland in Salalah!”
Being a local and frequent traveller to Dalkhout, Ali has some piece of advice to new visitors. He advises them to fill their petrol tank in Salalah because there are not many petrol stations between Mughsayl and Dalkhout. In between there is one at Deem. “If your car is full in Salalah, you can go and come back. But this should be kept in mind.” On touristic side, “There are plenty of beaches on way to Dalkhout to take a break. Besides Niyabat of Khadhrafi, other important side stops are the small settlements of Hafuf, Dahaq, Hakab, Himmut, Urf and Ghaduw. Among other interesting features are mountainous plateau of Dara, Sheerashti, Ghoota, Sarfait and Dharbat.”