For many years, Salalah, Oman, has attracted visitors from other Arabian Gulf
countries during the months of July and August because of the Khareef season, the
climactic anomaly that brings gentle monsoon rains to the otherwise arid southern
Arabian Peninsula. European tourists and more recently American tourists have
begun to appreciate the beauty of this region during the winter months as it offers
relaxation as well as cultural history to holidaymakers.
Al Baleed in Salalah is the ancient shipping port of Zufur and continues to be an
attraction for archaeologists as well as tourists. This ‘user-friendly’ dig site, offers
visitors many opportunities to view the site; on occasion, ...view middle of the document...
The largest exports from Zufur were
frankincense, Arabian horses, and dried sardines, so one can only imagine the
space needed to house the horses and store the frankincense and sardines before
these goods were loaded onto small vessels which then took the goods a short
distance off-shore to larger sea-faring vessels. 2
Importance of Al Baleed and pending questions about the site
Salalah and the Dhofari region are still considered part of ‘wild Arabia’, including
camels walking down the roads of Salalah’s suburbs Dahariz and Hafa, areas
unreachable without a 4X4, older inhabitants who tell stories of living in caves in
the jabal, and fishermen still catching sardines the traditional way. Recently at Al
Baleed, archaeologists discovered graves that were not facing Mekkah, meaning of
course, that the graves were pre-Islamic. There is also significant evidence that the
‘white sheikh’, who was the sole survivor of the USS Essex disaster, was, in fact, at
one time the ruler of Al...