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Oman - Salalah Surf Spots

Travelling to Salalah for Surfing

A surf trip to Salalah (not Salala) in the province or area of Dhofar / Dofar is a serious trek by car - about 1200 km from Dubai. In one hit you could probably do it in 12-13 hrs. I've done it once in 15 hours which included a 90 minute stop for sleep and a 1 hour delay while getting lost in Al Ain - also a slow border crossing there.

There are direct flights from Dubai to Salalah with Oman Air three times a week taking 90 minutes each way. The downside is you're restricted as to how much surf and camping gear you can bring - and you need to rent a vehicle when you get there to go exploring for surf. There are also flights going via Muscat.

The Oman National Transport Company runs a daily bus service to Muscat and Salalah - may be summer season only for Salalah. Website at www.ontcoman.com. Oman office tel +968-24590046. Dubai office near DNATA building in Deira. Direct trips daily between Dubai and Salalah via Buraimi/Al Ain depart at 1500 and arrive at 0700 next day - only 16 hours. Fare is about 200 dhs return. Comfortable buses with TV and toilet.

Surfing in Salalah

The months of June to August are known as the Khareef (also written as Kharif, Karif, Kareef, Harif, Hareef) when you get heavy monsoon swells coming up the Indian Ocean. Surf is usually large and messy with strong currents. The rest of the year the surf is usually small and barely good enough for long boarders. Great for beginners though. Occasionally a good solid swell comes through. Best times for surfing are either side of the Khareef in May/June and September.

Remember that there are no surf rescue facilities and you could quite possibly be the only surfer in the water along that coast between Iran and Africa (although as of 2007 there are a couple of surfers living in Salalah - see the Surf Oman forum). An unnerving feeling, especially when some of the marine wildlife comes sniffing around to see what's appeared on the menu. During the Kharif, the currents can be very strong and may take you out the back a long way, very quickly. Don't underestimate them.

Surf Spots near Salalah, Oman

See Oman Surf - Salalah Report forum topic for more information, thanks to yEAH yOU??? and mike for information.

  • Corniche Salalah - look for shelter behind the Old Souk (Old Souq).
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel - nice beach, good for beginners when small and beach profile not too steep - it can change significantly.
  • Dumpsters - between the Crowne Plaza Salalah and the holiday apartments next to a large villa. Rippy during the Khareef.
  • Fishing Wedge - needs big swell to work (rare), pebble reef off jetty to the right of the fishing village.
  • Hilton Hotel - similar to Crowne Plaza hotel but beach doesn't look quite as nice.
  • InBetweens - in between the Hilton and the fishing village, worth checking during the Khareef if everywhere else is blown out. Near the 'Danger' signs.
  • Khor Rori (or Khor Rouri) - archaeological site and is rumoured to be a meeting spot for witches and wizards. Sheltered bay with big swell during the Khareef. Spooky.
  • Maneef Cave - spelling? Break in front of cliff onto rocks and sea urchins. Related to do Teyq Cave (apparently the largest cave in the world with a 250m drop into the hole)?
  • Mirbat - north of Salalah, keep driving and exploring, you'll find something!
  • Mughsail / Mughsayl (sometimes written Mugsayl, Mugsail, Mugshail, Mugshayl, or Muggies / Mugsies / Muggsies) - well-known for the blowholes and Khor Mughsayl about 45 mins drive south of Salalah. Long sandy beach with reasonable beach breaks and also a point and reef break at the southern end. Facilities at Mughsayl include beach umbrellas and the Mughsayl Beach Tourist Restaurant, also some accommodation - 10 Omani Riyals (OR) for a chalet you can all stay in (up to 15 people if you want to sleep standing up).
  • Pineapple Beach - between Taqa (or Taqah) and Mirbat. Look for large cliff and go over the top to a long beach with a boulders in the shoredump.
  • Rakhyut (or Rakyut) - a couple of hours south from Salalah, less now that the road is sealed. Bring passport for checkpoint on the way. A spectacular scenic drive, especially during the Kharif when you rise above the mist that hangs around in Salalah. Rakhyut a very small village, make sure you leave Salalah with a full tank and any supplies you think you might need. Surf can be significantly larger than in Salalah during the Khareef. Beach break, also reef and point breaks.
  • Sadah - 140 km north of Salalah, lots of exploration potential on the way, difficult to drive north from Sadah. Sadah a resonable sized town (as places go along the coast) with an old historic fort/castle.
  • Transmitter Beach - the road stops here where there is a large antenna. A pebbled point break that becomes a beach break as you surf in towards the beach and Salalah.
  • Village - at the Tourist Village, average beach break.

See these forum topics and pages for more information.

Some previous trips to Salalah, Oman

Other useful links for Oman, Salalah, and Dhofar (open in new window)

  • www.aroundoman.com - Mark Evans Kayak Trip along the Omani coast during 2005 (website defunct, is spam when checked January 2010).
  • www.omantourism.gov.om - official Oman Ministry of Tourism site.
  • www.ontcoman.com - Oman National Transport Company, bus services in Oman and from the UAE (website offline when checked January 2010).

 


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