Category Archives: Salalah

Christmas Eve & New Year’s at the Hilton Salalah Resort

When we were at the Hilton Salalah last month, we had the distinct pleasure of meeting up with the Sales Manager, Ali Malik, and the Operations Manager, Florian Gruhl.  I told them to send me any promos they might have in the future and so Mr. Malik was kind enough to send me this flyer for any readers who might be in the Salalah area for Christmas or New Year’s.Festival Flyer 2012

Scuba-diving in Salalah, Oman: “Oasis Divesite”

If you ever make it down to Salalah in the southern region of Dhofar in Oman, you may want to consider diving (if you’re qualified) or snorkeling while you’re there to experience the beauty of Salalah marinelife.  While we were at the Hilton Salalah Resort on our latest trip, I managed to cram in a quick dive with the SubAqua Dive Center before the long drive back to Muscat.  I’m glad I did!water sports centre

The Sub-Aqua Dive Center is near the Hilton waterfront; to the right of the pool as you face the beach.  Here, divemaster Nick Turner and another employee, Nina, attend to a customer.equipment room

Nick and Abdullah in the equipment room as we gear up for our dive.oasis divesite

This was the location of my first ever dive in Salalah.  It’s near the Oasis Club (restaurant) on the hill near this beach.  Therefore, divers refer to this divesite as “Oasis“.  Not only was this my first dive in Salalah – it was my first shore dive! It was a bit of a feat to put on my fins halfway in the water as the waves were crashing in!oasis club location

So our divesite was in the bay right next to the “Oasis Club” in the bottom right corner of this map.getting ready for dive

Our motley crue preparing for the dive! 🙂  It was good fun diving with these guys.preparing to go under

Abdullah, a new employee with SubAqua Dive Center, getting ready to go under.  Adbullah was just qualified as an Open Water Diver.limited viz

Viz was limited, but it was still a good dive.  Wish I had time for a 2nd one!nina underwater

Nick with sunlight coming down

This was the first time using my new 14 mega pixel Intova with housing.  Here is a video of 14 different short clips taken my yours truly during this dive.  Keep in mind that this was my first underwater video in low viz!Obviously I have a LOT to learn about taking UW videos! Here is a video recorded at the same divesite by divemaster, Nick Turner, who is now leading the Suq Aqua Dive Center: 

Now that’s the kind of video I’d like to be able to shoot someday!Benji back at beach

Back at the beach! Benji, pictured here, was another diver who just finished his Open Water Diver Course.coming out of the water

That was fun! Let’s do it again!

If you’re a diver and want to do some diving while in Oman, give Salalah a try.  Diving season there is November to May so they’re open for business!

Fazayah Beach(es): Our Salalah Tour (Part 5 of 5)

In this last post from our incredible tour from Al Fawaz Tours in Salalah Oman, we wanted to finish with these gorgeous views and beautiful beaches.  Enjoy the following pics and videos.  This is definitely a place I’d recommend exploring if you ever get the chance to visit Salalah!Fazayih Beach 1

Fazayeh Beach is actually a 7 km stretch of coast that has at least 6 different beaches.  This point, at the far end of the 7pm ride, is the well known “lookout spot” which really sells the place.Fazayah Beach 2

If you look closely, you’ll see a small beach (“Beach 1”) just below the cliff on the righthand side.  While we were enjoying this view, there were a few tourists swimming there.  This beach, great for privacy, can be reached by a steep climb down on the right.Fazayah Beach 3

Fazayah Beach 4

These first 4 pics were taken with the 16 mega pixel Canon Powershot A810 on Super Vivid mode.  Here is a short video taken with the same camera: Here are 2 more pics of the same viewpoint with my new EOS 550D (18 mega pixels):Fazayah 5

Fazayah 6

And now a video with the EOS 550D in HD: A short drive later, this was the scene looking back towards Mughsayl Beach:Fazayah 7

The next 2 photos are from a beach (I’ll call “Beach #2”) that our tourguide affectionately referred to as “Swede Beach” because of “all the Swedish tourists who seem to prefer this beach over all others”.Fazayah 8

Fazayah 9

A video of this popular swimming spot: elephant rock

“Elephant Rock”!  🙂fazayah 11

I’ll call this beautiful spot “Fisherman’s Cove” (Beach #3). Obviously not the best place to swim as you might disturb the fisherman but definitely worth a short visit if you’re already at Fazayah.  You can also buy some freshly caught fish here if you can communicate the need to the mostly Pakistani fishermen (preferably in Arabic).fazayah 13

fazayah 13fazayah 14fazayah 15

fazayah 16Fazayah 17These Pakistani fishermen may not look so friendly at first glance, but they were very kind to us.  They gave our tourguide, Marhad, 2 big fish and 1 squid that we had fried at the restaurant near Maghsayl Beach on our way back to the Hilton.fazayah 18

This is the beach (Beach #4) where we spent a good deal of time swimming.  We had it all to ourselves!fazayah 19

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Here’s a video of our swimming spot for the day: fazayah 21

On our ride back along the 7 kms coastline at Fazayah, we arrive at Beach #5 where some Europeans were enjoying a swim.fazayah 22

fazayah 23This is the last beach (Beach #6)  which is right at the foot of the gravel road which leads down to Fazayah Beach from the hairpin bend road.  It looks like another great spot for swimming.  Because it’s the first beach once getting off the road, it’s no doubt the first one to be used be travelers.  As you see, the travelers pictured here seem to have made themselves quite comfortable and were even doing some fishing.

I hope you enjoyed this post on Fazayah Beach and the other 4 posts from our tour.  It was one of the highlights of our trip to Salalah.  A big thanks to Mr. Ali from the Hilton Salalah once again for setting up this incredible tour for us.

Have any of you been to Fazayah Beach?  If so, in which beach area did you end up camping/swimming/picnicing? How was it?

Our Salalah Tour (Part 4 of 5): Scenic Road to Fizayah Beach

After Mughsail Beach (part 1 of tour) and our twisting drive down the hairpin bend road towards Fazayah Beach (part 2) (which took us past a gorgeous “secret beach”-part 3), we finally reached the 6-km gravel road to Fazayeh.

It’s always cool to see camels on the coast! 🙂

4X4 is not mandatory for this road, but it’s recommended!  Our tourguide mentioned that the road was constructed only about 2 years back.

This spot is where the road shifts from heading towards the cliff to heading towards the beach(es) of Fazayeh below.  Forgive what seems like repetitive shots. Each one has its own beauty and so I wanted to share each of them for (what I think are) their different focal points.

I’m usually the guy behind the camera, but every now and then the family insists on a shot of me.  This is one of my favorite daddy/Naomi pics from our vacation! 🙂

I think you can get a pretty decent idea of how awesome the Fazayah beaches are from some of these photos.  The tourist maps/sites always mention “Fazayah” Beach but there are at least 5 distinct beaches that I will share with you in the next and final post from our incredible tour with Al Fawaz Tours.  You won’t believe some of the images!

Our Salalah Tour (Part 3 of 5): “Hidden Treasure” Secret Beach on Hairpin Bend Road

This gorgeous beach is located between Mughsail Beach and Fazayeh Beach.  If I had more time in Salalah, this would definitely be a great beach to try out after a decent hike down!  Here is a video showing the turn off from the Hairpin Bend Road on the way to Yemen for anyone interested in trying to find this spot: