2010/07/26

Salalah, the city fallen in love with its coconut palm...

Salalah is the second largest city in the Sultanate of Oman, and the largest city in the Dhofar Province. Salalah attracts lot of tourists from other parts of Oman and GCC during the Khareef season, which starts from July to September.The climate of the region and the monsoon allows the city to grow some vegetables and fruits like coconut.In the last 20 years, the coconut palm has become the symbol of Salalah city. This palm is presented in all the touristic documents of the city: for instance, the map of Salalah city is showing coconut palms in the beach and a bunch of fruits of the king coconut indicating that importance of the coconut palm in Oman is much more than agricultural. In environmental, cultural and tourism terms, coconut palm became an integral part of the identity of the Dhofar region. 

Although Coconut palms are ubiquitous in the landscape, more attention must be paid to cultural and ecotourism aspects. Coconut palms are currently confined to a role of creating an atmosphere, whereas they ought to be more effectively illustrating the specificity of the local culture.

In the future, planting of fast growing Tall-type coconuts for landscaping in the city should be avoided due to danger of falling of fruits and leaves, and even climbers from coconut palms, and the palms falling on the houses. In many Pacific countries, only dwarf coconut palms are now planted in the cities.

Coconut seller, street market in Salalah

Coconut seller, street market in Salalah