Competition for tourist dollars has increased in the Omani oasis, where regional tensions seem far away.
Salalah, Oman – Tourists crowd atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the aqua seascape of Taqah, smiling as their Omani guide snaps a photo.
Down the coastal road towards Salalah, visitors pause by a row of tropical fruit stands to snack on fresh bananas and sip coconut water.
In this desert paradise, regional tensions seem to drift away. War is raging across the border in neighbouring Yemen, and Oman’s fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members are locked in an unprecedented diplomatic crisis – but on a recent afternoon, visitors to Salalah were simply enjoying the sunshine and stunning scenery.
“Oman is one of the safest places in the world,” said German tourist Thomas Fink. “I wasn’t worried at all about coming here.”