Salalah transliterated Ṣalālah), is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009.
Salalah is the second largest city in the Sultanate of Oman, and the largest city in the Dhofar Province. Salalah is the birthplace of the Sultan, Qaboos bin Said. Salalah attracts lots of people 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.
Salalah was the traditional capital of Dhofar, which reached the peak of prosperity in the 13th century thanks to the incense trade. Later it decayed, and in the 19th century it was absorbed by the Sultanate of Muscat. In 1932-1970 Salalah was the capital of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, under Said bin Taimur. After the latter's death, his son Qaboos decided to move the capital of Oman to Muscat.
The Sultan traditionally lives in Salalah rather than in Muscat, the capital and largest city in Oman; Qaboos has bucked this trend, and has lived in Muscat since he ascended to the throne in 1970. He does, however, visit Salalah fairly regularly to meet with influential tribal and local leaders; his last visit was in 2010 and before that he visited in 2006.
In 2010, during the 40th anniversary of Sultan Qaboos' taking the throne, he decided to spend his time in Salalah. The 40th anniversary celebrations consisted of a massive parade. It lasted several hours and had an estimated 100,000 attendees. In 2011 the city hosted peaceful protests after the domino effect from the Arab Spring which lasted many several months. Of the many requests filed from the protesters, some included the expulsion of the current ministers, job opportunities, salary increases, a solution to the increasing cost of living, and the establishment of Islamic banks
The city, like many other in Arab states of the Arabian peninsula, has a relatively large expatriate community, mainly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The majority of the Omani population in Salalah is Muslim. Like the majority of the Middle East, most people in Salalah follow the Sunni sect of Islam; unlike the majority of Omanis in Muscat which mostly follow the Ibadhi sect. There is also a considerable population of Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs in the expatriate community.
Arabic is the official language and the most spoken one. The unofficial, unwritten language known as Jeballi is the second most spoken language and the mother tongue of many in Salalah and its surrounding areas. As of 1993 there were an estimated 25,000 speakers and the numbers have more than doubled ever since.