Saturday, July 11, 2009


I've been thinking about the 'Tent Philosophy' in Salalah. Many of you may know that when the monsoon season starts in Salalah (July, August), many families set up blue 'tents' on the Garbeeb or Iteen plains under the mountains. They spend their evenings barbecuing and relaxing by their tents all summer. It's a strange habit we've developed over the years. Usually on the weekends, we're invited by families we know to join them at their 'tent' in Iteen. We spend the afternoon talking and barbecuing while the children play then people gather around in a circle at night in the tent (or outside on a straw mat) playing cards or chatting or even watching television! (I've seen tents with battery operated televisions!). Some families have their own water tanks and portable bathrooms by their tent. It's become an odd tradition.

Furthermore, several years ago it was a money-making technique. Families would move into their tents (yes, MOVE IN, kids and all), and rent out their real homes to families from the UAE or Saudi. They could easily make 800 Rials a week just by renting out their house. I've seen many families (including our neighbours) who did this. But, the sad thing is that the husbands are greedy for money so they force their wives out of their homes for a couple of weeks and either send them to the tent or to their families' houses. Thus, many families became homeless out of greed. Recently (a few years ago), the government decided to make it illegal, thank goodness, because it was affecting the tourism industry (rented places and hotels), as families were making a lot of money privately. I noticed it more with families from the mountains because they usually had farms (or relatives with farms) in the mountains and it was their 'summer home'.

Does anyone know if people still rent out their homes in the summer? What do you think?


  1. Hmmm,

    4yrs ago we rented one of those houses n they told us that the family moved to Iteen and i think my family paid more than a hundred aday, so ppl r making good deals out of it!!

    even if the government is trying to control it, it wouldn't be that easy!!!

  2. Interesting. I never knew about this!

    "....because it was affecting the tourism industry (rented places and hotels)"

    Why?? Don't these rented houses provide more options for tourists???

  3. Not sure if people are still renting their houses privately in Salalah...But the year before the last year we rented a family house :p in new Salalah.

  4. am from salalah and i don't know anyone who left his house to live in a tint with his family just to rent his house for ten days!

    those who rent their houses are always having alternative houses

    It is impossible to take the children from a warm house to a tent without electricity or pathrooms!

  5. WE miss soon please, you are firm favorite. Hope Khareef is good.

  6. I love gathering in our family tent with the family, it's so much fun and there is lots to do specially when they plan all all nighter and return home in a wanet! :D

    Haven't heard of families renting out their houses and living in the tents!


    Question. How much do you know about the Sudani or was it Somalis who decided to steal and terrorize Salalah a few years back?

  7. Dhofari Chick, actually the Somalis are on my topic list for this blog (you see, I have a list in my purse, and whenever I think of an idea, I jot it down immediately). They were Somalis, and they did terrorize Salalah, and even though they still exist and work quietly harvesting frankincense in the mountains and selling it for a cheap price, they haven't killed anyone yet, but a couple of people were shot a few years ago by Somalis, not because they're evil, but because they were scared. Why do you ask?

  8. I heard many stories about them terrorizing Salalah that's all. I was wondering if you knew more.

  9. Just luv the pic, especially the clouds overlookin the tents.

    Miss u Salalah