Oman tourism to get grand boost, adding new hotels and resorts

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A view along the Corniche of Mutrah in Muscat, with latticed houses and the beautiful Mutrah Mosque. Photo - Getty Images

Oman’s Ministry of Tourism said in a statement on Tuesday its resort and hotel industry continues to expand with over 2,000 additional rooms scheduled for opening in 2012/2013.

The sultanate hopes to add 726 rooms, while opening niche resorts in Salalah, Khasab and in the high altitude Hajar Mountains. Duqm, Oman’s new city on the Arabian Sea, is set to open three hotels with a total of 391 rooms. The development of its tourism sector banks on strengthening and diversifying Oman’s room supply, and increasing focus on regional projects from Khasab in the north to Salalah, country’s southern gateway.

“Oman is seeing strong investor demand in the sector, especially in niche properties. This is from government sponsored joint ventures through Omran and increasing Omani participation. Overall, our approach is to ensure 5 star developments are located in 5 star natural landscapes. This approach gives us a competitive edge and fuels investment demand,” Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, said.

The government of Oman has set up Omran as the company to deliver major projects and manage assets and investments in the tourism sector.

Oman’s pattern of investment has grown significantly during the last few years with investment in regional areas including Oman’s new port city of Duqm where three hotels will come online, but also in country’s high altitude Hajar Mountains where both government and private sector investment is on the rise.

Property group Muriya opened its Sifawy Boutique Hotel at Jabal Sifah (50 km east of Muscat) in early 2012. The group’s Juweira Boutique Hotel at Salalah Beach Resort (64 suites and 21 guest rooms) is set to open in the coming months. More hotel chains are hoping to open their resorts at the Jabal Sifah and Salalah Beach.

Oman hopes its entry into global business and meetings market will accelerate with the opening of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) in 2015, a project which comprises of a 3,000 seat plenary hall, 40,000m2 of exhibition space, business centre and four hotels totaling 1,000 rooms.

Several new hotel openings are also scheduled to open at The Wave and the InterContinental Hotel site.

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