Oman: Where hos­pi­tal­ity grows stronger

WHERE HOS­PI­TAL­ITY GROWS STRONGER

Hospitality News Middle East - - CONTENTS -

Tourism ar­rivals to Oman will in­crease at a com­pound an­nual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per­cent be­tween 2018 and 2021, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Col­liers In­ter­na­tional. The coun­try is not only in the midst of a pub­lic sec­tor drive to boost its busi­ness at­trac­tive­ness, but is also wit­ness­ing a grow­ing num­ber of pri­vate sec­tor pro­jects that are ex­pected to help trans­form the sul­tanate into a tourism jewel. HN was given the op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­view Haitham Al Ghas­sani, as­sis­tant direc­tor gen­eral of pro­mo­tion and aware­ness at the Sul­tanate of Oman’s Min­istry of Tourism, and dis­cover more about the coun­try’s achieve­ments and goals Oman’s tourism sec­tor has been ex­pand­ing steadily over the last five years, with the growth fig­ures con­firm­ing an ex­cep­tional per­for­mance, which has given both the gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor the drive to set the sec­tor’s de­vel­op­ment agenda in ‘high gear’ and pur­sue ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments. Tourism ar­rivals from the world have been in­creas­ing sig­nif­i­cantly. The largest mar­ket for the sul­tanate is the GCC; alone, it ac­counted for 48.8 per­cent of vis­i­tors in 2017, while In­dia, Germany and the UK posted 9.8, 3.1 and 4.4 per­cent, re­spec­tively. Th­ese de­vel­op­ments have nat­u­rally at­tracted stronger in­ter­est from re­gional and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies look­ing for busi­ness ex­pan­sion in the sul­tanate. This was ev­i­dent from the in­crease in the num­ber of com­pa­nies look­ing to en­ter Oman’s tourism mar­ket.

Mega-pro­jects have size­able im­pact

The Omani gov­ern­ment is con­fi­dent about the cur­rent joint ef­forts with pri­vate busi­nesses, which have been fos­ter­ing strong part­ner­ships in the tourism sec­tor. From 2015 to 2018, sev­eral mega-pro­jects have got un­der­way, in line with the Omani Tourism Strat­egy 2040. This strat­egy is based on two ap­proaches: the first fo­cuses on de­vel­op­ing a se­ries of tourism fa­cil­i­ties in one lo­ca­tion and the sec­ond looks to ex­pand the dis­tinc­tive tourism ex­pe­ri­ences that will at­tract tourists to spend sev­eral days in spe­cific geo­graphic ar­eas. Th­ese des­ti­na­tions are be­ing de­signed to cre­ate a long-last­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for vis­i­tors and make a real im­pact on their lives. Some of the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in­clude the Oman Con­ven­tion Bureau and the new Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port, which are geared up to ac­com­mo­date the ma­jor busi­ness ex­pan­sion ex­pected in travel and the Meet­ings,

The Omani gov­ern­ment is con­fi­dent about the cur­rent joint ef­forts with pri­vate busi­nesses

In­cen­tives, Con­fer­ences and Ex­hi­bi­tions (MICE) in­dus­tries in Oman in the com­ing years. There are also nu­mer­ous lux­ury ho­tels that have been built re­cently in var­i­ous re­gions and gov­er­norates of the sul­tanate. Th­ese tourism de­vel­op­ment pro­jects will help ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing num­bers of tourists com­ing to the sul­tanate and meet the sec­tor’s grow­ing needs and re­quire­ments. The strat­egy also aims to en­hance the sul­tanate’s po­si­tion on the world tourism map and make it at­trac­tive through its unique tourism com­po­nents. The new ho­tel de­vel­op­ments are booming, with a to­tal of 13 new es­tab­lish­ments which have started or are in the process of start­ing their op­er­a­tions in Oman. Some of them in­clude the dusitd2 Palm Mall of Mus­cat, which is ap­proach­ing com­ple­tion and is ex­pected to house Oman’s first snow vil­lage and aquar­ium. There is also an in­creas­ing num­ber of lux­ury de­vel­op­ments keen to cap­ture and pre­serve Oman’s boun­ti­ful nat­u­ral her­itage, such as the Anan­tara brands, with the Anan­tara Al Baleed Re­sort Salalah and the Anan­tara Ja­bal Al Akhdar Re­sort lo­cated 2,000 me­ters above sea level. In ad­di­tion, Kempin­ski Ho­tel, sit­u­ated along Mus­cat’s coast­line, at The Wave, is now open.

Busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties

Oman has a dis­tinc­tive her­itage, hav­ing been shaped by its rich geo­graphic, nat­u­ral and his­tor­i­cal role in the re­gion. We take pride in our loy­alty to an­cient culture and soul­ful at­ti­tude to­wards de­vel­op­ment. The warmth of our hos­pi­tal­ity is felt in our cus­toms – cof­fee with car­damom and dates to start with - in ad­di­tion to eclec­tic cuisines. The rich­ness of Oman’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment is un­par­al­leled; the sun and sea, the desert re­gions as a gate­way to the Empty Quar­ter, the rock moun­tains, as well as the south­ern Dho­far prov­ince, Salalah, brim­ming with ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites, fruit plan­ta­tions and wildlife, such as oryx, gazelles and mi­gra­tory birds. All of th­ese com­po­nents com­bine to make the coun­try a spe­cial touris­tic of­fer­ing.

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