The Omani Ex­pe­ri­ence

The new Oman Con­ven­tion & Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre will help the Arab na­tion show­case its full MICE po­ten­tial

Micetalk - - CONTENTS - Hazel Jain

The Sul­tanate of Oman, lo­cated on the South East coast of the Ara­bian Penin­sula, is set to be­come a ma­jor re­gional cen­tre for meet­ings, in­cen­tives, con­fer­ences and ex­hi­bi­tions – thanks to the new Oman Con­ven­tion & Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre ( OCEC). What is also a re­cent de­vel­op­ment is the es­tab­lish­ment of the new Oman Con­ven­tion Bureau by the Min­istry of Tourism. This goes to show how se­ri­ous the des­ti­na­tion is in host­ing cor­po­rate events. Salim Al Ma­mari, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Tourism Pro­mo­tion – Min­istry of Tourism, Oman says, “Our Tourism Strat­egy for 2040 has MICE as a ma­jor pil­lar to help us grow and en­hance the in­dus­try. The objective of the Bureau is to sup­port the in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions in host­ing their events and cater to their re­quire­ments. The main aim is to pro­mote Oman as an ideal des­ti­na­tion for the MICE tourism sec­tor." Another de­vel­op­ment is the es­tab­lish­ment of the new Oman Con­ven­tion Bureau by the Min­istry of Tourism.

The Min­istry of Tourism is fully com­mit­ted to­wards en­hanc­ing the MICE sec­tor in Oman to help the Sul­tanate achieve its po­ten­tial to be a first class des­ti­na­tion for this sec­tor. In prac­ti­cal terms, the MICE area will re­ceive a sig­nif­i­cant boost in 2016 with the sched­uled open­ing of the Oman Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Mus­cat in the last quar­ter of this year. The con­ven­tion cen­tre will in­clude sta­teof- the- art the­atres, con­fer­ence rooms and four ho­tels with al­most 1,000 rooms along with ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion halls that can cater to tens of thou­sands of peo­ple at one time.

The sec­tor will also be boosted by the on­go­ing ex­pan­sions and en­hance­ment of Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port that will ini­tially in­crease ca­pac­ity to 12 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year ar­riv­ing in a mod­ern new ter­mi­nal and with ca­pac­ity to ex­pand to take up to 48 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year.

Oman’s tourism sec­tor is en­joy­ing sub­stan­tial growth as well. Ac­cord­ing to the Sul­tanate of Oman, the coun­try has at­tracted nearly 3,00,000 In­dian tourists in 2015. This fig­ure is ex­pected to wit­ness a 15 to 20 per cent rise this year. Lubaina Sheer­azi, In­dia Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Min­istry of Tourism, Oman,

said, “We re­ceived 2,99,022 tourists from In­dia in 2015, which was a 17 per cent growth from 2014. With grow­ing in­ter­est in wed­ding des­ti­na­tion and MICE seg­ments, we are ex­pect­ing a 15- 20 per cent growth in tourists from In­dia in 2016.”

Tar­get­ing high- end, evolved, neo- ed­u­cated trav­ellers from In­dia, Oman is ex­pect­ing around 350,000 to 360,000 In­dian tourists to visit the coun­try. She adds, “Our tar­get seg­ment from In­dia mainly con­sists of fam­i­lies, cou­ples, busi­ness and wed­dings and we mostly look at age group between 25- 65 years.” Oman saw a growth of 17.7 per cent in to­tal in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tor num­bers in 2015 to 2.4 mil­lion. The Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil has an am­bi­tious new tourism strat­egy and plans to in­crease the to­tal num­ber of in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors to 5.3 mil­lion by 2040. Tourism is set to be one of the key pil­lars for eco­nomic growth in the Sul­tanate in the com­ing decades and that means en­sur­ing that it has a plen­ti­ful sup­ply of qual­ity ho­tel rooms.

THE OCEC

The new Oman Con­ven­tion & Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre ( OCEC) is lo­cated only four kilo­me­tres from Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port. The 22,000 sqm fa­cil­ity will pro­vide state- of- the- art fa­cil­i­ties: Two au­di­to­ri­ums. 5 Ex­hi­bi­tion halls. 13 Meet­ing rooms. 10 Hospi­tal­ity suites. 1 VIP pav­il­ion. 4,000 ve­hi­cles ca­pac­ity car park.

Ameni­ties within OCEC

JW Mar­riot Ho­tel. Crown Plaza Ho­tel. Two more ho­tels with a com­bined to­tal of 1,000 rooms. Busi­ness Park. Re­tail shop­ping mall. Na­ture re­serve. Wadi ( val­ley) park.

AF­TER HOURS

Mus­cat, the cap­i­tal city of Oman, is sparkling white, topped with golden minarets in the mid­dle of a maze of brown pleated moun­tains. Mus­cat is rated as the sec­ond clean­est city in the world. Greater Mus­cat boasts of high- rise busi­ness prop­er­ties, world- class high­ways, up- scale

Oman is tar­get­ing high- end, evolved, neo- ed­u­cated trav­ellers com­ing from In­dia

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