Marine tourism en­riches sul­tanate’s econ­omy

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Muscat – Marine tourism with vary­ing as­pects has be­come pop­u­lar in the sul­tanate, said an of­fi­cial in the Min­istry of Tourism.

It is be­cause the coun­try has many in­ter­est­ing and en­joy­able places which at­tract tourists. The marine tourism has dif­fer­ent types in­clud­ing boat trips, sail­ing and div­ing trips, as well as watch­ing dol­phins, etc, said Saleh bin Ali al Khay­ifi, di­rec­tor of Tourism Mar­ket­ing and Pro­mo­tion in the Min­istry of Tourism.

With its beaches spread across 3,169sq km, Oman is ide­ally lo­cated to host marine ac­tiv­i­ties. Al­ready there are many forms of sports and wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties. Prom­i­nent among th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties are sur­face div­ing, dol­phin watch­ing, deep div­ing and sun­set watch­ing. There are many in­sti­tu­tions in the sul­tanate which pro­mote marine tourism. Also there are ho­tels and fine din­ing restau­rants to meet the re­quire­ments of tourists.

Khay­ifi said, “The Min­istry of Tourism sup­ports ev­ery­thing which helps the sul­tanate achieve added value. Marine tourism is a spe­cific tourism area which is given im­por­tance by the min­istry. This is be­cause the sul­tanate has beau­ti­ful beaches and places to or­gan­ise tourism ac­tiv­i­ties. The min­istry is also mak­ing ef­forts to at­tract tourists to en­joy the beauty of Oman and ex­plore its marine en­vi­ron­ment.”

There are also many in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties open for com­pa­nies in marine tourism, Khay­ifi said.

“Some com­pa­nies are al­ready work­ing in the field. They or­gan­ise sev­eral ac­tiv­i­ties and pro­vide ser­vices in this sec­tor. The Min­istry of Tourism sup­ports th­ese com­pa­nies as it helps the tourism in­dus­try of the coun­try. The min­istry also keeps cruise tourism in the coun­try up to date and ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. This is to help all stake­hold­ers achieve com­mon ob­jec­tives.”

There are sev­eral sites for cruises, whether in Muscat or in the rest of the sul­tanate. In most of the sul­tanate’s beaches, there are com­pa­nies which spe­cialise in the field of cruises and pro­vide ser­vices.

They can be found in the Mu­san­dam gover­norate, Ma­rina Ban­dar al Rowdha , Ban­dar al Khairan Re­serve, Da­maniyat Is­lands Na­ture Re­serve, Halaniyat Is­lands and Sawadi Beach, Sur, Duqm beach, Masirah Is­land in ad­di­tion to Al Jis­sah beach and a num­ber of sites in Dho­far gover­norate.

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