Times of Oman
Emergency response teams to handle natural disasters, accidents in Oman
October 1, 2017 | 9:50 PM
by Staff Reporter
File picture of 2007 when Oman was struck by natural disaster. Photo - File
 
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Muscat: Emergency response teams to handle natural disasters and accidents will be set up by the Ministry of Tourism, an official announced on Sunday.

Speaking at a seminar on emergency management, Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, said that the Ministry will set up two teams for handling any types of emergency responses.

“Special crisis management programmes have been developed by the Ministry of Tourism. It will consist of two teams. While one of them will handle any types of accidents, the other will handle all types of crisis,” she said.

She also said that members of the team will receive adequate training which will start working from the beginning of next year.



“The team will able to handle any type of emergency that breaks out in the tourism sector,” she said, after inaugurating the seminar on “Crises and Emergency Management in Tourism Sector” on Sunday.

Industry experts said that this team will able to handle the natural disasters and accidents which happens in the tourism sector.

“Right now not all the hotels have these facilities,” a senior official of the tourism industry said.

The five-day seminar is being organised by the National Commission for Civil Defence in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Omani Partnership for Development Organisation at the conference hall of the Public Authority for Civil Defence.

The seminar aimed at enhancing national capacities and response to the emergencies that may be faced by the sector.

Al Mahrouqi added that the tourism sector in the Sultanate has witnessed impressive leap in many fronts including the growth in the number of hotel utilities and the development of the tourist sites. The efforts have resulted in the growth of the number of tourists from 1.4 million in 2011 to 3.1 million last year; a growth by 120 per cent.

Faisal bin Salim Al Hajri, Director of the Executive Office for the National Commission for Civil Defence made a presentation on the functions and tasks of the Commission which operates through an integrated system to limit the effects of the emergencies and major incidents.

On his part, Hamish Cowell CMG, U.K Ambassador to the Sultanate stressed the importance of this seminar on crises and emergency management and praised the Sultanate’s system for emergency management. Recently, a “Risk Management and Safety in Adventure Tourism” (RMSAT) programme was launched by the Ministry of Tourism to encourage adventure sports and tourism activities in the country.

The programme is part of one of the 15 initiatives adopted by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) within the national programme to promote economic diversification, which will be followed up by implementation support and a follow-up unit.

During the presentation, an adventure tourism activities guide that highlights the wadis (valleys) was also launched.

The guide includes a description of adventure tourism in wadis, the risk identification and management process, the mechanism of classifying wadis, the most prominent activities that can be carried out in wadis, and how to manage the risks, teamwork, activity practitioners, and types of equipment and accidents.



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