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Travel agencies, residents hail the new terminal at Muscat International Airport
March 19, 2018 | 7:03 PM
by Times News Service
The launch of the new terminal at Muscat International Airport.
 
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Travel agencies in Oman are hailing the launch of the new terminal at Muscat International Airport, saying it will enhance connectivity and drive tourism growth.

D.M. Sadiq, Manager at Moon Travel LLC, told the Times of Oman, “It will definitely help our local business. The new terminal will encourage more people to travel. There will be more people, more counters, and faster services.”

Adnan Al Zadjali, a manager at Eihab Travels, shared the sentiment, saying, “The new terminal will enhance tourism with its superior services. It will be stress-free for customers and travellers. Before, it was a bit limited, but now more sectors will utilise the airport.”



Commenting on its state-of-the-art and highly impressive design, Adnan added, “Seeing the new terminal will relax people. Look at where it was and where it is now. People will see a great improvement.”

The 335,000 square metre landmark is built to handle over 20 million passengers a year, with plans to raise capacity to 48 million through future expansions. With 14 million passengers travelling through the old terminal in 2017 alone, the new terminal is expected to raise those figures to 16.5 million visitors by the end of the year.

Its new facilities include 6,000 square metres of duty-free shopping, 8,000 parking spaces and 96 check-in counters. Additionally, there will be 82 counters dedicated to the Royal Oman Police and a new passenger building capable of accommodating wide-body jet airliners such as the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380.



Highlighting the new terminal’s position as a gateway to Oman, Rajasekhr, Travel Consultant at Dubai Travels, said, “I think its increased facilities including more counters, will allow passengers to enjoy a stress-free experience. It will also make it a lot easier for us.”

“The visa section will have extra counters, so it will be easier for passengers. They will definitely get a good impression. This will help Oman’s image and attract more businesses to come,” the travel consultant added. Retail outlets will be located on both sides of the building, with new and improved lounges for first, business, and economy class passengers offering elevated levels of comfort. The new terminal will also have a four-star hotel with 90 rooms, swimming pools, and food lounges. A total of 500 brands will be available at the duty-free shopping area, with Michael Kors, Burberry, and Hugo Boss among the 100 newcomers.

Residents look forward to elevated experience, greater amenities



The new terminal is seeing excitement from residents as well, many of whom are looking forward to the stress-free experience it promises. Ada Maria, a teacher from the United States who has been living in Oman for several years, said, “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. The old terminal was good but it became a bit too congested. This is definitely going to be an upgrade I look forward to experiencing during my next vacation.”

“It’s exactly what Oman needs,” said American expat Bobby Augustine. “While the old terminal was cosy, as the region has grown, so has the need for bigger and more advanced terminals. Whenever I travelled to other parts of the region, I would look at other airports and wish the Sultanate had the same. Now, not only does Oman have something similar, it has an airport that perfectly fits its unique culture and heritage.”

Abdulla Mehdi, a Muscat-based businessman from Tunisia, said, “It is much bigger than the existing airport and well organised. The architecture is phenomenal and it will make transfers and departures much more convenient for travellers.”

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