Muscat: A string of resorts, hotels and tourism camps have all been tabled to boost tourism in Oman.
Another luxury resort is planned to enhance the charm of Oman’s fabled Green Mountain, Jebel Akhdar, the Ministries of housing and tourism have announced.
After overseeing the opening of 41 new hotels in 2016, taking the total number to 339, the tourism ministry has signed agreements with 11 companies to set up hotel facilities in several wilayats. The largest of the 11 agreements is with Oman Investment Fund (OIF) for 73,367sq m of land in Jebel Akhdar, to build a resort. After Alila and Anantara, this will be the third major resort in the Green Mountain.
The other big agreements include the handing over of 30,000sq m of land to Bawabat al Sahra’ al Hadeetha company to build a resort in the wilayat of Bidiyah, 18,156sq m of land to Alem al Ijadah to build a hotel in Dima Wa al Taeen, and 15,000sq m of land to each of Muntaja’ al Hara and Bahjat al Quloob for a resort in Nizwa and a tourist camp in Saham respectively.
The other agreements signed by MoT and the Ministry of Housing for building tourism facilities include allotment of 10,000sq m of land to each of Ruba al Jazeera and Al Bathel lilmashari’ al Shamilah to build a hotel in Salalah and Izki respectively. A 7,942sq m plot to Wahat al Khair to build a hotel in Dima Wa al Taeen, 5,057sq m of land to Al Muharik al Asasi in Wadi al Ain in Ibri to build a hotel, and 5,000sqm plots to each of Qalb al Muheet and Al Madinah al Khadra to build a hotel in Salalah and Barka respectively.
The agreements come as part of MoT’s aim to increase the number of hotel rooms in Oman in line with its 2040 Tourism Strategy, where the ministry wants to provide around 80,000 rooms for accommodation: 33,373 hotel rooms, 29,287 vacation home rooms and 17,262 integrated tourism complex (ITC) rooms.
MoT is looking to invest around RO20bn for its strategy through 2040. The majority of the investment will be through the private sector. Muscat’s share of accommodation is expected to decrease from 53 per cent at present to 30.8 per cent in 2040 as more hotel rooms come up in other parts of the country. Dhofar’s share will rise from 12.6 per cent to 23.8 per cent.