Muscat: The United Nation’s World Tourism Day on September 27 this year champions the social and economic benefits of tourism, with Oman’s Al Mouj Muscat a shining example as a sector leader.
Tourism is a key pillar of the Sultanate’s drive towards sustainable and diversified economic growth in line with Oman Vision 2040.
As part of its strategy, in 2006 the Oman Government established Al Mouj Muscat as the country’s first Integrated Tourism Complex (ITC), working in partnership with leading developer Majid Al Futtaim. With the aim of becoming the country’s premier leisure and lifestyle destination, today the multi-award-winning Al Mouj boasts annual footfall of over 3.9 million people who visit for holidays, discovery, culture and high-profile events.
As well as the draw of its pristine oceanfront setting, Al Mouj Muscat has invested in creating tourism assets that have global appeal including Al Mouj Golf, Al Mouj Marina and The Walk. At the 400-berth Al Mouj Marina, 17 independent tour operators hosted close to 1,900 sea tours annually, a figure set to grow when pandemic travel restrictions ease, Oman’s exceptional marine life will ensure small and medium sized enterprises can continue to grow and meet demand for unique ocean adventures.
The global popularity of golf is another area where Al Mouj Muscat has capitalised on opportunity. The 2020 Oman Open took place last year at Al Mouj Golf, the third year it has hosted the event, and the stunning ocean side course gaining global coverage. This sector is extremely lucrative, with golf travel typically combined with cultural and touring excursions.
Visitor numbers are further boosted by world-class events sponsored by and held at Al Mouj Muscat. the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon is in its sixth year of sponsorship and now attracts over 10,000 runners from over 100 countries, once more raising Oman’s profile and promoting it as a prime travel and sports tourism destination among international audiences.
The hospitality industry is also flourishing within Al Mouj Muscat. Several international hotel brands such as Kempinski Muscat and Mysk Al Mouj by Shaza are currently operating providing a total of 580 rooms. This number is soon to drastically increase with new properties in the pipeline, such as St. Regis Al Mouj Muscat and Rotana Al Mouj Muscat, which will soon bring the total to 2500 rooms.
“Oman Vision 2040 sets out the ambition for our country to become a top-of-mind destination for vacations, culture and discovery as well as high-profile events,” explains Al Mouj Muscat’s CEO Nasser bin Masoud Al Sheibani. “We know that local, regional and international tourists create significant in-country spend, which in turn boosts employment, creates a destination of opportunity for local and international investment and fosters an environment where independent businesses can grow. It is why we have worked tirelessly to create a tourism eco-system which balances the need of the local economy, the environment and Oman’s long-term goals.'
“World Tourism Day recognises the important contribution the sector can make around the globe and I am proud to say that Al Mouj Muscat is a dynamic and diverse community where people, families and businesses large and small thrive. In this year, as in every year, we will continue to champion tourism and enterprise and actively continue working towards the realisation of Oman’s 2040 Vision by making a significant contribution to the nation’s economic diversification.”