Muscat: Adventurers in Oman can look forward to a host of recreational activities with the introduction of cable cars and hot air balloon in the country.
With many new options being introduced, it is expected that these projects will help promote local tourism and attract foreign tourists in the Sultanate of Oman. As part of this tourism campaign, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given the permit to the Royal Balloon Company to start its commercial operation.
In a statement, the CAA said that the approval of the permit will enhance tourism in the Sultanate, and is a step towards economic diversification.
The commercial operation of the Royal Balloons Project was inaugurated on Tuesday under the auspices of Sheikh Ali bin Ahmed Al Shamsi, Governor of North Sharqiyah, in the presence of Saeed Al Obaidani, Director General of Tourism Development in the Ministry and a number of specialists in the Heritage and Tourism Department in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate.
Speaking about the hot air balloon, Al Faisal Mohammed Al Rashdi, one of the owners of Royal Balloons company, said that this project is a partnership between an Omani company and a Turkish company specialising in hot air balloons in four countries and Oman is the fifth country.
“The company owns a fleet of at least 22 balloons in these countries,” the official said.
Cost of Balloon Ride
“The balloon ride will take place between 40 and 60 minutes during sunrise and will cost OMR80 per person. It will reach a height of 600 metres above the sea level.
“But there are discounts for Omanis and residents, starting from OMR59 per person,” the official added.
There are two balloons this season with a capacity of 12 people per balloon. The project will continue during the tourist season in the Sharqiyah Sands from October to April of each year. The company plans to expand in the future in other regions in the Sultanate after consultation with the concerned authorities,” the official said.
In addition, cable car projects are also likely to come up in Muscat and Dhofar.
In a move to boost Dhofar’s attraction as a tourist destination, a cable car project is being planned in the Darbat area of the governorate. The visitors to the Oman Botanic Garden (OBG) will be able to ride the country’s first cable car once it opens its doors to the public in 2023.
Spanning 420 hectares, the OBG will be among the largest botanic gardens in the world when complete, and is located about 35km from Muscat.