Indian expat to leave Oman after 22 years

Oman Sunday 09/July/2023 20:35 PM
By: Times News Service
Indian expat to leave Oman after 22 years
Vijay Kumar Handa

Muscat: At 61 years, Indian expatriate Vijay Kumar Handa cannot imagine leaving Oman— his home for more than 20 years — for good.

His love for Oman led him to stay for 22 years, and now, he plans to return to his native town of Noida near Delhi after reshaping the hospitality industry in Oman.

“I arrived in Oman on April 5, 2001 on deputation through The Taj Group of Hotels as the Director of Food & Beverage for Sohar Beach Hotel, 4-Star Luxury Resort which was opened in 1992 by The Taj and they managed this property till 2006,” he told Times of Oman on Sunday.

A gold medallist and a university topper, Handa has worked in Nepal, India and Oman. “After graduation, I did my post graduation in hotel management and joined The Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi,” he said.

With overall experience of around 40 years, he is planning to leave the Sultanate with a very heavy heart.

After a long span with The Taj, Vijay moved to The Lemon Tree Hotels, where he was managing a large cluster of hotels. After that he launched a new brand of hotels called the Red Fox Hotels.

He worked with this company for three years and enjoyed opening many new hotels for the company. Handa joined Omran (Oman Tourism Development Company) in 2010 and led a large cluster of hotels as Area General Manager.

He successfully opened the first two Atana Stay Hotels at Al Ashakara and Salalah in 2018.

Today Atana Hotels are a very popular national hotel brand.

He fondly remembers the most successful hotel under his umbrella called the City Hotel Duqm which has been by far the most profitable hotel in the Sultanate for many years even during the Covid times.

“But it was Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, which is very close to my heart, I enjoyed leading a strong Omani workforce at this reserve. Today this is a destination not to be missed by anyone entering Oman,” he said.  

Under his leadership, Masirah Island Resort won the best 3 star resort award many times in Oman. This resort offers a wonderful getaway for everyone.

During his long stint of almost 13 years, Vijay was managing operations of Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, Atana Stay Al Ashakara, Masira Island Resort, City Hotel Duqm, Atana Stay Salalah, Hay Al Shatti Premium Villas & Sohar Beach Hotel.  

“But I can say that the best stint of my career was to work with Omran as I enjoyed the professional approach of this company which is bound to deliver great surprises in the hospitality sector of Oman and have plans to expand outside the country too,” he said.

Vijay remembers fondly about Omran leadership, which is not only professional in its approach but maintains a fantastic work life balance.

As per Vijay, many other companies all over the World, need to follow the footsteps of Omran.

Now when it’s time for Vijay to depart from Oman, he is not at all feeling comfortable because this country was his true second home.

He understands clearly that life has to move on and every company has its guidelines which needs to be adhered to.

The safest country in the World as Vijay always mentions, he and his family are going to miss Oman and the adorable people of this country so much. “People of this lovely nation make everyone feel at home, make you feel part of their family. This is the only country in the world where a tourist can spend months without spending a single penny too, such is the hospitality of natives of this country for all those who prefer affordable tourism,” he said.

But there is always a desire to come back to Oman. “I look forward to coming back to Oman anytime if given any opportunity,” he said.

Speaking about his plans going forward, Vijay desires to settle in India and work for society in India and Oman. As per him, it’s time to give back to society. “This may be in the form of social service, coaching and guiding youngsters to better their career in the hospitality industry. His dream is to start up a company where he can make it possible at a nominal cost,” he said.
His core mission of life, going ahead, is to start a free meal or meals at cost price( no profit, no loss ) for everyone who is less privileged.