Muscat: Al Hoota Cave, Oman’s most popular natural tourist destination, located in the wilayat of Al Hamra, will reopen to the public on Monday.
The opening ceremony will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Dr. Khalifa bin Hamad Al Sa’adi, Governor of A’Dhakhiliyah.
The first tourist cave to open in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the facilities at Al Hoota have undergone significant improvements and will be open to visitors ahead of the Eid Al Adha holiday.
The Al Hoota cave system is one of Oman’s true natural wonders which attracted around 75,000 visitors a year before being closed for renovation.
The enhanced Al Hoota experience will enable people to get the most from their visits. The ability to plan a visit online means people can book the elements of the visit they want, creating a bespoke experience.
Before even reaching the cave, visitors will get to experience Oman’s only electric train, which runs from the visitor centre right into the cave.
A completely refurbished train will improve visitor flow throughout the attraction, as well as enable visitors to discover more about the history of the caves at an interactive geological museum.
Families are well catered for, with a children’s play area and a gift shop on site. A new restaurant would also add to the well-rounded experience.
Khalid Mirza, director of Projects Development at Omran, said: “Al Hoota is the first tourist cave to open in the GCC, first opening to the public in November 2006. It was critical that maintaining such an important and precious natural attraction was done comprehensively, especially to address areas of the cave that had been affected by floods. Omran worked closely with the Ministry of Tourism to enhance the natural assets of the cave to create a top-class tourist experience.”
“International, regional and Omani visitors will all enjoy a truly authentic and memorable experience, and we are really proud to reopen one of Oman’s incredible natural assets to the public. We are expecting a lot of visitors to come and discover the caves during the Eid Al Adha weekend, whether for the first time or for a return visit.”
The cave system stretches for more than 4.5 kilometres, with only 500 metres being publicly accessible, however visitors can discover a lot of the systems’ history and features in the geological museum, which showcases over 150 items of rock, wood, corals and other unique materials.
The exhibition also provides four interactive stations, with a live show for each phenomenon to allow visitors to learn about the formation of this stunning natural phenomenon.
It should be noted that Omran will organise a promotional campaign at the Oman Avenues Mall today to highlight the Al Hoota Cave.