MUSCAT: Investors from the United Kingdom, the United States and the Middle East have shown interest in investing in the tourism sector in Oman, a senior official of the Ministry of Tourism said.
“Foreign investors have expressed an interest in investing in Oman. Talks are on.
“They are rather keen on investing in Oman’s hotel industry and tourism projects,” Anwar Said Al Balushi, acting director of tourism events department at the Directorate General of Tourism Promotion in Ministry of Tourism, said.
“Proposals from Tanfeedh to attract private investment in tourism sector are being considered seriously.
“Many proposals are being discussed,” the official added.
Iconic tourism projects
Last month, Tanfeedh labs had proposed that private management companies should be hired to take control of the heritage sites and protected areas, develop a year round calendar of events, create iconic tourism projects and facilitate delivery of ITCs, hotels and themed attractions.
The official was talking to the Times of Oman on the sidelines of a tour organised on board Celebrity Constellation, one of the modern luxury ships in the Celebrity Cruises fleet, which had docked in Oman on Thursday during her first Arabian Gulf season.
Talking of the luxury ship’s visit, the official said the 2016-2017 Oman cruise season will witness growth.
“Last season (2015-16), we had 230 ships visiting Oman. This season, the number will be 250. Celebrity Constellation is visiting Oman for the first time. We believe that this visit will add huge value to the cruise sector in Oman. We are quite sure that Oman, with its nature, culture, history and its people, will offer unforgettable experience to its guests,” the
official added. Celebrity Constellation is the first premium cruise line to sail in the Gulf.
Lakshmi Durai, chief executive officer of Travel Matrix, the Middle East Representative of Celebrity Cruises, said they are really excited to be introducing Celebrity Cruises’ modern luxury style of cruising to the Middle Eastern vacationer.
“Celebrity Cruises offers the ultimate in premium cruising. With its world class attractions offering extensive shore-excursion options, together with a rich culture and heritage, Oman will seem very appealing to our guests sailing on Celebrity Constellation from all over the world and will provide them a complete luxury holiday experience,” Lakshmi added.
In October, the Times of Oman had reported that Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat is expected to receive more than 150 cruise liners during the 2016-2017 cruise season.
“We expect around 152 cruise ships to visit the Port Sultan Qaboos this season. Besides, a large number of ships will visit Khasab and Salalah during this season,” a leading shipping agent had said.
“Docking of Celebrity Constellation will boost Oman cruise industry. It's for the firs time, Celebrity Constellation coming to Oman Port Sultan Qaboos as part of its Gulf Cruise,” Aju A. Thomas, General Manager of Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) in Oman, said. Wilhelmsen Ships Service is the local agent of the cruise ship.
Constellation is a millennium-class cruise ship of Celebrity Cruises and can carry 2,038 people.