Muscat: Oman has made great efforts to develop and create an environment conducive to the growth and reproduction of wildlife in the Ras Al Hadd Turtle Reserve, the Dimaniyat Islands Reserve, the Samhan Reserve and Al Akhwar Reserves.
These reserves form the cornerstone for eco-tourism in the Sultanate, with its unique natural resources, attractive ecological diversity, and keen care for wildlife and marine life.
The Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, announced in October that there are two requests to companies, institutions and investors wishing to invest in the development and management of eco-tourism in the natural reserves of Al Saleel in the Governorate of South A’Sharqiyah and Al Qurum in the Governorate of Muscat to implement the concept of sustainability in all its environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects.
Eng. Zahir bin Hamad Al Riyami, Director General of Tourism Development at the Ministry of Tourism, said Oman aims at developing tourism in natural reserves.
He said the plan would be to manage natural and cultural resources in line with the behaviour of the beneficiaries, the local residents and visitors to the protected areas, including tourists and students, in addition to promoting the participation of stakeholders in the development process and the application of international, regional and national policies adopted for sustainable practices, particularly in the conservation and protection of biodiversity in protected areas in general.
He said that the projects of developing eco-tourism in the Sultanate focused on encouraging the conscious tourism activity to enjoy the natural areas and cultural heritage associated with them and emphasising the importance of preserving the components of the environment and biodiversity and the need to support the local population.
He added that it is important that the activities of environmental tourism in the natural reserves should integrate with various tourism investment sectors in terms of organizing, planning, tourism promotion and competitions to provide elements of sustainability within and outside the reserves.
The Ministry of Tourism organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs two visits to a number of representatives of companies, institutions and investors wishing to invest to develop and manage ecotourism in the areas of Al Saleel and Al Qurum during which they were briefed on the natural components of the two reserves and their wildlife, accompanied by a number of specialists in the ministries.