Muscat: Oman continues to take the spotlight at the ongoing Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, as one of the most sought-after destinations in the Middle East and around the world.
A high-profile delegation led by the Oman Ministry of Tourism has been actively promoting the latest tourism and development projects aimed at meeting the demands of an ever-growing number of tourists. The number of hotel establishments increased from 337 in 2016 to 367 in 2017.
Oman’s participation at ATM 2018 is aimed at further strengthening growth in the number of tourists during the holiday season. This has led to the launch of a wide array of tourism packages. The tourism sector has increased its various promotional campaigns and activities, especially during the summer, when the Sultanate is known for its cool sites such as “Khareef Dhofar”, “Jebel Akhdar”, “Jebel Shams”, “Al Ashkharah”, in addition to the coasts of the central provinces. Marine tourism is one of the most popular activities, with an increasing demand at Al Khairan shores, “Al Mouj Marina” in Muscat, “Al Masnaah” at the coast of Batinah, and “Bukha” in Sur.
Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Oman, noted that the Ministry was committed to driving efforts that would increase the number of international visitors. She lauded the steps taken by the Sultanate to entice more tourists, such as the decision to allow Indian, Chinese and Russian travellers who hold Schengen, Australian, American or Canadian visas, to enter Oman for tourism purposes.
Al Mahrouqi added: “We continue to adopt strategies aimed at providing modern infrastructure to ensure the comfort of tourists and provide them with an exceptional experience during their stay in Oman. Our positive outlook is reinforced with the implementation of a series of quality projects between 2015 and 2018, including the opening of premium hotels. All these efforts are in line with our mission to meet the objectives of Oman’s Tourism Strategy 2040, which targets more than 11 million local and international tourism visits by then.”
Al Mahrouqi concluded: “The Oman Ministry of Tourism is leading the promotion of the country’s most competitive and attraction destinations - from its geographic location as a gateway between the East and the West to its rich historical landmarks as evidence of an ancient civilisation. We are to implement programmes and projects that will increase the contribution of tourism to 10 per cent of the GDP by 2040. ATM 2018 is an ideal platform to introduce the unique advantages of visiting Oman, which is successfully becoming among the leading destinations during winter.”
“We keep finding solutions that will provide more efficient and effective solutions to tourists visiting Oman, including the recent implementation of e-Visa services for non-GCC visitors, the opening of the new Muscat International Airport, which has advanced facilities and services to accommodate a large number of passengers and is now capable of receiving the largest aircraft in the world.”
The Omani delegation includes more than 25 tourism establishments. These include Crown Plaza at Oman Convention & Exhibition Center; Centara Muscat Hotel; Somerset Panorama Muscat, Grand Millennium Muscat; Sheraton Hotel; Golden Tulip Roy; Musk by Shaza Al Mouj; Sundus Rotana; Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments; Salalah Gardens Hotel; Al Bleed Resort Salalah by Anantara; Fanar Hotel & Residences; Juweira Boutique Hotel; and Sifawy Hotel & Boutique in Dhofar Governorate.
The Oman pavilion also shared the opening of Alila Jabal Akhdar Hotel and Jabal Akhdar Resort by Anantara in A’Dakhiliya Governate, in addition to the opening of Desert Nights Camp Hotel in Ash Sharqiyah North Governorate, Al Reem Desert Camp in Ash Sharqiyah South Governorate, and Radisson Blu Sohar Hotel in Al Batinah North Governorate.