Muscat: Ministry of Tourism has established the Oman Convention Bureau to manage the services and products related to the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) in the tourism sector in the country.
The bureau will be responsible for enhancing the plans and programmes for MICE, and for promoting the various activities undertaken. A promising tourism segment in the Sultanate, MICE will enable Oman to host major international events. It is also considered to be a sector with the highest economic return.
“The Ministry of Tourism supports all efforts towards enhancing the MICE tourism sector in Oman. The country has the potential to be a first-class MICE destination considering the tourist attractions and the facilities we have. In fact, the Oman Tourism Strategy 2040 focuses on MICE as one of the major pillars of the tourism industry in the Sultanate and will depend on it as a secure sustainable resource. The Ministry will also do its best in promoting the Bureau with the related institutions within the country,” said Maitha Saif Al Mahrooqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism. “The objective of the Bureau is to support the international and local organizations in hosting their events and cater to their requirements. The main aim is to promote Oman as an ideal destination for MICE tourism sector.”
Speaking about the selection of Khalid Al Waleed Al Zidjali as the Managing Director of Oman Convention Bureau, she said, “We are pleased to appoint Khalid Al Waleed Al Zidjali as the Managing Director of Oman Convention Bureau, who has been in the MICE tourism sector for over 15 years. Hewas previously the Events Director at the Ministry of Tourism since 2006, where he organised several promotional events with major international organisers. We trust Khalid and his team in Oman Convention Bureau to achieve what we have set out.”
Khalid Al Zidjali, Managing Director of Oman Convention Bureau, said, “The Ministry’s initiative in establishing the Oman Convention Bureau under its supervision is a milestone towards building a foundation and achieving our objectives in the MICE tourism sector. We will be working as a specialized team to enhance this sector and regulate the processes, and use various external channels to promote MICE internationally. The bureau also aims to maintain a healthy atmospherethat supports all institutions and organizations working in the sector to host events and promote the Sultanate,” said Khalid Al Zidjali, Managing Director of Oman Convention Bureau. “The Bureau will also markettourism packages to the global corporates.”
He added, “The starting point is to illustrate the objectives of the Oman Convention Bureau and the organizational role it will play under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism. We will be seeking partnership with institutions to update the database of the local facilities, understand the challenges that the sector faces, and plan for future action programmes and promotional campaigns.”
MICE tourism sector in the Sultanate will witness a major shift over the next couple of years as many important projects such as the Oman Convention Center will be inaugurated. The Oman Convention Center will include theaters, conference rooms, four hotels with almost 1000 rooms, and major exhibition halls to cater to 1000s of participants at the same time. Another important upcoming project is the Muscat International Airport, which is undergoing renovation and expansion. The airport will increase its passenger capacity in three phases. First, it will increase its capacity to hold a 12 million passengers, then 24 million passengers and finally move to a passengercapacity of 48 million. Oman Air, the international airline of Oman and the GCC’s first airline, will include the new generation of Boeing 737 airliners to its fleet and will fly to more routes and new destinations. There are also other infrastructure and tourism projects within the 9th five-year development plan 2016-2020 that the Oman Tourism Strategy will reinforce.