Muscat: Al Dakhiliyah governorate is witnessing a huge influx of tourists in the winter season, with new investments and projects strengthening tourism elements in the governorate.
From mountain heights and treks to heritage sites and ancient lanes, there are diverse, multiple and unique experiences and options for tourists visiting the area.
Khaleel bin Saif Al Tobi, Director of the Tourism in Al Dakhiliyah, said that there are more than 30 tourist establishments in the governorate. These include seven tourist resorts, 15 hotel inns, two high-level tourist camps, a heritage accommodation built on the original Omani privacy standards and specifications, four guest houses and two Green Inns.
Work is also underway on a number of tourism projects, which are expected to be completed soon, such as the Green Cliff Resort in Seih Qitta which includes chalets, rooms, gymnasium and other facilities which are a distinctive addition. There is also a tourist resort project in Nizwa, as well as other projects which are expected to be implemented in the future on government lands.
In addition to this, work is underway to improve and development forts to prepare them to receive tourists. The work is being done in coordination with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. Certain old lanes are being readied for the purpose. Contacts have also been developed for the local residents to encourage investments in these lanes, which would be managed by local companies.
There are 28 tourist offices in the governorate which have contributed organising these tourist options according to the available natural elements in the wilayats of the governorate.
Khalil Al Tobi added that when the winter season begins in the Sultanate, while there is an influx of tourists to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere everywhere in the country, Jabal Akhdhar or the green mountain becomes a unique destination preferred by tourists for various activities. Most important activities in the area is exploration tours, adventure activities and experiencing Omani culture and history in its own environment.
He said that Jabal Akhdar was known for its exceptional climate and spectacular nature. It is located on a high mountain range 2,000 meters above the sea level. During summer temperature is moderate here and dips below zero during winter. Jabal Akhdar has wadis, heritage villages and a number of caves in its surroundings which have always fascinated those who love adventures and exploration.
Al Tobi said that the ministry wanted to take care of this tourist destination by encouraging investment. A set of tourist projects such as five-star resorts including Anantara and Alila Resort have been completed, in addition to other hotels and hotel apartments which meet all sorts of requirements and services of tourists.
The number of tourists who came to Jabal Akhdar, according to the statistics of 2017, were more than 132,000. The statistical work of the number of tourists was done by the personnel of the Royal Oman Police at the entrance of Jabal Akhdar.
The tourists here are received at tourist services centre in Tiwa Saada. They are provided information, brochures and maps to guide them while they are roaming in various locations in Jabal Akhdar. There are areas to take rest and other facilities including washrooms and umbrellas available for them.
There is also permanent contact and coordination between the ministry and other accommodation facilities of the governorate to maintain quality and standards of the services given to tourists. .
Jabal Shams is another tourist destination that sees flow of tourists during winter. Most of tourists who come to Jabal Shams are Europeans. This is the highest peak in Oman and can be seen from long distances north of Oman. If you see from its peak towards south you would find areas where tourists can reach when they come from wilayat Al Hamra. Here, air is refreshing for walk around the necks of the necropolis from the small village Al Khatim, to the abandoned houses in the village Al Sab. Snowfall sometimes covers the upper edges forming a rare scene in Oman.
Al Dakhiliyah governorate is also full of natural, historical and cultural elements, on the forefront of them are the natural mountain heights. Despite the temperature plummeting below zero degree Celsius some time in Jabal Shams and Jabal Sharqi in wilayat Al Hamra, it attracts large number of tourists during the winter season. He said that same is the case of the wadis like wadi Tanouf, wadi Al Aueedin in wilayat Nizwa and wadi Al Nakhr in wilayat Al Hamra, which always keep flowing.
About the historical sites, Al Tobi said that Nizwa fort due to its historical importance it is primary choice of a tourists to visit. There is Kamal fort which is developed and a museum is built there to tell the tale of ancient Omani life and showcase local handicrafts of the wilayat. This is one of the most important sites managed in the governorate as tourist destinations worth visiting.
Similarly, there is Jibreen Fort, which is located in the wilayat Bahla. It is a tourist destination. The tourists want to visit it and closely know its architectural drawings and engravings of this fortress. There is also Bahla fort included in the tourists’ map after its restoration and opening to visitors.
On the other hand, the village of Misfat Al Ibreen in the wilayat of Al Hamra is one of the most distinguished tourist places, with old architectural character, so many tourists can walk between the old buildings and farms located below the village.