We’ve all known for ages that Oman is the most beautiful country in the region and now it looks like others are finally beginning to catch on to the secret.
The Sultanate has just been named Best Arabian Tourist Destination at the ITB Berlin trade fair, which concluded recently.
Earning such recognition will help Oman’s quest to position itself as a major player in the tourism market in the Middle East and the world, as it seeks to shift away from a reliance on oil.
Europe is a key sector for attracting visitors to the Sultanate and ITB Berlin is one of the largest trade shows in the world. Accepting the awards given by Go Asia website, His Excellency Ahmed bin Nasser al Mahrizi, the Minister of Tourism, told delegates that the Sultanate is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations around the world.
For the first time in its history, Muscat International Airport exceeded 10 million passengers in 2015, an 18 per cent increase, and welcomed one million passengers in the month of August, a milestone, which was also reached for the first time.
The new Salalah International Airport, which opened last year, broke its own historic traffic record, surpassing the one million passenger mark, an increase of 22 per cent.
Muscat’s new airport is reportedly on track to open at the end of this year or early 2017 and a host of new hotels and resorts are springing up.
This week, it was revealed that the $600 million (RO231 millon) integrated tourism complex Saraya Bandar Jissah, taking shape near Qantab, will be ready for its first residents at the beginning of next year, pushing ahead despite low oil prices affecting some construction projects. A five-star Jumeirah Group hotel is set to open at the same time.