Oman’s luxury hotels market will be given a significant boost in 2016 as major international hotel chains open their first or new properties.
Senior representatives of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism outlined details of the anticipated 2,000 new hotel rooms to open in the coming year during Arabian Travel Market, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre this week.
Among hotel operators entering the Sultanate for the first time are the Anantara Group who will open two five-star resorts in the mountains of Jebel Akhdar and the south of the country at Salalah; the Kempinski and Fairmont hotels near the Almouj golf course and Wave development on the waterfront in Muscat; and a refurbished Sheraton Hotel in the capital’s central business district.
In Muscat, construction is underway for the country’s first W and Westin hotel properties, near the Intercontinental Hotel. A Louis Vuitton property is also planned for the capital.
The new Al Fanar Hotel and Residences recently opened to boost hotel capacity in the popular Dhofar governate in the south of Oman, and other projects underway include the Saraya Bandar Jissah project in a secluded bay at Qantab on the outskirts of Muscat.
It is estimated that by 2020 the number of hotel rooms in the country will be more than 20,000, giving a major boost to the country’s ambitious tourism growth strategy that hopes to attract five million visitors a year by 2040 – more than double the current annual figure.
Director general of tourism promotion Salim Al Mamari, who is representing Oman at ATM, said he believes that the current spate of new hotel openings, construction and plans for the future demonstrates the confidence in Oman as a growing global tourism destination.
He commented: “The tourism industry in Oman is growing at a rapid rate and we saw a 17.7% in visitor numbers in 2015 alone, taking annual numbers to 2.4 million.
“Tourism is set to be one of the key pillars for economic growth in the Sultanate in the coming decades and that means ensuring that we have a plentiful supply of quality hotel rooms for our guests from around the world.
“That is why we are delighted that 2016 will see so many prestigious openings of major hotels across the country from the capital Muscat to Salalah and high up in the Hajar Mountains. The nature of these properties and locations reinforces the unique nature of what Oman has to offer – something that you cannot find anywhere else in the Gulf region.
“Having hotels of this quality opening this year will help tens of thousands of visitors to truly discover Oman’s beauty and return home with lasting memories of a welcoming, beautiful, historic and culturally rewarding destination.”
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