First Published: 2013-05-31

 

Omans maritime heritage maintained

 

Government approves plans to expand Port Sultan Qaboos in order to boost tourism sector.

 

Middle East Online

By Dr. Hussein Shehadeh - MUSCAT

The Omani government’s initiatives aimed at developing and expanding facilities for visitors, to Port Sultan Qaboos, gives this vital economic sector a major boost. Dr Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, approved the master plan that entails setting up a specialised company to develop the ambitious project. When completed, the terminal will have eight dedicated areas with state of the art facilities for arriving passengers.

The plan includes building of marinas for cruise ships, yachts and other sailing vessels. The terminal will feature shops, service centres, yards, aisles, recreational facilities, a yacht club, hotels, restaurants and other utilities to cater to the tourists. The number of cruise vessels that visit the country’s ports in Salalah and Muscat will go up once the project has been completed.

One of the highlights of the project will be the façade of the structure which will be designed to reflect the Omani maritime heritage. The project will create huge job opportunities for nationals across all levels, not only in tourism-specific categories but also in related infrastructural facilities and services. Sultanate is among the top tourist destinations in the world – the country’s varied topography, culture and history have drawn visitors since ancient times, and over the past four decades the tourism sector has grown by leaps and bounds.

Strategic initiatives of the Ministry of Tourism, that include creating awareness of Oman’s rich bio-diversity and rich cultural and historical legacy, have been hugely successful. Other public sector undertakings and allied industries and establishments have all contributed towards the success of the tourist trade. An important point to note is that great care is taken during development of tourist facilities in the country; the target being sustainable and environmental-friendly development.

In this direction, the focus is on local people who inhabit villages and hamlets in near-by and remote tourist-oriented regions. It is essential that any development in such areas is of benefit to them - the people should get the opportunity to better their economic livelihood through such developments. And, this responsible approach to developing this sector is to be welcomed as it ensures preservation of the country’s natural wealth that has been so instrumental in attracting visitors from around the world, and contributing to the nation’s economy. As development of tourism infrastructure is a continuous process in the country, investors have a great opportunity to tap into its vast potential.

Although there are challenges to be met, government has always aimed at boosting investor-confidence by ensuring implementation of plans, funding and management. Expansion of the tourism sector is an integral part of the nation’s overall development march.

 

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Lebanon's Jumblatt tweets his life besides politics

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'

Israel eyes powers to revoke rights of Arab residents

Iraq death sentence to ex- PM threatens to damage ties with powerful tribe

Iran hardliners resist possible nuclear deal in rare protest

After failure of boycott, Bahrain Shiite opposition resorts to accusations

Tunisia votes for president in first free and multi-candidate election

Hope for change and stability as Tunisia prepares to elect new president

Saudi detainee sent home as US speeds up Guantanamo repatriations

Economy and security top agenda of Sisi’s first European tour

Benghazi attack report clears Obama administration of serious charges

Voters bet on stability in crucial Bahrain elections

Hurdles remain high as Iran and world powers press on for nuclear pact

Shebab ‘revenge’ attack leaves 28 innocents dead in Kenya

Strains between Washington and Ankara despite declared agreement

Paypal teams up with AttijariWafa Bank to boost Morocco exports

UN begins sending winter aid to Iraq

Turkey launches all-out war against bonzai drug

Turkey to build bridge across Dardanelles to ease traffic

IS launch major attack on Ramadi

Biden: You cannot think free where you cannot challenge orthodoxy

Does Abbas have enough political influence to stop violence in Jerusalem?

Turkey offers military assistance to Iraq

Bomb hits police post near Helwan University in Egypt

UN demands staff member release in South Sudan

Tunisia goes for democracy to counter schemes of Ennahda and Marzouki

US envoy: IS ‘impaled itself’ on Kobane

Iran sees ‘no more room’ for talks on design of Arak reactor

Morocco King and Biden discuss ‘compelling alternative’ to dissuade potential jihadists

In response to Amnesty report: UAE remains committed to protection of human rights

World blacklists Ansar al-Sharia group in Libya

Dempsey places heavy responsibility on Iraq fractured army

Ladies first at Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Barbarism of suicide bombers rocks Arbil in fresh bloody attack

Egypt gives its blessing to Qatar return to Arab fold

France identifies second citizen in IS execution video