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.

 

Obama vetoes bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia

Hadi vows to ‘extract Yemen from claws of Iran’

US, Russia trade blame for collapse of ceasefire in Syria

Petrofac to resume work in Tunisia after labour dispute

Saudi Arabia reportedly doubts oil output deal

Mosul offensive to start in ‘next few weeks’

New wave of air strikes pummels Aleppo

Morocco asks to rejoin African Union

Air raids pound rebel-held Aleppo

Turkey arrests prominent writer brothers

Egypt shipwreck death toll rises to 133

Gulen says will return to Turkey if US backs extradition

Occupation troops shoot, wound Palestinian with knife

UN eyes alternate aid delivery route for Syria's Aleppo

Iran condemns Saudi strikes in Yemen

Turkey's Erdogan says US arming Syrian Kurds

Obama to block Saudi 9/11 prosecution

Oil prices ease as focus shifts to producers' meeting

Opposition 'minister' among 12 dead in Syria car bomb

'13 dead' in clashes with IS in Libya's Sirte

20 civilians killed in Yemen rebel port raid

Turkish border town hit by rocket fired from Syria

Syria's White Helmets win Swedish human rights prize

UN pleads with Assad over food aid stuck at Syria border

Rouhani jabs USA over nuclear deal in UN address

Dozens more feared dead in Egypt boat tragedy

US breaks 'taboo' on Iran trade, banking

Kuwait MP gets new jail term for insulting Gulf rulers

Kuwait MPs demand urgent debate on petrol price hike

Dozens of rebels leave Homs under deal with Assad regime

Push for Iraq's Mosul faces myriad challenges

US drone strike kills 3 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

UN hopes Syria talks can resume in a 'few weeks'

Iraq forces recapture northern town from ISIS

Greece rejects asylum claim of Turkish 'coup' officer

Raids set rebel areas of Syria's Aleppo ablaze

Yemen rebels accuse detained American of spying

Israel arrests 35 Palestinians in raids

Bahrain court upholds dissolution of main Shiite opposition group

Turkey frees top journalist, arrests academic brother in coup probe

Kerry, Lavrov discuss Syria in New York

Jewish settlers make last stand on Palestinian hill

Ethiopia says Nile dam to go ahead regardless of impact study

Calls for 1988 Iran massacre probe as tape emerges

Four medics killed in strike on Syria clinic