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.

 

Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Revolt in US State Department over child soldier law

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

Hezbollah hails PM's suspension of resignation

Syrian opposition aims for unity at talks in Riyadh

Egypt police kill 3 Islamists in shootout

Turkey unsure if Assad to be part of Syria political transition

Migrant arrivals from Libya down since EU deal

Palestinian factions leave Cairo talks with little progress

Sudan’s Bashir looks to Putin for ‘protection’ from US aggression

China, Djibouti forge 'strategic' ties

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home

Rebels say Sanaa airport 'ready to run' after coalition bombing

Greece to amend historic sharia law for Muslim minority

Turkey to ask Germany to extradite top coup suspect

Car bomb in northern Iraq kills at least 24

Morocco bans bitcoin transactions

13 million Syrians need aid despite relative drop in violence

Sudan urged to improve plight of Darfur's displaced people

Brain drain means Syria can’t recover for a generation

Palestinians close communication lines with Americans

Anti-IS coalition strikes drop to lowest number

German police arrest six Syrians ‘planning terror attack’

Palestinian factions in Cairo for reconciliation talks