Muscat, A number of tourist destinations in the
Sultanate had a huge influx of tourists in the first half of 2018, with
409,449 visitors of different nationalities visiting 9 destinations.
The Ministry of Tourism is monitoring tourist flow at various
destinations to carry out more development of the sector due to the rise
in the number of visitors. It would plan more projects and work on it in
light of the available statistics regarding the interests shown by the
The biannual statistics released by the Department of
Information and Statistics of the Directorate General of Planning,
Follow-up and Information in the Ministry of Tourism indicated that the
number of visitors to Jebel Akhdar was 93,307 between January and
June this year, of which 28,904 were Omanis, 4,063 GCC nationals and
3,060 were other Arabs. The number of foreign tourists reached 56,735
during this period. The number of tourists of the aquatic pools in the
Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid in the first half of 2018 stood at 80,982. It
included 21,540 Omanis, 215 GCC nationals, 1,693 other Arabs and
57,534 foreign tourists.
As far as Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve of Ras Al Hadd in the
Wilayat of Sur in the Governorate of South A’Sharqiyah is concerned,
the number of tourists to this destination in the first half of 2018
reached 21,489. This includes 3,435 Omanis, 629 GCC nationals, 942
Arabs, 16,295 foreign visitors and 188 students.
The number of tourists of different nationalities to Al Hoota
Cave in the Wilayat of Al Hamra in the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah in
the first six months of 2018 reached 30,867.
The Ministry of Tourism has added new destinations to the
tourists’ map of the country. This is as part of its efforts to develop this
sector. The number of tourists to the wildlife sanctuaries in the first half
of 2018 was 267. These reserves are also in the list of destinations
where tourists flow is being studied.
The number of visitors to the Qurm Natural Reserve reached
480 in the first six months of this year. During this period, the number
of tourists who visited Al Ansab Lake stood at 1,034. The number of
those who visited the Daymaniyat Nature Reserve in the first half of
2018 reached 10,580.
There were 170,543 people who visited the castles and forts in
the Sultanate during the first half of 21018.
Various tourist destinations of the Sultanate had major influx of
visitors during Eid Al Adha holidays. Jabal Akhdar had 16,096 visitors
between 17 and 24 August 2018, who enjoyed exceptional climate and
scenic nature of these green mountains. The easy access to Jabal
Akhdar and the facilities have increased the number of tourists. This
has encouraged tourists to prolong their stay here. The Ministry of
Tourism has intensified promotional campaign for Jabal Akhdar as a
major tourist attraction.
Azhar bin Khalfan al-Toobi, Assistant Director of Tourism in the
Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah said that the tourists heading towards
Jabal Akhdar were received at tourist services center of the ministry
located at the entrance of Jabal Akhdar. A number of employees at
these centers provided information to the tourists during Eid Al Adha
holidays from morning till afternoon.
Al-Toobi said that the holidays of Eid Al Adha coincided with the
season of planting a number of fruit trees at Jabal Akhdar, including
grapes, pears, figs and apricots. The citizens utilise this opportunity to
showcase their products. The tourists, who visit Jabal Akhdar regularly,
taste these fruits and buy their different species to take home as the
best gift that explains the story of their visit.
During the period between Sunday, 19 August 2018 to
Saturday, 25 August 2018, the water ponds in the Wilayat of Bani
Khalid in the Governorate of North A’Sharqiyah received about 10,590
visitors, including 2,284 Omanis, 7,682 Asian visitors, 431 Europeans, 4
Americans, 24 Emiratis and 4 Bahrainis, 4 Saudis and 157 other Arabs.
Talal bin Khalfan al-Shu’aibi, Director of Tourism in the
Governorate of North A’Sharqiyah, said that the governorate was
experiencing a tourist influx during holidays because of its attractions,
especially water ponds in Wadi Bani Khalid and its wonderful view.
He said that the ministry has organised a number of events
during the Eid Al Adha holidays to activate domestic tourism and enrich
activities, which encourage tourists to spend their times in various
wilayats of the governorate. He added that this had positive impact on
tourism in the region. The Ministry of Tourism organised Eid
celebrations in Wilayat of Ibra, which was participated and visited by a
large number of people of the area.
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve attracted 2,850 visitors during Eid
Holidays (Tuesday to Friday). It is one of the most popular tourist
destinations in the region.
Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) is working on
several development and improvement plans for the reserve, so that
the tourists have better experience and increase their numbers to this
destination. As part of the plan, the staff of the reserve is being given
additional training and their skills are being further developed. Omran
is also working on development plans of the mountain tracks. This will
create more job opportunities for the citizens to hold key positions and
manage the reserve and hotel operations.
According to the plans, there would be three mountain tracks,
which will show beauty of the nature. All the rooms and tents of the
center will be renovated by the beginning of 2019. The nesting beach
will be improved, the turtle viewing floors will be constructed and the
low-rise walls will be built to save the small turtles.
The number of visitors to the Governorate of Dhofar during the
holidays hit above 85,000.
Marwan al-Ghassani, Director of Promotions at the Directorate
General of Tourism in the Governorate of Dhofar, said that the
directorate was cooperating with tourism partners to promote the
season after the end of Salalah Tourism Festival. At this time, the
tourists flow decreases due to the start of schools and universities.
“We are working with airlines to continue the same number of flights as
they were at the peak of Khareef season and to support cooperation
with hotel establishments to offer encouraging marketing offers,” he
Al-Ghassani added that in cooperation with local, regional and
international organisations, efforts are being made to allocate this part
of the season for meetings and conferences in Salalah city. This idea
has come following the opening up of many hotels, which have
suitable halls and other facilities to meet the requirements of
conferences and meetings.
At Iteena Plain in Salalah in the Governorate of Dhofar, the
Directorate General of Tourism organised various cultural and
recreational activities during Eid Al Adha holidays in the second, third
and fourth days of Eid from 5 pm to 11 pm.
These events witnessed a great turnout, especially families,
which found it as an outlet during the vacations. The events also
promoted the tourist attractions and landmarks, as well as introduced
Omani arts, crafts and handicrafts.
In addition to entertainment and cultural activities, traditional
performances, folklore arts, competitions and traditional games were
also presented. A small commercial market for producing families, a
handicraft center for Omani handicrafts, entertainment for adults and
various sections for children and families, such as cartoon shows, face
painting, henna and other entertainments were also part of these
The events organised by the Ministry of Tourism in various
governorates attracted large number of visitors who came to enjoy the
various programmes presented during the events.
In the of Governorate of South A’Sharqiyah, the Department of
Tourism organised activities across all the wilayats of the governorate
on the second day of Eid Al Adha. These activities included traditional
horse show, locally known as “Ardha” on the Ne’mah beach in the
Wilayat of Sur, in cooperation with the Sur Equestrian Club. It also
organised three-day folklore arts and traditional games, in cooperation
with Al Saqla tourist camp and Amjad Al Sharq team. It was
participated by the local communities of Jalan Bani Bu Ali. In the
evening of the third day of Eid, recreational activities were organised at
Masirah Island. This included an exhibition of handicrafts of producing
families, which was organised, in cooperation with Masirah Sports
In the Wilayat of Ibri, the Tourism Department of the
Governorate of A’Dhahirah and the Tourism Committee of the Chamber
of Commerce and Industry of Oman organised festival “Our Eid in Al
Duraiz,” in cooperation with the local people and youth of Al Duraiz
village. This was participated by a number of teams, companies and
institutions of the village. It continued throughout the entire holidays of
Eid Al Adha.
There was also a festival of paintings about history, tourism,
heritage, customs and traditions in the Governorate of A’Dhahirah. The
governorate is distinguished by its customs and arts practiced by the
local people in their national, religious and social events and
Horse riders performed dazzling and interesting performances
of horse skills and arts. A team of folklore arts of Al Duraiz village
presented traditional dances and song shows, which they perform at
many social and family events.
The festival included an exhibition of heritage, crafts, folk and
entertainment games for which Ibri village is known for.
A number of activities of the “Joy of Eid” were organised at the
Sohar Recreation Center and the Silver Jubilee Park of Sohar. It
attracted a large number of visitors who enjoyed the cultural and
heritage activities. There were celebrations named as Welcome Eid
on the second day of Eid Al Adha at Izki Public Park in the Governorate
In the theatre of A’Rustaq Castle in the governorate of South Al
Bathinah several activities were also organised. On the third day of Eid,
celebrations were also organised at Khasab Sports and Cultural Club
in the Governorate of Musandam.
The Governorate of North A’Sharqiyah also had a variety of
events in Zad Al Rakib Equestrian Ground at Al Yahmadi in Wilayat of
Ibra. Also there were entertainment activities organised at the Lulu
Centre of Ibra.
Source: Oman News Agency