‘40,000 Kuwaitis visited Oman in 2023; jump seen in tourism’

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KUWAIT CITY, May 9: Omani Ambassador to Kuwait Dr. Saleh Al- Kharusi has stressed the increasing importance of the tourism sector, which implements the goals of the strategic vision (Oman 2050) ; such as contributing 10 percent of the State’s gross domestic product with a value of 5.5 billion Omani riyals and to attract 11 million local and international tourists. In a press conference held recently at Marina Hotel, Al-Kharusi disclosed there are a large number of tourism sites and environments — natural or archaeological or within the cultural framework. He pointed out this is sustainable tourism throughout the year and covers different geographical environments, in addition to five sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List and seven sites on the preliminary list.

Omani Ambassador to Kuwait Dr. Saleh Al-Kharusi and his team during the press conference.

He said the number of visitors to Khareef Dhofar last year reached one million and about 40,000 were from the State of Kuwait. He affirmed that indicators in this aspect are on the rise as the numbers are expected to increase locally and internationally due to the increase in the number of flights between Kuwait and Salalah, as well as between Kuwait and Muscat. Meanwhile, Director of Promotion at the General Directorate of Heritage and Tourism in Dhofar Governorate Marwan Al-Ghassani cited statistical data, stating that hotels in Dhofar are classified from three to five stars, while the occupancy rate in an entire year reached 39 percent, with the number of guests reaching 403,000 tourists.

He said that the Dhofar autumn season starts from June 21 until Sept 21, explaining that the Sultanate’s vision is for Dhofar Governorate to become a global tourist destination throughout the year, as it is famous for its diverse environments — urban, rural, agricultural and marine, with an area of 99,000 square kilometers and is characterized by excellent infrastructure. He added it is famous for its two tourist seasons — fall season and the international tourism season that begins in October until May. “In the current year, we received approximately 50,000 tourists from Europe as at the end of March, and we expect the number to reach 60,000 by the end of the season,” he disclosed. He added: “We receive cruise ships, as the port of Salalah is one of the stations that receives regular cruise ship trips, and 26 ships with a capacity of 51,000 passengers were received.”

It was announced that the number of visitors during Dhofar Fall last year reached one million, including from Gulf countries, as the number is constantly increasing compared to previous years, and there is interest from Kuwaiti visitors and even expatriates. He revealed the duration of the events was extended from 45 days to 90 days, stating these projects were carried out in partnership with the Dhofar Municipality through the development of tourist sites. He said more than 33 trips were organized for media delegations, from the Gulf countries and other countries throughout the world, as well as the regional tourism offices.

More than 60 international and regional events were organized at the level of Dhofar Governorate alone, and two annual festivals — first in the Empty Quarter, which is considered the desert gateway to the Empty Quarter and is held during the winter tourism period. The second festival is considered an icon of the Sultanate in the Dhofar Governorate, he explained. He went on to say there is interest in the heritage aspect through heritage tourism, citing the opening of the first private museum and heritage house and the activation of archaeological sites and offering them for management and operation to Omani entrepreneurs.

By Fares Al-Abdan
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 1010 times!

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