Oman’s resort and hotel portfolio will continue to expand with more than 2,000 additional rooms scheduled for opening in 2012-2013, the Oman Ministry of Tourism  said yesterday in a statement.
“Oman is seeing strong investor demand in the sector, especially in niche properties. “This is from government sponsored joint ventures through increasing Omani participation and Omran [the company set up by the Government of Oman to deliver major projects and to manage assets and investments in the tourism sector ],” Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Oman Ministry of Tourism, said in a statement.
She added that the government’s approach is to ensure five-star developments are located in the five-star natural landscapes. “This approach gives us a competitive edge and fuels investment demand,” she said.
Duqm , Oman’s new city on the Arabian Sea, meanwhile, will see the opening of three hotels with a total of 391 rooms, the ministry said, adding that the portfolio sees “continued strengthening and diversification of Muscat’s room supply” while also increasing focus on regional projects from Khasab in the north to Oman’s southern gateway, Salalah.
Unlike previous years, the pattern of investment shows significant commitment in regional areas including Duqm as well as the Hajar Mountains where both government and private sector investment is on the rise, the ministry said.
It also pointed out that Oman’s entry into the global business and meetings market will accelerate with the opening of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC)  in 2015, comprising a 3,000 seat plenary hall, 40,000 square metres of exhibition space, business centre and four hotels totalling 1,000 rooms.
Several new hotel openings are also scheduled at The Wave and the InterContinental Hotel site, the ministry said in the statement.
It added that visitor numbers to Oman have soared with investors responding with three major resorts to open on Jebel Al Akhdar, adding to the Sunrise Resort on Jebel Asar’h near Jebel Shams that opened in early 2012.