Authorities said they plan to add several extreme sports activities at the cave. “Every few months, we will be adding new features which will lure citizens and residents to return to Al Hoota Cave again and again,” Eng Khalid Mirza, Director of Projects Development at Omran, said.
Among such planned activities are caving, rock climbing and a rope course. “The enhanced Al Hoota experience will enable people to derive the most from their visits. We want to make Al Hoota Cave a destination for all,” Eng. Khalid Mirza said.
Citizens said zip-lining has become very popular activity in the world in the last few years. A zip-line flight is conducted in such a way that a flier, hanging from a cable or a mountaineering rope, flies between the platforms.
“Flying in such an environment is like a dose of adrenaline. It will provide a completely new view of the Al Hajar Mountains,” Mohammed, a resident of Muscat, said. The Al Hoota Cave, Oman’s most popular natural tourist destination, had attracted thousands of visitors when these were reopened to the public on September 5, 2016,before the recent Eid Al Adha holidays. The cave system is one of Oman’s true natural wonders.
Al Hoota used to attract around 75,000 visitors annually before it was closed for renovation.
Eng. Khalid Mirza also said a completely refurbished visitor’s centre has been set up to guide tourists. “Omran has worked closely with the Ministry of Tourism to enhance the natural assets of the cave to create a top class tourist experience,” he said.
The cave system stretches for more than 4.5km, with only 500m publicly accessible. However, visitors can discover a lot of the system’s history and features in the geological museum which showcases over 150 items of rock, wood, corals and other unique materials.
The train service at Al Hoota, however, is undergoing maintenance work and will reopen to the public soon. The train has been manufactured in the United Kingdom and will have a seating capacity of 48 passengers.
“Almost 13,000 people visited Al Hoota Cave during the Eid Al Adha holiday, so right now the train is undergoing some maintenance work,” the official said.
By Rahul Das
© Muscat Media Group