Ahead of the new tourism policy being unveiled next month, authorities in the Sultanate are pitching Duqm—a port town located on the Arabian Sea—as the “most promising” tourist destination in the future.
The south-central region, which is located some 550 kilometres from Muscat, is being seen as one of the most attractive regions for upcoming tourism investments and has already witnessed a tourism boom recently due to its unique tourism characteristics and advantages.
“The wilayat includes many unique tourism elements, especially the beautiful beaches from the east, sand dunes characterized by their pristine landscapes, in addition to mountainous highlands with many valleys and bays, which represent an inherently self-sustained environment,” said an official statement quoting Sheikh Mohsen bin Hamad bin Mohsen Al-Maskari, the wali of Duqm.
“These include many scenic villages and valleys, which include prosopis, alder buckthorn, and acacia tortilis, among others,” he said.
Hotels and resorts
Duqm already has several hotels, resorts and rest houses that witness round-the-year and good tourist turnouts. There is a direct flight from Muscat to Duqm, which is one of the wilayats of the Al-Wusta Governorate and characterised by its fish and oil wealth.
Several hotels and rest houses were in Duqm established recently, including the four-star Crowne Plaza Hotel and the three-star Al-Madina Hotel owned by the Oman Tourism Development Company (OTDC).
Besides, the MB Group built the four-star Park Inn Hotel, which includes a group of chalets, suites and restaurants, the establishment of several hotels and resorts in the coming years is expected, while there are other projects in the pipeline, such as the "Duqm Façade City."
Meanwhile, the Director of Tourism Department Al-Wusta Governorate, Azad bin Amer Taman Al-Omari, said Duqm has a distinctive tourist potential and its nature is fraught with factors that constitute a tourist attraction.
“Therefore, the tourism ministry will offer land for investment from time to time,” said Al-Omari.
“The ministry pays attention to the guiding signs of tourist sites in the wilayat and places them conspicuously to facilitate the arrival of tourists to places they would like to visit,” added Al-Omari.
Fakhry Hindiyyah, general manager at the Crowne Plaza Duqm Hotel, said guests can find everything they need in terms of advanced comfort at the hotel.
“The warm colours and Omani designs add touches of warmth and welcome to the 213 rooms and suites, whose windows and balconies have sea views,” he stated.
“It’s the best destination for conferences and seminars with its five ballrooms of different sizes equipped with state-of-the-art audio/video equipment, in addition to the Al-Wusta Ballroom that can accommodate 300 persons,” added Hindiyyah.
Another hotel, the Park Inn lies in the middle of Duqm city and is close to all tourist sites and attractions that appeal to visitors, whether those who would like to relax on the sunny beach or explore the various tourist destinations nearby.
According to hotel officials, tourists of various nationalities visited the hotel this year, which has 73 equipped chalets of various sizes, a number of meeting rooms and exhibition halls and a gymnasium equipped with the latest sports equipment.
As for Al-Madina Hotel, it includes 118 rooms equipped with the latest amenities. It is near Duqm city and is strategically located to offer easy access to the Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD), the airport and other development projects in Duqm.
Ras Madrakah - a coastal village is one of the marine areas on the Arabian Sea.
One of the places frequented by the visitors of the village is the soft sand beach that extends for a long distance and provides a chance to the tourist to enjoy recreation, including surfing and fishing.
Duqm Beach is located 10 kilometres from the centre of the qilayat and is known for the purity of its sand and turquoise waters extending their embrace to the skyline.
Rare Stone Park, discovered in 2009 during an exploratory mission of the ESC Company in collaboration with World Association of Environments, is one of the rare natural rock gardens in the world.
The Park is spread over three kilometres and the site looks like a view from another planet surrounded by desert.
Scientists believe it was likely to have been formed about 46 million years ago through a freshwater aquifer.
With the passage of time, the rock structures came into being with the help of many natural factors, such as weather.
© Muscat Media Group