The Sultanate of Oman celebrated the 45th Anniversary of its Renaissance and the evolution of the tourism industry, ranging from desert expeditions to adventure travel, luxury and cruise experiences. Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, was joined at WTM by a delegation from the ministry and 24 companies from the Oman private sector, included the cupcake celebration that took place on Monday, the first day of the exhibition. The 45th anniversary marked an era of progress and prosperity under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
The Sultanate of Oman began to flourish since the dawn of modern Renaissance on July 23, 1970. Since then it has brought about radical transformation in the life of Omani citizens, whose lifestyle evolved into a modern, forward-looking society, in a country that has witnessed continuous development, with a wide range of award-winning five-star and boutique hotels. However, Oman remains genuine and authentic and wherever you go to Oman, you will still find traditional Arabian hospitality, arts and crafts, as well as historical heritage.
The Star Middle East Tourist Office Award for the UK office was presented for the second consecutive year to Her Excellency, Maitha Al Mahrouqi at this year’s exhibition.
Part of the celebration of the 45th Anniversary was the crossing of the Empty Quarter Project. From Salalah on the Indian Ocean coast of Oman, through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to Doha the capital of Qatar, a team of Omanis is taking on the challenge – leading British explorer Mark Evans across the desert. Mark Evans will be following in the footsteps of Bertram Thomas, the intrepid British explorer who set out to travel Arabia's vast Rub Al Khali desert, one of the world’s most extreme and inhospitable environments, which took place 85 years ago.
Private sector representatives attended WTM as an opportunity to promote Oman’s hotels, attractions and tourism services, including recent openings such as the Six Senses Spa opens at The Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz Carlton Hotel. Nizwa Fort will re-open on 06 November 2015.
Further properties in the pipeline to be opened in 2016 include: The Anantara Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, a rare jewel in the rocky contours of the vast Saiq Plateau on Oman’s fabled Green Mountain, magnificently perched almost 3,000 metres above sea level on the curving rim of a great canyon; the Anantara Salalah Resort, situated between a beach and natural lagoon on the south coast of Dhofar in Salalah, Oman; The Kempinski Hotel and Residences at Muscat’s Al Mouj resort. Muscat has seen recent growth in the MICE market and this is anticipated to grow even faster with the opening of the new Oman Convention and Exhibition centre.
The Sultanate of Oman stand was the ideal spot for WTM visitors to take a short well-deserved break during the show where they found Omani coffee and dates served in traditional Omani style. Travel agents who visited the stand had the chance to see traditional Omani weaving and get a Henna tattoo. Travel Agents also had the chance to receive a key ring or banner pen if they sent their selfie with the Omani dolls hidden on the stand to Tourism UK on Facebook or @Oman_Tourism_UK on twitter.