Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Dhahouri, acting director of tourism in Musandam governorate, said: The statistics indicate that there are 249,933 tourists visited the governorate till the end of the third quarter of this year. They are in the records of the hotels and other tourism establishments as well as visitors of forts and visitors of giant cruise ships and tourists coming across the border. He said that 72 cruise ships would visit the port of Khasab during the period from October 2018 to May 2019. They are important for the growth of tourism as they carry large number of tourists.
He said that the tourism in the Musandam governorate was a promising sector. It is strengthened by the natural elements such as unique nature of its mountainous, sea, islands and wildlife. The Department of Tourism in Musandam which represents the Ministry of Tourism in the governorate is taking many steps and organising programs in cooperation with the private sector to stimulate tourism in the area. The outlook for the tourist sector in Musandam includes increasing tourism services, and their quality and offering more sites for tourism investments according to the needs and in line with the Omani strategy for tourism and strategy as well as Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy of Musandam governorate.
He said that the plan includes giving approvals for the establishment and implementation of 8 hotel facilities, offering three sites for tourism investment for establishment of 3 hotels in the category of 3 and 4 stars and giving initial approvals for four hotels, and signing of the beneficial right for the establishment of one hotel.
The Governorate of Musandam is one of the most important destinations on the tourism map of the world. It is considered an important tourist destination for many from different nationalities. The tourism sector is witnessing an increasing growth. The number of visitors to the governorate in 2017 reached to 158,855. The number of tourist ships arriving to Musandam was 34. These statistics are a clear indication of the active tourism movement in the area. It shows that the governorate has comprehensive tourism facilities which will effectively attracting tourists under agreements signed by the Ministry of Tourism with some countries including Russia, Russia, Iran and India.
The number of tourism companies and establishments operating in the governorate is 26. They are organising different trips for tourists from Arab nationalities, either they are from Gulf countries and other nationalities such as European, American, Asian and Canadian. These companies also organise activities such as safaris, cruises and visits to historical sites and forts to introduce the ancient history of the area, archaeological houses, shrines and other sites.
The Ministry of Tourism is making Musandam governorate as one of its priorities in the sustainable tourism development strategies, in accordance with the Omani strategy for tourism as well as the comprehensive strategy of economic development, with the private sector partners. A number of lands have been offered in the governorate for tourism investment. Also, there is planning for Musandam governorate to improve the tourism complexes areas and start diverse projects and services for more activities.
Musandam is one of the most important governorates of the Sultanate, which has attractive natural elements. It is a well-known destination for tourists who want to enjoy the spectacular scene of the Strait of Hormuz, the tranquil gulfs, the winding labyrinths with its rich environment, diving and snorkelling activities or its sandy beaches. The tourism season, which extends from October to April, shows an increase in tourist movement in the govenorate in general and in wilayat Khasab in particular, because of its wonderful nature, which is its geographical topography, and where its exquisite mountains meet the sea.
Harim Mountain, locally as Hareem Mountain, is located in wilayat Khasab. It is on the altitude of 2,087 meters above sea level. It is a suitable destination for cyclists. The area is a destination which attracts adventure enthusiasts for climbing mountains and exploring wadis and corridors. It is known for its mountain villages, parks and green oases, most famous of them are Si, Khalidiya, Al Sahaseh and Al Rawdah areas.
Oman Tourism Development Company -Omran-, the executive arm of the Sultanate's tourism sector, planning to offer a variety of tourism activities and unique experiences to enhance tourism in Musandam and attract local and international tourists who want to explore the Sultanate's beauty and natural ingredients from a different perspective. Omran has signed an agreement in this regard with the Ministry of Tourism in April this year. In July, the company announced its new partnership with FreeStyle Divers, a specialist diving and water sports group in Oman, to launch a diving centre at Atana Musandam Resort, adding new recreational activities in the region and promoting awareness about marine life conservation.
The various new tourism activities and projects organised by Omran will show the hidden natural wonders of the mountains and waters of Musandam. Among these activities are climbing mountains, slippery tracks, mountain trek, cross-strait trips and mountain biking trails. The project will activate adventure tourism in Musandam governorate and would support tourism plans and continuous growth of this sector.
Omran currently owns and operates three hotels in Musandam governorate. They are Atana Musandam, Atana Khasab and Golden Tulip Diba.