By: Kaushalendra Singh
SALALAH: Visitors’ experience in Salalah is going to be entirely different this khareef due to many ongoing projects and some of them nearing completion well in advance. There is a concerted effort from the Ministry of Tourism, private sector and a committee, comprising different wings, that works as an advisory body for tourism related development in and around Salalah.
A senior official of the Ministry of Tourism threw light on many such projects that are linked directly to enhancing facilities and services during rush times like khareef and long holidays like Eid and National Day. “Generally the city is efficiently equipped with facilities for day-to-day activities. But responding to people’s demand during rush seasons we decided to raise overall standards ranging from rest rooms to restaurants and public parks to accommodations.”
In an interview with the Observer, Khalid bin Mussalam al Rowas, Director-General of Tourism in the governorate, elaborated upon the efforts being launched in Salalah to give the visitors a hassle free experience and convert Salalah into a four-season destination in the long run.
Al Rowas mentioned about the Royal grant of RO 15 million and said that the grant was being utilised to upgrade services and facilities in Salalah. Many services are already in place from Gate of Salalah down to Salalah city, Itin, Sadah etc. He listed some services like guiding the tourists with information about Salalah and places around, helping them on roads, rescue teams on beaches and Traveller Oasis set-ups equipped with rest rooms, coffee shops and slipping, sitting and prayer areas.
“The facilities in a nutshell are ‘automatic or self cleaning toilets’ spread over in different parts of the city; walkways in Itin and Dahariz and renovation of Al Magdi restaurants, which are known for their meat preparations cooked in traditional way,” said Al Rowas.
Besides there are many major projects going on in Salalah to cater to touristic and accommodation needs of the city. “Salalah Beach is a massive project. Two hotels – Juweira Boutique and Salalah Rotana Resort are already operational, while third one – Al Fanar — is under way. Many more is yet to come under the Salalah Beach project. But such developments take time and done after due planning and research.”
Work on facilities, however, is on fast track “Self cleaning toilets are going to be ready soon and we are expecting them operational with the onset of khareef. The state-of-the-art facility is going to be the first experiment in Dhofar after successful trial run in Muscat,” he said.
There is plan for a walkway in Ititin and Dahariz. Both the locations are important due to their location. “Itin attracts a large number of tourists during khareef and become central area activity in Salalah during the monsoon season. The project is being assigned to contractors. Dahariz pathway is almost complete with additional facilities of eateries and sitting areas.”
Al Rowas laid emphasis on the fact that touristic developments in Salalah is being done under the auspices of Ministry of Tourism and a committee comprising stakeholders. Under way is Oman’s National Tourism Strategy, which is to draw a general roadmap of tourism in Oman. “And Salalah is definitely going to benefit from the strategy,” Al Rowas said.
Al Rowas made specific mention of development of Cave Sahor in Wadi Naiz. The project is a tourism project to showcase the natural cave and the flora and fauna around the area.
He also hinted at plans for development of Fazaya and Mughsail beaches, other caves and wadis as composite projects of tourism and protection of traditional wealth.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER