(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Muscat- The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is encouraging the private sector to invest in hotels and other facilities in South Sharqiyah which is home to some of the best beaches and marine life.
The total number of hotels in South Sharqiyah touched 42 in 2017, an increase of 27.3 per cent over 33 in 2016. The number of hotel rooms in 2017 went up to 1,194, an increase of 38 per cent over 859 in 2016.
Statistics indicate that the projects under implementation in South Sharqiyah in 2017 were four hotels adding 126 rooms and one guest house with six rooms. It is expected that one hotel with 49 rooms will open in the governorate in the coming months.
These facilities are part of the efforts being made by the Ministry of Tourism to encourage private sector to invest in the tourism sector and hotels.
Saud bin Hamad al Alawi, director of Tourism in South Sharqiyah, said that the governorate was very important because of the diversity it offers. It has beaches, deserts, mountains and wadis as well as historical places, such as forts, castles and ancient villages. These components make the governorate one of the most important tourist destinations in the country.
The marine tourism is considered popular because of the beautiful beaches of Ras al Hadd and Al Aijah in the wilayat of Sur and Ashkharah. There are coastal areas stretching from the wilayat of Jalaan Bani Bu Ali to the wilayat of Mahout in Al Wusta governorate and the wilayat of Masirah.
Alawi said that South Sharqiyah has a number of wadis in Sur such as Wadi Shab, Wadi Tiwi, Wadi Bani Jaber and Wadi Al Minqal. These wadis are major tourist attractions.
He said that Ras al Hadd which is located about 46km from Sur is the biggest green turtle nesting reserve in the region. It has a number of aquatic areas which attract migratory birds. It has a number of wetlands known as Khor Grama and Khor al Hajar, which can support sustainable tourism.
Omran, on behalf of MoT, has signed a partnership agreement with Qatari company Diar for the Diar Ras al Hadd project. The project will be implemented in two phases. It will comprise resorts, hotels, residential villas, golf courses and Omani heritage markets. This will create a lot of job opportunities for Omanis and residents of the governorate.
Alawi said that the Ras al Jinz reserve is spread over 120sq km area having thousands of turtles.
Alawi said that South Sharqiyah also includes the wilayat of Masirah, the largest of the islands of Oman with a total area of 1,080sq km.
He said that the beaches in Masirah are known for nesting of turtles between June and August every year. It is also home to dolphins. He said that Masirah has four hotels, a hotel apartment and a guest house.
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