17 integrated stations to boost Oman tourism

The Ministry of Tourism has announced 17 integrated tourism areas with comfort stations, which are expected to boost the tourism infrastructure services across the Sultanate. The project, managed by the ministry, is expected to be completed in 2017-18. They are expected to be of global standard. The comfort stations are planned to be located near main roads and serve tourists who would like to explore Oman by road, as well as regular commuters. These “tourism stopovers” are designed to incorporate petrol stations, two or three-star hotels with the main building hosting restaurants, rest area, market, play area for children and tourism information centre besides prayer rooms for men and women. The area will also include sufficient parking for light and heavy vehicles. There will have shelters, including car wash and workshops. An interesting feature is pathways for pedestrians.

The centres have been designed with accessibility for all.
North Al Batinah will have the maximum number of integrated tourism stopovers. They will be located in Suwaiq, Liwa and Shinas.
The six stations are expected to be on either side of the Al Batinah Expressway.
One of the longest driving stretches to a tourism destination is the one leading to Salalah.
For long, motorists have been waiting for a facility where they can take a break. Most often it has been Adam.

Road users will be pleased to note one of the stopovers with integrated tourism facilities will be in Adam in Al Dakhiliyah, an important point en route to Salalah. Two other sites in the governorate will be located in Bidbid and Bahla. Al Dhahirah too will have three integrated areas in Yanqul, Dhank and Ibri. While Muscat Governorate will have two integrated tourism facilities, each in Seeb and Qurayat, Dhofar too will have the same number of facilities, in Thamrait, the entry point for tourists to the governorate, and Salalah, the popular monsoon destination.
AL Buraimi will have one comfort station.
These stations will include service, hospitality and tourism facilities that will provide world class services to road users as per the guidelines set by the ministry.
The Ministry of Tourism has earlier identified
land plots which will be used as integrated tourism stations and divided them into three main groups in cooperation with the authorities concerned.
Applications by individuals to set up integrated tourism stations are now considered by the ministry and those who meet requirements will be approved.
While usufruct agreements were signed for some land plots, other sites are awaiting completing requirements or amendments. Applications for getting land plots may be submitted by
various categories of potential customers.

Lakshmi Kothaneth