42 hotels provide services for tourists in S Al Sharqiyah

MUSCAT: The total number of hotel and tourist establishments in the Governorate of South Al Sharqiyah reached 42 in 2017, an increase of 27.3 per cent over 33 hotels in 2016. The number of hotel rooms in 2017 went up to 1,194, an increase of 38 per cent over 859 rooms in 2016.
The valid initial executive approvals for hotel facilities in the governorate till the end of 2017 were for five hotel establishments to add 151 rooms. Similarly, there were executive approvals for two hotel apartments to add 21 rooms, five green houses, two guest houses and five camps to add 91 rooms.
The statistics indicate that the projects under implementation in the Governorate of South Al Sharqiyah in 2017 were four hotel facilities adding 126 rooms and one guest house with six rooms. It is expected that one hotel with 49 rooms will be open in the governorate in the coming few 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 hotel facilities. This is required to keep pace with the steady growth in the number of tourists visiting various governorates of the Sultanate and to attract tourists flow from within the country and abroad.
Saud bin Hamad al Alawi, Director of Tourism in the Governorate of South Al Sharqiyah, said that the governorate was very important because of the diversity it has for tourism. There are natural attractive areas including 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 Sultanate.
The marine tourism is considered one of the best and most 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 Jaalan Bani Bu Ali to Wilayat of Mahout in Al Wusta governorate and the Wilayat of Masirah.
Al Alawi said that the environment of South Al Sharqiyah is picturesque as it has a number of famous wadis in the Wilayat of Sur, such as wadi Al shaab, Wadi Tiwi, Wadi Bani Jaber and Wadi Al Minqal.
This coastal area is located about 46 km away from the wilayat of Sur. It has an attractive natural environment and recreational area. It also has clean and diverse types of beaches.
Ras Al Hadd is the biggest green turtle nesting reserve of the region located in the Governorate of South Al Sharqiyah. It has a number of aquatic areas which attract migratory birds, in addition to exceptional environment which is moderate during both summer and winter, he said.
It has a number of wetlands known as Khor Grama and Khor Al Hajar, which can support sustainable tourism.
The tourism development company Omran, on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, has signed a partnership agreement with Qatari company Diar for the project called Diar Ras Al Hadd.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 jobs in the governorate.
The scientific centre is a unique project located at the entrance of turtle reserve on 21,000 square metres of land.It includes a centre for the study of turtles and aquatic life and a museum of archaeological remains discovered at Ras Al Jinz, in addition to a scientific library specialised on environmental studies and rooms for research and reading.
There is also an annex of centre which has rooms for accommodation, a restaurant and a shop for the sale of traditional handicrafts of the people of the desert and the sea.
Al Alawi said that the centre organises two daily tours for tourists to watch the turtles in the morning and evening. Each tour includes only 200 tourists. They are accompanied by eight tour guides, as well as aides and turtle monitors to maintain calmness in the nesting places where the turtles nest.
Saud bin Hamad al Alawi said that the castle of Ras Al Hadd is located in the Wilayat of Sur.
Saud al Alawi said that the Ras Al Jinz reserve has 120 square km area where 6,000 and 13,000 turtles live.
The beautiful captivating beach is a safe haven for a number of birds.
He said that the resort is located 65 km east of the Sur city where one can reach through Al Eijah village which is 17 km away from Sur.
To visit the turtle reserve at Ras Al Jinz, one has to make advance booking through the turtle reserve management company.
He said that there were future projects such as Qatari Diar and the establishment of two guest houses.
Saud al Alawi said that the Governorate of South Al Sharqiyah includes the Wilayat of Masirah, the largest of the islands of Oman with total area of 1,080 square kilometres.
It has archaeological sites of civilisations dating 3000-4000 BC.
Masirah is one of the most important tourist destinations in the governorate and can be reached by air through flights operated by the Royal Air Force of Oman from the Al Seeb air base or by sea by ferries which take several trips daily from the village Shinnah in Bar Al Hakman.
He said that in Masirah, tourists discover beauty of intertwined between rugged mountain rocks and the picturesque nature of island’s sandy beaches.
The beaches of Masirah are an important place for nesting of thousands of turtles between June and August every year. It is also home to dolphins. It also has coral reefs stretching between the cliffs on the eastern coast and Ras Qulban on the western coast. — ONA