The sultanate is among must-see destinations in 2017
Oman is the only country from the GCC and the Middle East to make it to the list and it is the first time it has been featured in the ‘Best in Travel’ travel guide since 2009
Vinod Nair –
MUSCAT, JAN 6 –
Oman has been ranked among top destinations to visit this year by leading travel and lifestyle publications.
These ratings offer a major boost to the country as it hopes to see an annual of growth of around eight to 12 per cent in the next three years up to 2020.
The Telegraph has listed Oman among the top 20 countries for 2017 and 18th in the order. It is the only country to be ranked from the Arab world. It said embracing modernisation while preserving the past is no easy task, but it’s something that Oman, on the south-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula, is managing with aplomb. “The Sultanate remains a heady blend of ancient traditions, humble hospitality and spectacular scenery, with excellent infrastructure to boot.”
The Telegraph added, “Two hours’ drive away from Muscat, Jabal al Akhdar (Green Mountain) rises nearly 10,000ft at its peak and is famed for its damask roses. The interior desert, part of the fabled Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter) that covers a third of the peninsula, is wild and untamed. In the south, the khareef (monsoon) turns Salalah, once the centre of the ancient frankincense trade, gloriously green.”
Travel publication Lonely Planet has ranked Oman eighth in the world among top countries to visit in 2017.
It is the only country from the GCC and the Middle East to make it to the list and it is the first time Oman has been featured in the ‘Best in Travel’ travel guide since 2009. It cited the number of flights operating out of Muscat and the opening of new luxury hotels among various reasons.
Oman plans to attract more than five million visitors with its new Strategy 2040 of the Ministry of Tourism.
Vogue magazine has listed Oman among its top 10 destinations. Jordan at number eight is the only country to join the list from the Arab world.
Vogue says, Oman offers incredible natural beauty in the form of the vast desert, pristine coast, and rugged mountains. “For the past year, the dramatic sandstone mountains and empty beaches of the north have gotten most of the attention, thanks to the opening of several luxury hotels. The November opening of Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara is a sign that travellers are ready to explore the south,” the magazine said.
According to BMI Research, there is no shortage of growth potential as Oman offers numerous attractions to entice potential visitors, including beach and mountain resorts, world-class cultural and historical destinations and a growing luxury hotel sector. The report cites that opening of a few mid-scale hotels and the launch of budget airline to new destinations will bring a significant number of new arrivals to the country in the next couple of years.
Condé Nast Traveler too has also ranked Oman among the top must see destination for 2017.