Enliven visitor experience

Capital Muscat is one of the few cities that offers huge green parks and unpolluted beaches ideal for evening hangouts, which could be also commercial exploited by young Omani businessmen.
The popular public parks in Oman include the Al Riyam, Burj al Sahwa, Naseem Gardens, Kalbou, Al Amerat Park and Qurum Natural Park. There are also a few smaller parks in Ghubra and Al Bustan area.
Waterfronts in Qurum, Athaiba, Shatti (near Grand Hayat), Muttrah Corniche and even the PDO beach are frequented by residents in large numbers during weekends and public holidays.
On the brighter side, most of these locations are well-kept with the cleaning staff of the municipality making regular rounds to clear any litter left behind.
But as visitors praise the efforts of the civic authorities, they also seek improved facilities such as affordable and hygienic restaurants/ coffee shops, restrooms and fun/entertainment activities.
“The government should encourage facilities such as rental bicycles or small bikes for children so that they don’t have to get them from home. There should be events such as light shows or small films with a message for children,” said Mohammed al Harthy, a regular visitor to Burj al Sahwa Park.
He added, “It will be a good opportunity for budding Omani entrepreneurs to start business with little support from the government. What is also important is that the facilities should be of top quality, which will also encourage foreign visitors to visit public parks.”
Al Harthy felt kite-flying on beaches will not cause harm, provided they are done as per regulations.
Robert McGill, who was in Muscat for two days recently, enjoyed visits to the corniche. “The place is fabulous at any time of the day. I would like the government to allow special stalls for vegetable juices for the morning joggers in addition to rental bicycles. It will be great if they restrict private vehicles and encourage small electric vehicles and bicycles during specified morning hours.”
He said the Kalbou and Al Riyam parks are great places for families. Aspiring entrepreneurs should be given contracts to start facilities that are different from the usual fun games. “It will be tough to get good crowds on a daily basis, but weekend evenings will attract good crowds.”
There have been talks about having paid bio-toilets and other restroom facilities for tourists in the capital region for some time. “We certainly need improved facilities, especially for women visitors. We should bring residents and visitors to the public parks and beaches when the weather is conducive,” said Rumaiya, who felt it will offer great opportunities for young women to do business.
She cited the example of Sharjah waterfront that offers a handful of opportunities to the regular as well as foreign visitors. “The only point is that it should be affordable for all types of visitors and of minimum quality.”