Muscat: All major ports in the Sultanate will receive vessels of all sizes in October, marking the start of the season of cruise ships that will continue until the end of April 2019.
The cruise ship market is an important pillar for the growth of the tourism movement, which will contribute effectively to maximize its economic returns and enhance its contribution to increase income and diversify its sources.
The Ministry of Tourism plays a major role in the development of this sector to promote the Sultanate as a destination for cruise ships, in coordination with the government agencies and private sector companies, and also in coordination with the cruise ships by providing facilities, permits and joint promotional campaigns.
In future, there is a future plan to work on the development of some ports to be used to receive the cruise ships, namely Suhar, Sur, Duqm and Al Suwaiq.
The most important project is the development of the waterfront near Sultan Qaboos Port, for which Omran has been assigned to to oversee the project, which will be implemented in four phases. The project will be located on a total area of 64 hectares and will include six hotels with 3, 4 and 5 star hotels, as well as several hotel units, retail stores, offices, parks, a marine exhibition, a marina and yacht, as well as other attractions. .
The first phase of the project, located in the heart of the port and facing the Mutrah area, will include a fishermen’s harbor, a five-star hotel, a four-star hotel and a commercial complex with a range of restaurants, cafes and various shops and a marina exhibition centre. The first phase will be completed by 2020 and construction for all stages of the project will be completed in 2027.
The number of visitors to the port of Sultan Qaboos, Salalah Port and Khasab port by the end of 2017 reached about 221,800 visitors, compared to 217,120 visitors in 2016, a growth rate of 2.2 per cent.