Salalah cyclists promote tourism and health awareness

SALALAH, JUNE 11 – Bicycles of different hues and sizes descended on Kut Hamran on Monday evening to take part in a ‘Cyclothon’ to achieve twin purposes of promoting tourism and creating health awareness among people. The participants’ turnout was more than the organiser’s expectation as more than 100 took part in the event which started from Kut Hamran and concluded at Hawana Salalah, an integrated tourism complex (ITC), after covering a distance of 12 kilometres. The event titled ‘The Road to Hawana’ was a joint initiative of the Directorate-General of Tourism in Dhofar, Hawana Salalah and Muriya.
Marwan bin Abdul Hakeem al Ghassani, Director of Tourism Promotion at the Dhofar Tourism Directorate, called it an attempt to encourage adventure tourism, promote Salalah tourism and discover nature. “Thus we decided to join hands with our hospitality partners Hawana Salalah and Muriya to achieve our goal and were happy to see people’s participation. They turned up with full enthusiasm and everyone enjoyed the cycling and got very good feedback from the community which suggested us to engage with many more events in which community participation is required,” said Al Ghassani.
The event, according to him, was also a gearing up exercise for the Khareef (monsoon) season, which is to start from June 21 up to end of September.
The event generated good social interaction, as most of them were like minded health conscious people but not known to each other. “It provided us an opportunity to know each other and organise such programmes more frequently in different locations to send a message of ‘healthy you, healthy Oman’ among cross section of people,” said Abdullah, who is a keen cyclist and an adventure sports lover.
Khalid, another participant and a Taqah resident, admitted that he enjoyed the cycling event despite the fact that he never got to cycle otherwise. “I enjoyed it and realised that I should dump my car at least one day in a week to stay healthy and fit,” he said.
He acknowledged that more than individual fitness, the event was successful in raising health awareness among people and it was equally successful in creating awareness for tourism in Salalah. “Like, I did not know much about Kut Hamran despite born and brought up in Salalah. Now I could know that it was a vast farming area some years ago and still a very good source of vegetation. I could even taste some berries and found them very tasty.”
Some participants were so excited after the event that they called for proper cycling tracks in Salalah city so that people can ride cycles without having any fear of being hit by vehicles. “You need to include some physical activity in your daily routine and nothing can be better than cycling if you have proper bicycle track,” said yet another participant.