13 new hotels launch operations during first five months of 2017

As many as 13 new hotel facilities commenced operations in the Sultanate during the first five months of this year — part of a portfolio of 81 properties set for launch over the 2017-2018 timeframe, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
The strong uptick in new property launches is attributable to the Ministry’s efforts to support investment in the hospitality sector by making it possible for interested investors to submit their applications online.
According to the Director General of Investors Services & Quality Control, Eng Mohammed Mahmoud al Zadjali (pictured), room capacity as end-December 2016 climbed to 18,825 rooms distributed across hotels, resorts, hotel apartments, tourist camps, rest houses, guest houses, heritage hotels and green hotels across the Sultanate.
“Despite the volatile economic conditions in the region due to the low oil prices, and slow growth in investment, the tourism sector in the Sultanate of Oman is witnessing increasing mobility and demand that drives investors to move forward with tourism and hotel projects that meet this demand,” Al Zadjali said.
“The number of hotel establishments in the Sultanate now totals 352 properties as of June 1, 2017.
This comes as part of the Ministry’s efforts to develop the hotel sector in the Sultanate, increase the number of hotel rooms and diversify the tourism projects, and establish these facilities in the various governorates of the Sultanate,” Al Zadjali added.
Hotel establishments totaled 339 at the end of 2016, up 6.6 per cent from the previous year’s tally of 318 properties. By the end of 2017, this number is projected to jump to 352 properties..
The Ministry has granted approvals for the construction of a further 81 hotel establishments, offering 5,279 rooms, over the 2017 — 2018 timeframe. Of this number, 38 new hotels will come up in Muscat, 3 in Dhofar, 7 in North Batinah, and 5 in South Batinah, with the remainder distributed elsewhere around the Sultanate.
The Ministry has also launched E-Services for tourism procedures, which will do away with the need for investors to personally visit the Ministry in connection with their investment applications.
“The time it takes for licences and grants to be approved is reduced to not more than five working days for a complete application that meets the technical conditions and standards,” Al Zadjali said.
“In addition, the Ministry of Tourism works in constant coordination with all competent authorities to simplify and expedite the procedures for obtaining approvals and licences for tourism projects, in order to provide an efficient system of tourism services that meet the aspirations of the tourism sector in the Sultanate of Oman,” Al Zadjali added.