BUSINESS REPORTER –
AccorHotels, an international hotel chain, has signed a management agreement with Al Anwar Holdings SAOG for its brand new hotel — Novotel Muscat Athaiba. The agreement was signed by Masoud al Harthy, Chairman of Al Anwar Holdings SAOG, with chief executive officer of AccorHotels at the Tulip Inn (Ruwi) Hotel, under the auspices of Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism.
Located in close proximity to Muscat International Airport, the upcoming Mall of Oman and Madinat Al Irfan development, Novotel Muscat Athaiba provides convenient access to key business and leisure destinations in Muscat.
“As Oman takes great strides in economic diversification, we see a major opportunity to grow our portfolio through a focus on hospitality.
The location of Novotel Muscat Athaiba on the Sultan Qaboos Road near Oman’s prestigious international convention centre positions it as a unique offering in the market,” said Masoud bin Humaid al Harthy.
“Partnering with AccorHotels was a natural choice for our move into hotel development, as we aim to work with a team who has strong track record and reputation as a leading travel and lifestyle group in the Middle East,” added Al Harthy.
Novotel Muscat Athaiba offers 200 spacious rooms, a fully-equipped gym, spa and swimming pool. A variety of dining options will be on offer, including a lobby lounge and all-day dining restaurant. Besides, Novotel Muscat Athaiba will have meeting rooms for medium to large scale gatherings. The Project will also offer serviced managed offices for foreign investors and travellers to work and stay together in the same place.
“The tourism sector is expected to get a shot in the arm with the opening of a state-of-the-art airport in Muscat at the beginning of next year, while new routes of Oman Air and budget carrier Salam Air will help to attract tourists from within the region and other international destinations,” said Al Harthy.
The Sultanate, like other GCC states, is expanding capacity at the airports and developing infrastructure to complement the government push for boosting visitor traffic, thus providing a major incentive for increasing hotel capacities.
The new state-of-the-art terminal at the Muscat airport has a capacity to handle 12 million passengers per annum, which can be scaled up to 24 million, 36 million and 48 million in different phases if needed.
Al Harthy noted that the National Strategy for Tourism 2040 aims at making the Sultanate as one of the most important tourism destinations with a robust 6 per cent annual growth in tourism revenue, besides doubling the number of tourists to five million visitors by 2040.