Over the years, growing number of women travelling are alone and exploring the world, in search of new experiences and journeys.
In the Sultanate of Oman also the concept is catching up. Abdulaziz al Balushi's Happy Travels Oman is offering 'women only' trips for the forthcoming tourist season.
Having visited 29 countries, his intention was to make his home land the focus for tourists visiting the Middle East.
An important objective of Abdulaziz was to make Oman one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world, as per Oman Vision 2040. “We have planned and drawn goals within the company to create unique and enjoyable travel experiences,” says this young CEO.
Abdulaziz is supported by Monika Sommer, a German, to boost his company’s policy of specialising in exclusive women tours.
The plan is to have the group of women serviced with a woman guide or driver. “This concept is very interesting and they will start talking about the idea with their customers. There has been an appreciable interest in my Facebook-group from different countries. I am also in contact with tour operators from Europe, Asia and the US and have their confirmation."
Ruth Kebernik, Anke Brüggemann and Gudrun Ludwig from Germany were the first women-only group to undertake the trip and came out happy.
“It was a great experience to travel with an all-female group and to meet women from different cultures. In addition to the encounters with the friendly Omanis, I also enjoyed the versatility and beauty of the landscape. I am already looking forward to the next whenever it is organised,” says Ruth.
For Anke it was a dream come true. “Ever since as a young girl, I read histories of German authors. I wished to experience the desert and always wanted to see camels and most of all make friends with people from those countries. Now, older and a bit wiser, I wanted to have a deep contact with women from these countries. I want to know their family history, hopes and dreams. Monika made this safe and organised in the best possible manner.”
Monika’s second pet project is about ‘dive and travel’ and plans to devote a hotspot for diving and find unique places in Oman.
Happy Travels also owns a stable for Arabian horses in Barka. Some are trained for racing, while others are specialised in endurance.
“Depending on where the guest wants to ride, the horses are taken to the mountains or the desert by a transporter. There is also a possibility to do a multiple-day trip by horse. Luggage will be transferred by car if needed. From the stable you can go for rides to the beach,” adds Monika who is also an expert horse rider.
Recently, Abdulaziz and Monika took part in Workshop Oman meetings in Paris and Milan along with other tour operators planning tours for the forthcoming season.
They also plan to concentrate on snorkelling with dive and travel as a cooperation project with Happy Sea tours for the coming season. About diving and travel, Abdulaziz says: “We also provide camping and focus on small groups from various countries. Recently, we purchased our own boat named ‘Happiness’ at Daymaniyat Islands which helps us to conduct sea tours and diving and for snorkelling or camping during day trips.”