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Steps to regulate hotel, commodities price in Salalah

Escalating price trends a concern
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MUSCAT: The authorities in the Sultanate of Oman are putting up substantial efforts to regulate tourist prices for hotels, apartments, and goods during the Khareef Salalah. However, as the governorate sees a huge surge in tourist arrivals during the summer months, the effectiveness of these endeavours appears to be limited.

Citizens in the country have expressed apprehension about the persistent issue of escalating rentals for residential properties and certain commodities in Salalah during the period. This concern has recently gained significance across various social media platforms. The task of effectively managing this situation is proving to be complex, given the high number of incoming visitors and the scarcity of available housing and hotel apartments for rent. The situation is further exacerbated by the annual Salalah Festival commencing every June.

Yousuf al Abri, a visitor to Salalah during this period, told the Observer: “The issue of soaring rental prices, whether for residential or hotel accommodations, continues to present a recurring challenge during the Salalah Tourism Festival. Unfortunately, due to the actions of some investors, this festival has become a season for maximising profits, often disregarding the diverse financial backgrounds of the visitors who seek to indulge in the city’s captivating and picturesque ambience.”

Al Abri has drawn attention to the escalating price trends witnessed in certain establishments. Notably, Al Abri’s experience while visiting places offering entertainment, such as electric games, has highlighted this phenomenon.


​​​​​​​Recounting his observations, citing examples where the cost of engagement in electric games, which traditionally valued at a mere RO 1, now varies up to three and a half riyals. He also shed light on the diverse commercial stalls that have sprung up in conjunction with the fall season. These stalls have become subject of scrutiny due to the high prices attributed to their offerings.

Al Abri pointed out that items he had previously purchased for modest sums outside Salalah have seen their prices almost doubled when purchased in Salalah.

Abdulaziz Mohammed, another visitor to Salalah, candidly shared his observation on the subject, highlighting an element of exaggeration in pricing within certain locales and for specific goods, along with associated accommodation costs. Recent days have witnessed an upswing in grievances from Salalah visitors regarding the escalating cost of rentals. Many visitors find it increasingly difficult to accept these prices, with some individuals compelled to reluctantly accommodate these expenses in their pursuit of a hassle-free dwelling at a reasonable cost following arduous journey to Salalah. The pricing trend is fluctuating throughout the khareef season, commencing with lower rates at the season’s outset and progressively increasing as time unfolds. Abdulaziz also underscored the significant price disparities he encountered upon arriving in Salalah, remarking on the considerably higher costs than those beyond Salalah’s boundaries. This trend effectively transforms Salalah into a destination tailored for individuals with higher disposable incomes. In acknowledging the complex landscape, Abdulaziz emphasised a balanced perspective, indicating that not all accountability lies solely with landlords. He noted that every tourist-centric city has unique attributes, particularly during peak tourist seasons. Nevertheless, a marked propensity towards excessive pricing has the potential to cast an adverse spotlight on the city, ultimately resulting in far-reaching consequences for its reputation. Furthermore, Abdulaziz praised the commendable initiatives undertaken by the Dhofar Municipality and Consumer Protection Authority. Recent endeavours have led to the establishment of standardised pricing at kiosks selling products such as coconuts and fruits.

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