GERMAN by birth but Omani by heart. That’s Melanie Hunger, a tourism entrepreneur who was featured by Bild der Frau, Germany’s largest women’s magazine.
Monika Kaussen, Editor at Bild der Frau, picked Melanie for the telephonic interview from Hamburg in which she highlighted her love for Oman and how she was turning out to be the travel ambassador for Germans visiting the Sultanate.
She expresses her interest in the Sultanate, her new homeland where she has been resident since 2015.
Due to the coronavirus the magazine upgraded its travel section to support the global tourism industry by using German nationals abroad to promote their ‘new homeland’ to its German citizens on the concept of ‘destinations through the eyes of German expatriates’.
Says Melanie: “I am passionate about tourism and passionate about the country. I love Oman and it is like my home. Oman captured my heart and I always recommend it to travellers even while I was working in other tourist destinations.”
As a tourism marketing professional, she launched Heartwork Marketing in 2019, which offers marketing and communication services to SMEs such as branding, PR and communication, strategic planning and marketing consultancy.
Melanie enjoys exploring the country during her free time. “The true beauty of Oman is its outdoors. The landscape is magical,” she explains saying it offers a variety by way of its beaches, wadis, deserts and canyons with “everything and everyone here smells good and has diversity in nature.”
If the helping nature of the citizens attracted her to the Sultanate, it was also a robust tourism industry and a growing number of quality and creative restaurants and food outlets. She also mentions the growing entrepreneurial culture and rising creativity and energy among young Omanis.
Having been in tourism, Melanie had the opportunity to travel to 54 countries around the world. She admits to having never experienced such a diversity of nature, warmth and kindness of people in Oman.
“I knew the region already from the time I worked for a cruise ship company and since then I have been fascinated by the beauty of nature and its people,” she adds.
“With Oman becoming my second home, I have more friends than back in Germany,” adds Melanie.
Hailing from northern Germany, near Hamburg, she completed her schooling from Kuehlungsborn, a small resort coastal town on the Baltic Sea coast and a most famous tourism region. With almost 3 million overnight stays and more than half a million travellers every year, she was always exposed to tourism.
Melanie (@Sayyidah.Almania) values the respectful interaction with each other. “Nobody shouts or complaints loudly no matter what, friendliness is preserved in Oman,” she concludes.
The photographs shown were taken before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Pictures by Adnan al Balushi