As Switzerland is to Europe, Jabal Akhdhar is to the Middle East. The ‘green’ mountain is a treasure trove, rich in cultural history, and visible marine fossils that date back two and half million years ago when the Al Hajjar Mountains were once under the sea.
Now a favourite destination for many travellers especially during the summer months when the temperature rises to as high as 50 degree Celsius, many of the guests here enjoy not only the hospitality of the luxury hotels nestled in its scenic bosom but also of the people who call Jabal Akhdhar home. While the rest of the country suffer under extreme hot weather conditions, Jabal Akhdhar remains relatively cool and enjoys rain even during the summer months making it a perfect getaway especially during the weekends.
Omar Said Nasser Hamood al Fahdi (left) and Said Nasser Salim al Fahdi (right) are both natives of these mountains and while majority of the residents here are still into farming, these two young and ambitious Omanis are currently working in the hospitality sector particularly a boutique resort that offers unforgettable mountain experience.
With the government putting a lot of effort into developing the tourism sector of the country, the two took advantage of the trend and currently affiliated themselves in this sector.
Both of them does their job with a warm smile. Employed to ferry or take guests of Sahab Resort and Spa on guided tours of the mountain, they offer unique and insider’s perspective as to how things are done in Jabal Akhdhar.
“The resort caters for all — be it a family holiday or that special couple moment. It is the perfect place for group parties or a MICE event with a banquet hall and large lawn. Its innumerable indoor and outdoor dining spaces, and an exclusive open-air dining and pool-side bar, with a live kitchen to cater for kebabs, pizzas, and grills are great for those yearning for a great experience. Because of the diverse guests that we get, both Omar and Said are performing a special role to give our guests a unique experience,” shares Dr Maryann Roberta, Corporate Director of Marketing and Development that currently supervises the resort.
“Said’s happy smile greets you first. A people’s person, he loves greeting guests at the resort reception and regaling them on the beauty of Jabal Akhdhar,” Arup Singh Deo, General Manager of the resort, shared.
“He ferries the resort guest up and down the mountains in a 4WD. His driving skills are par excellence as he proudly maintains that his first job was that of driving a heavy0duty lory,” he added.
“His ambitious dream is to be the resort’s reception manager someday. All of 26 years of age and married, time is on his side and we will be proud of him to be the face of the resort one day,” he added.
Omar is mature beyond his 22 years. Confident and ambitious, “he introduces the guests to his DJ skills on the car stereo,” Dr Maryann shared.
“As with all Omani’s, the smile never leaves his face, and he is most obliging whatever the hour, which comes from his background of a father working in the Armed Forces,” she added.
When asked about his dreams, without a moment’s hesitation, Omar professes that he would like to ‘Head Sahab Resort & Spa’ someday.
“With the experience of handling his eight siblings at home, and making an impression on his newlywed young wife; it will be a proud day when the likes of Omar, work hard to achieve their ambitions, and rise to the occasion of heading a resort that is steeped in marine fossil history, and is a historical treasure trove,” she added.
Both Said and Omar reports to work every day ready for the challenges that working for a hotel brings. Keeping up with the demands of guests, they’ve learned to navigate their way into the complexities of the system. Both proficient in spoken and written English, their bosses are confident that they are very good example of what hardworking Omanis can become — the stars in their eyes and dreams in their hearts can become a reality.