Dhofar geared up for Khareef

Salalah: The hospitality sector in Dhofar is all set for the Khareef season, which will begin on June 21 and continue till September 21.

“All the government organisations associated with the Khareef season are fully geared up to ensure the comfort and safety of visitors to Dhofar”, said Marhoon bin Saeed al Ameri, Director General of Tourism in Dhofar Governorate.

He said that a series of meetings of these organisations were held to review the preparedness during season. “There is good cooperation among the office of the minister of state, governor of Dhofar, Dhofar municipality, Royal Oman Police and other government organisations as well as our tourism partners in the private sector”, he said.

He said that the number of tourists during the 2018 season reached 826,376 with 28.1 per cent increase against the previous year. “We expect a further increase this year as indications are that the climate conditions during Khareef this year would be appropriate in contrast to what the governorate witnessed last year”, he said.

Hotel rooms have already been increased to accommodate the rising number of visitors to the governorate during the season which is known for its cool to moderate weather.

According to Al Ameri, there are 34 hotel establishments ready for the season with a total 4,115 rooms with 6,312 beds for the tourists. Seven new hotels in the categories of two star to five star have come up between the period from May to December last year.

Al Ameri said that the Rotana Hotel and Al Fanar Hotel have completed their expansion programme into Hawana Salalah destination. The four-star Millennium Hotel has already opened in Al Saadah area.

Similarly, the work on the four star Bilad Point Hotel project has also completed and is expected to be open during the current season. A number of hotels and commercial complexes such as three star Bristol Hotel are also expected to open in Al Saadah area. This is in addition to Al Saadah City Mall, Al Saadah Commercial Complex and Al Waha Mall in the industrial zone, he added.

Al Ameri said that the private sector will have a significant role in organizing entertainment and recreational activities at different areas. The ministry is coordinating efforts to conduct seminars which have regional and international significance. conferences and festivals to this season.

He also said that directorate of tourism is organising regular meetings with all officials of hotel facilities in the governorate to discuss their readiness for the tourist season.

Awareness campaigns are also being held to keep the places clean. “This is being done in cooperation with the Environment Society of Oman, other organisations concerned. Sign boards are also being installed at different areas which are prone to accidents”, he said.