Duqm offers mix of business and leisure

Duqm: The Wilayat of Duqm in the Governorate of Al Wusta in the Sultanate of Oman is blessed with beautiful beaches and mild climate throughout the year. There are many other tourist attractions in the wilayat. The Rock Park is a unique geological site. The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD) has provided a suitable environment for the growth of investments in tourism characterised by a waterfront located on a coastline area of 26 square kilometres and a length of 19 km. It is provided with all infrastructure facilities, such as electricity, water, roads and communications.
Dr Ismail bin Ahmed al Balushi, Acting CEO of SEZAD, affirmed that the zone attracted many quality tourism projects. He pointed out that the number of existing and ongoing tourism projects that have been signed stands at 27 projects including 3, 4 and 5-star hotels, apartment hotels, resorts and tourist facilities, including restaurants, leisure clubs, cafes, shops, water parks, apartments and villas.
He added that Duqm zone enjoyed a special place in the vision of the National Tourism Strategy 2040, which considered it a promising gateway of business and commercial activities in the Sultanate.
He added that the strategy proposed the development of a tourist area in Duqm zone in the coming years. He further said that the tourist areas are considered one of the main components of the tourism development plan recommended by the Omani strategy study.
He affirmed that the zone is witnessing an increasing demand for investment in the hotel sector. He pointed out that there are currently three hotels in Duqm that offer about 500 hotel rooms, but the projected growth of the zone requires the construction of more hotels.
He furthered said that in order to encourage tourism and attract more tourists to the Governorate of Al Wusta in general and Duqm in particular, an airport has been established to connect the Special Economic Zone of Duqm (SEZD). In addition, SEZAD, represented by the Department of Promotion, has prepared a proposal for operating chartered trips to Duqm, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism.
He pointed out that the efforts to develop Duqm aim at reviving the city’s ancient charm and its authentic Omani heritage. The current plan will pay an adequate attention to the conservation of beaches at the zone with its various types of migratory birds, fish, historical monuments and rich geological components, which make Duqm an important tourist destination.
He said that the study conducted by SEZAD through international expertise houses predict that the zone will need 5 to 8 hotels in the coming years. Another study by Duqm Port Company expected that the zone would be able to attract cruise ships and business tourists.
The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD) is offering a package of facilities and benefits for both local and foreign investors. In addition to the distinctive geographical location of Duqm, a large multi-purpose port, a large dry dock for ship repair and modern facilities; a range of incentives, such as 100 per cent ownership are also provided to the foreign investors, in addition to exemption from custom taxes, income tax exemption and land usufruct for long periods of time at encouraging prices.
Al Khonji Real Estate and Development Company is one of the Omani companies investing in the tourism sector in Duqm. It plans to establish three hotels within a tourism project that also includes residential and commercial complexes, green spaces and many other facilities.
Mohammed al Khonji, CEO of Al Khonji Real Estate and Development Company, said that the company’s motivation for tourism investment in Duqm is the confidence in the future vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, to create an integrated economic zone outside the Strait of Hormuz, in addition to the tourism advantages enjoyed by Duqm Zone due to mild weather throughout the year. — ONA