Hotels see full occupancy as long weekend begins

MUSCAT: All major three to five-star hotels in and around Muscat are reporting near full occupancy as the country enters into a long weekend starting from Wednesday. On the occasion of 49th National Day celebrations, November 27-28 are holidays for both public and private sectors in Oman. With climate conducive for outdoor activities, visitors also have the option to take a road trip to Jabal Akhdar, Jabal Shams or for the desert experience at the Sharqiyah Sands.

“All our hotels in Oman are having full occupancy for November 27 and 28 due to huge demand,” said Vijay Hande, cluster manager for properties — Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, Masirah Island Resort and City Hotel Duqm and Al Uwaifiyah Rest House, in a message to the Observer.

With the start of the annual peak tourist season, there is a demand for all prime properties in Oman from inbound foreign travellers.

“I have some friends coming from Dubai and wanted to book some rooms for them at a beach resort. Not only the rates were above average, but rooms were also not available for November 27, 28 and 29. I hope to find something at a reasonable price,” said K Ramachandran, a resident from Al Khuwair.

According to sources in the Ministry of Tourism and the hospitality industry, Muscat has made some progress by introducing quality hotel apartments. “There has been an increase in the apartments’ segment over the past few years, but we still have a deficit of rooms during the peak season.”

The total number of guests in Omani hotels increased by 18.7 per cent to 1,252,163 in the first half of 2019 from 1,055,118 guests during the same period in 2018.

Among the foreign nationalities, Europeans constituted the maximum number of visitors 398,013, followed by 387,914 Omanis and 158,371 Asian tourists until the end of September 2019.