Oman should have indoor recreational facilities like in other cities of the region to beat the summer heat, said a number of people who have opted to stay put in the city, especially during Eid holidays. The temperatures here call for indoor facilities and even the biggest malls in the country do offer little apart from amusement parks. Some of the big projects like the Mall of Oman, Palm Mall and others are expected to have snow parks and aquariums, but they are still a few years away from completion.
“In countries like Oman due to extreme heat conditions indoor recreational facilities are a must, because parks too are not suitable even in the evenings. I think we should have temporary facilities for the summer months at the government levels,” said Martina Cooper, an expatriate who has spent many years in different countries before moving to Oman.
“We should have decent small water parks temporarily set up for the summer months by the government. It will make a lot of difference because now people have no option but to move to other countries or down to Salalah, where too it is just about parks and beaches,” she said.
“I know Oman’s strength are its beaches and wadis, but they cannot be accessed during summer. We should have alternatives and the existing malls in Oman will not offer much,” Issa al Balushi, a parent of two.
“I have no option but to travel to other cities even if I don’t want to do so for some reasons. Few projects have been announced but they are a couple of years away still. We don’t have to compete with anyone but these are facilities to promote domestic tourism in the country and also develop the country as a destination for all 12 months.”
Tour operators are just waiting for
these projects to take shape if we need tourism to be a major contributor to the economy.
All eyes are now on Hayy al Sharq development in Barka, which will have an integrated theme park, a wildlife and waterpark, an equestrian centre and edutainment centre as well as multiple hotels, a residential zone, retail areas that will offer a range of retail, leisure and dining options.