Ruchi Jaiswal

Oman tourism to see $35 billion investment in next 25 years

Salim Al Mamari

The Ministry of Tourism, Oman, has revealed that up to $US 35 billion will be invested in the tourism industry of the Sultanate over the 25 years as officials conclude a hugely successful presence at this year’s Arabian Travel Market. Up to 80 per cent of that investment will come from the private sector as the country plans to double the number of international visitors Oman attracts to five million as part of its new national 2040 Tourism Strategy. Tourism officials, led by Director General of Tourism Promotion Salim Al Mamari, conducted a record number of business and trade meetings during the ATM in Dubai as interest in the country as one of the world’s fastest growing and unique destinations rapidly grows. Al Mamari said: “We have enjoyed a hugely successful Arabian Travel Market and have found unprecedented levels of interest from the tourism industry in seeking new partnerships and initiatives with the Ministry.”

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Marquee hotel chains sign deals at AHIC


Arabian Hotel Investment Conference concluded last week at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai with some of the most prominent hotel chains signing new deals to expand operations in the region. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts announced two new projects in Morocco and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be opened before 2020. Wyndham Hotel Group will be expanding in Oman and Iraq with two properties in each location. Marriott International confirmed openings for 17 properties across the region this year. The premier tech-focused hospitality brand, YOTEL announced that it will be opening several more city/resort and airport sites in Dubai and Riyadh and is actively negotiating more opportunities in the Middle East including Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Jeddah.The first ever Middle East YOTEL will open in 2018 in Business Bay, Dubai. Announcing details of five new deal signings which will add 1,200 rooms in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Starwood Hotels and Resorts also confirmed five openings in 2016 across the same countries.

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Qatar Airways connects Doha to Birmingham


The inaugural flight to Birmingham from Doha left last week making it 73 flights per week between Doha and United Kingdom. Currently, Qatar Airways serves London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh non-stop from Doha. This gateway, with direct flights between Doha and Birmingham, connects the city with more than 150 destinations worldwide. The addition of Birmingham marks the fourth U.K. gateway for Qatar Airways after London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh, with the eight weekly services operated by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The inaugural flight touched down on 30 March and was greeted by a traditional water salute, while Qatar Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, who travelled on board the inaugural flight with UK Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Ajay Sharma, were greeted at the arrival gate by Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Kehoe. Qatar Airways now operates 73 flights per week to the U.K., with 42 flights per week to London Heathrow, 16 to Manchester, seven to Edinburgh and eight to Birmingham, from its state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport.

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