Without any high rise buildings or mass tourism: This quality destination on the Arabian peninsula with an outstanding range of attractions has a vibrant culture that is more than 5,000 years old, and is described by Germany’s largest tour operator TUI as “safe and easy to visit”.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has brought the land of his forefathers into the modern day at astonishing speed. Strongly influenced by the years spent studying in Europe, on taking over as head of state in the early 1970s he acknowledged his responsibility for transforming the sultanate and making it fit for the future. Cautious in his approach, Sultan Quaboos has succeeded in gaining the approval of the entire population for his reform process, in which they have also been actively involved. He has spared no effort in modernising the infrastructure and improving the quality of life. Wise diplomacy and leadership are the characteristics of the longest-serving regent, both in his own country and in the Gulf region. His country enjoys both approval and security. Oman has deliberately avoided the construction of high-rise buildings. All the buildings are bright and welcoming, and are not allowed to exceed eight storeys.
The highest quality
In competing on the tourism market the partner country at ITB Berlin 2020 demonstrates quality at the highest international level. “The terms are very good”, commends Heiko Blattler, Departmental Director Orient/North Africa for Gebeco, “and in our cooperation with our local partners we have found them to be particularly reliable and conscientious.” “The infrastructure for tourists is very well developed” according to Carlo Pontzen, Product Manager Maldives & Middle East for EWTC, an Arabia specialist for individual travel. The country has been organised for tourism and has avoided the construction of a large number of hotels as a means of achieving rapid, forced expansion. Moreover, “There are no regions overflowing with tourists, and the hotels in the various regions are well established and have been good partners for many years.”
A gentle approach to discovering what is original and what is modern
All the companies serving the German market appreciate the organic expansion and a way of life and a culture that are far removed from those of mass destinations. Geoplan Chief Executive Tobias Büttner: “Original and modern aspects can be discovered in a gentle way in Oman”.
Without “feeling overwhelmed by the numerous impressions”, visitors undertaking city tours and circular trips to souks and markets can experience “Omani culture and traditions going back thousands of years in an authentic way”, has been the experience of SKR Product Manager Jana Hake. Kristina Dorsch, FTI Senior Commercial Manager Orient for the tour operator FTI adds that “the culture with its roots in the distant past is well documented and traditions that have been retained up to the present day have been well preserved.”
Curved daggers, dhows and fragrances
Visitors travelling on their own in Oman, on individually conducted tours or driving themselves can experience Oman “as one of the few countries of the Orient whose history is very easily traceable” says Kristina Dorsch, speaking for all the operators. This ranges from “traditional cultural assets such as the typical robes with curved daggers to traditional ships, the dhows, and fragrances, including incense, rosewater and oud”. The country and its people are also uniquely accessible. Due to the excellent network of roads, with 2000 kilometres of expressways, good, bilingual signs, and almost all places located on tarmac roads, according to EWTC travellers can ”explore many different worlds in a short time and the distances involved are relatively short too”.
Quantum leap into modernity
Arriving vacationers are soon introduced to a very modern world. Opened in March 2018, Muscat Airport represents a quantum leap in airport infrastructure and has already been the recipient of various awards. In the south too Salalah International Airport provides a supermodern gateway.
Increasing numbers of cruise passengers are expected and, over the next two years, the Port Sultan Quaboos in Muscat is being developed into a cruise hub equipped with the latest technology.
The Royal Opera House Muscat is a treasure and provides an architectural highlight that always draws many visitors. This internationally renowned opera house has regularly attracted stars such as the sadly recently deceased Luciano Pavarotti, and Placido Domingo, to Oman. Another magnet for tourists is the recently opened National Museum.
For SKR Product Manager Jana Hake its “surprise factor, which travellers can experience”, is very evident: “First time travellers in Oman will certainly experience some wow effects and will take unforgettable memories back home with them.”
Schwartz Editorial Office, Sabine Neumann and Horst Schwartz
Tourism Office of the Sultanate of Oman
c/o Interface International GmbH
tel.: +49 (0)30 42 08 80 12