Duqm Is Unique Tourist Destination in Al Wusta Governorate



Duqm Is Unique Tourist Destination in Al Wusta Governorate


Duqm, Sept 2 (ONA) —– Duqm is one of the wilayats of the Governorate of Al Wusta. It is located on the Arabian Sea coastline. It is 550 km away from the Governorate of Muscat that is characterized by its beautiful beaches and mild climate throughout the year. Duqm is a tourist destination during summer due to its mild climate.


There are many other tourist attractions in the wilayat. The Rock Park is one of the most prominent sites. The park is a unique geological site. Duqm is characterized by its pristine beaches and fishing villages, heritage and proximity to the Wildlife Reserve.


The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD) has provided a suitable environment for the growth of tourism investments through setting up a tourist area characterized by a waterfront located on a coastline area of 26 square kilometers and a length of 19 kilometers. 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 to the Sultanate and an ideal destination for those wishing to take a vacation to relax and enjoy the picturesque beaches, which are among the most beautiful beaches 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 attributed this increase to several factors, most notably the investment climate and ease of application. He added that the zone will witness an economic boom in the coming years. He pointed out that there are currently three hotels in Duqm that provide about 500 hotel rooms, but the projected growth of the zone requires the construction of new hotel facilities.


He furthered 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 in Duqm to connect the Special Economic Zone of Duqm (SEZD) to the outside world for the purpose of transporting passengers and cargo. The first operations of the new passenger terminal began on 17 September 2018. 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 hard 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 by the Indian Ocean.


He said that the study conducted by SEZAD through international expertise houses expected high demand for hotel services, expecting 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, especially two main types; business tourism, ecotourism and recreation.

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% 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 Bin Said, 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.


He added that the company will implement a number of tourism projects in Duqm at a cost of RO 390 million, including nearly 600 hotel rooms. He explained that Al Khonji Company will start its project in Duqm in 2020 due to the delay in the start of the Duqm Refinery project, which is one of the basics of establishing Duqm Economic Zone.


He also pointed out that the future of tourism in Duqm is excellent and promising, indicating the need to open the door for international airlines to operate direct flights to Duqm and conduct a comprehensive survey of the tourist area in Duqm to save time and money for the investor, which will accelerate the implementation of projects and increase tourism and economic activities in the zone, in addition to the increased incomes of the zone from the airport, taxis, car rentals and restaurants.


— Ends/MN/KH