Sheraton Oman Hotel set to open in Ruwi this summer
Dubai: Sheraton Oman Hotel in Ruwi, which has remained closed for nearly eight to nine years for refurbishment, will once again throw open its doors this summer, a senior official at the Ministry of Tourism said.
The Director General of Tourism Promotion at the Ministry of Tourism, Salim Al Mamari said the hotel has been undergoing renovation and, "we are hoping that by June it will open."
"The opening will help boost the tourism sector in Oman," he said, on the sidelines of Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
Interestingly, the Sheraton Oman Hotel has put up a stall at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. "The hotel is totally renovated and we will accept bookings from July to August if someone is interested in booking a room at this hotel," an official, who is attending the stall, told the Times of Oman.
Built in 1985, the Sheraton Oman is a landmark in the city of Muscat and is also one of the tallest buildings in the city with 14 floors.
Source: Times of Oman, 26 April 2016
OMAN FOOD INVESTMENT TO SET UP RO270MN FOOD SECURITY PROJECTS
Oman Food Investment Holding Co (OFIC) announced that it is implementing four major projects at a cost of RO270mn which are expected to enhance food security and economic diversification in the sultanate. In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), OFIC chairman Dr Rashid bin Salim al Masrouri said that the four projects will start production over the next three years. The major investors in the food security ventures are pension funds.
Mazoon Dairy Co and A'Namma Poultry Co were recently established and a project to collect and manufacture dairy products will be established in Dhofar Governorate. Another project for red meat is also expected to be unveiled soon, according to ONA report.
Masrouri added that OFIC has promoted Mazoon Dairy Co to undertake the flagship dairy project for Oman. The dairy project, which will be set up in the Wilayat of Al Sanina in the Governorate of Buraimi, has a capital outlay of RO100mn with a debt-equity mix of 50:50. OFIC's contribution in the equity is 20 per cent. The farm will start with approximately 4,000 cows in 2017, which will grow to a herd size of 25,000 cows in 2026. The project is expected to start commercial production in 2017.
Mazoon Dairy Co will produce approximately 202mn liters of milk in 2026 and 985mn liters by 2040. This, along with increase in existing production and the new milk collection scheme being promoted, will reduce the import dependency from 69 per cent in 2014 to 13 per cent in 2026. Net Imports could become negative in 2040 allowing Oman to become a net exporter of dairy products.
Masrouri said that OFIC has also promoted A'Namma Poultry Co's project with a capital outlay of RO100mn. The debt equity mix in the project is 50:50 and OFIC's contribution is 20 per cent of equity.
The project starts from hatchery to distribution and will produce 60,000 tons of white meat in 2020. The project will drive the self-sufficiency of Oman in the poultry sector from the current 36 per cent to 70 per cent in 2030.
Source: Oman Daily Observer, 29 February 2016
OMAN BETS ON TOURISM CONTRIBUTING 6% MORE TO GDP
Oman hopes to increase the number of hotel rooms from 16,000 to 20,000 by 2020, according to the Sultanate's Minister of Tourism.
Ahmad Bin Nasser Al Meherzi announced the approval of the National Strategy for Tourism 2040, which includes a 6 per cent rise in the contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) and a target of five million visitors by 2040, nearly double today's level of 2.6 million visitors. He explained that the strategy aims to increase the contribution of the private sector in tourism projects to 88 per cent, and government investment, which includes infrastructure projects, at 12 per cent, reported Oman News Agency (ONA).
The minister said in a radio interview that it is hoped to reach the 20,000 hotel-room level in 2020, compared to the existing 16,000 level. He said the strategy aimed at making Oman one of the most important tourist destinations by 2040.
Al Meherzi said: "Until we get to what we want, we should focus on the appropriate amount of investment, support the growth of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, and apply a typical global system of social responsibility to attract, offer an extraordinary range of tourist models [and] enhance the quality of services and attract more tourists."
Of the 2.6 million visitors that arrived in Oman last year, GCC nationals topped the numbers at 1.06 million, while Indians came second at 299,661, followed by the British (150,902), and Germans (106,269), according to the Tourism Report 2015 published by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). More than 5.4 million went abroad as outbound tourists in 2015. Cruise ship visitors to the Sultanate in 2015 topped 148,000, including 40,225 visitors from Germany, 13,849 from Italy, 9,688 from the UK, 8,578 from the Czech Republic, and 8,517 from the British Virgin Islands.
Source: Times of Oman, 21 February 2016
INVESTMENTS WORTH RO 800 M EXPECTED IN FOOD SECTOR
Dr. Fuad bin Jaafar al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, said in an interview with the Sultanate of Oman Radio's Economic Forum Program aired yesterday that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with the World Bank has completed the comprehensive strategy to develop the agriculture sector and create a long-term vision up to 2040 to meet the requirements of Oman 2020-2040 strategy. The final draft of the fisheries strategy, which is expected to be delivered this February, will assess the current status of the fisheries sector and the potentials to develop it, especially the Sultanate plans to develop the sector and make it one of the main themes of the economic development and diversification programme.
He added that the Ministry's fisheries strategy (2013-2020) rely on highlighting the Sultanate's potential in this promising field and to expedite the implementation of its recommendations which will result in increasing fish production. His Majesty the Sultan's blessing of the strategy has given the ministry greater momentum to accelerate its implementation. He also pointed out that there is a project to build an artificial coral village in Al Batinah area (20 km long and 4 km wide) to enhance fish reservoirs. The ministry is also building a new fishing system by grating 500 licences for fully equipped fishing vessels that can reach farther areas, besides licensing 500 modern boats.
As for agriculture sector, he pointed out that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with a national team, has completed the strategy of the sector last week and the final version is expected to be out soon. He added that 45,000 Omanis work in fishing sector and that more than RO 800 million worth investments are expected in food production sector.
Source: Oman Daily Observer, 18 February 2016