Oman expects 'continuing renaissance' in 2011
Omani minister says business tourism will bring millions to Oman
Oman is set to celebrate another year of “blessed renaissance” in 2011, with the country’s tourism and construction sectors continuing to grow, according to Omani national economy minister Ahmed bin Abdul Nabi Macki.
Speaking at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Oman Exhibition and Conference Centre, Abdul Nabi Macki paid tribute to state-owned developer Omran’s delivery of the Asian Beach Games site at the end of last year, which he branded “one of the best facilities on the continent.”
“Omran... develop(ed) and deliver(ed) the project in record time, with a clear effort in involving the local community, taking the environment into consideration, creating job opportunities and training around 2,000 students from schools in Al Musanaa,” he said.
Abdul Nabi Macki told dignitaries and guests gathered at the exhibition centre site in Muscat that Oman’s tourism industry had gone from strength to strength in recent years, pointing to increased numbers of tourists on the country’s national carrier, Oman Air.
He also said that Oman’s “Beauty has an Address” was attracting more visitors to the country.
“(This) will create a distinguished architectural monument, a building which will become one of the main attractive destinations within the great city of Muscat. It is a journey which will deliver many hundreds of jobs for our people and which will bring many hundreds of millions of Rials into our economy.
But he said that the next area of diversification for the country was in the field of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), which would be represented by the development of the exhibition centre, which is set to create more than 85,000 m2 of office space.
“The first win is the direct economic impact of these events themselves – the local employment that comes from exhibition displays, logistics, catering, security and so on – all the many aspects that go to make the successful event,” he said.
“The second win is that each event attracts thousands of visitors to the venue – exhibitors and delegates alike. They bring a massive economic impact, spending money on flights, on hotels, on meals and entertainment.
“And Oman is really is a country which has a magnetic pull on visitors. Visit once on business – and you’ll want to come back again with your family, to experience it all over again. So this sector is critically important for the future development of our sector and of the economy as a whole,” he added.