For centuries Oman has been the gateway to the Gulf, the first stop on the long merchant routes from India and Africa. The towering cliffs of Musandam overlooking the Straits of Hormuz were once a pirate’shaven but now guard the narrow channel through which most of the Gulf’s oil is exported. Oman’s dramatic mountain scenery and fierce summer heat present an austere forbidding landscape. The Omanis are a seafaring people, independent tribesmen who have never been colonised. The Omani Empire once encompassed parts of Africa and the Indian subcontinent but wars and the advent of steam ships killed its maritime trade and the country lapsed into a century of obscurity from which it only recently emerged. With an area of 271,949km, Oman is the second largest country on the Arabian peninsula.. The country is divided into five main geographical regions: the Batina Plain and Hajar Mountains in the north; the Naj Desert; Dhofar in the south and Musandam, the rocky peninsula which is divided from the rest of Oman by a 70-km strip of the UAE. The main areas of population are the northern coast and the southern Salala plain, which only in 1982 were lined by a surfaced road. Temperatures in Muscat vary between 20 d c and 43 d c. The Dhofar is the only region in Arabia to experience a summer monsoon.
Air Arabia teams up with Oman Ministry of Tourism to introduce special Salalah Eid packages to compl
The Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism and Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) to operate in the MENA region, have teamed up to offer special Eid 2012 packages to Oman’s Salalah region aimed at supporting the surge in local tourism. Details were unveiled during a special Suhoor held recently for media and travel & trade partners at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai.
Under the 5-night package, travelers can opt to check in at the Hamdan Plaza Hotel (AED 2,300 per person), the Salalah Marriott Resort (AED 2,450 per person), the Juweira Boutique Hotel (AED 2,930 per person), or the Hilton Salalah (AED 3,490 per person). Amenities include return air fare on Air Arabia, accommodation on double or twin sharing basis, daily breakfast, and return airport transfers by hotel shuttle bus.
The deals coincide with the ‘Khareef’, Salalah’s cool weather season, which runs from July to September. Oman’s Ministry of Tourism and Air Arabia have recently partnered on several promotions aimed at drawing in more local, regional and international visitors to Salalah and other tourist-friendly venues across Oman. These initiatives are in line with the Ministry’s efforts to position Oman as a major year-round travel, leisure and lifestyle destination.
Statistics from the National Center for Statistics and Data in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, the Royal Oman Police, and the Khareef Season Visitors Survey 2012 show that Salalah welcomed over 30,000 visitors in time for the Khareef season in a period of just two weeks. This represents a 10.6 per cent growth over 2011. This year, Omanis constituted 46.9 per cent of arrivals, followed by UAE Nationals at 13.4 per cent and 20.4 per cent for other GCC citizens.
“Oman takes great pride in Salalah’s natural wonders, exciting events and cultural significance. We are thus appreciative of Air Arabia’s support for promoting Salalah as an ideal destination for Arab and international travelers. We would like to invite people from the region and around the world to avail of the latest exclusive package we have partnered to create. We also invite visitors to discover our brand call, ‘Beauty has an address - Oman’,” said Ghasi Humeed Al Hashmi, Assistant Director General of Tourism Promotion, Oman Ministry of Tourism.