Already the Middle East’s cultural capital, the Sultanate of Oman continues to impress all who visit with its range of offerings.
BY BRAD FOSTER
Exceptional accommodation options, exciting cultural experiences, and an abundance of things to see and do “beyond the ballroom” has the Sultanate of Oman ticking all the right boxes for high-end incentives and corporate meetings.
With its state-of-the-art convention centre set to open later this year, Oman is poised to become a leading world player on the global business events landscape. The landmark centre, with a total seating capacity of 3000 people, will have 25,000 square metres of exhibition space, banquet and conference halls, hotels, a business park, a large shopping mall, and a food court.
The centre will be managed by AEG Ogden, one of the world’s leading convention and exhibition management companies.
Voted in 2009 as one of the most peaceful countries in the Arab world, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman, who ascended the throne in 1970, has been focusing his attention on improving the wealth and development of his country into that of a premier tourism destination while carefully maintaining the nation’s unique traditions and culture. A mass market tourism destination Oman is not. It is only recently that the country’s attractions have begun to see the light on a wider scale. From wild adventure to engaging with locals in a souk in Muscat, Oman possesses a wealth of natural, cultural and historic experiences for visitors seeking a new and unique destination.
One of its most recent additions, and one that can be visited by groups travelling to Oman is the Royal Opera House in Oman’s capital of Muscat. The vision of the Opera House is to serve as a centre of excellence in global cultural engagement by enriching lives through diverse artistic, cultural, and educational programs.
The multidisciplinary work of the Royal Opera House Muscat showcases rich and diverse artistic creations from Oman, the region, and the world. Performances of Aida, Madam Butterfly, The Nutcracker and La Boheme are just a few examples of upcoming events over the next 12 months. Orchestral and cultural performances are held throughout the year.
For the more adventurous, Oman also offers a wealth of options. With an impressive coastline stretching some 1700 kilometres from Musandam in the north, down past Salalah in the south, Oman embraces a rich, diverse terrain ranging from rugged mountains and fjords in the north, to the spectacular dunes of Wahiba Sands and the lush green hills of the Dhofar region in the south.
Mountain climbing, wadi trekking, catamaran and dhow cruises, some of the best scuba diving in the world, and superb eco-tourism experiences such as watching giant turtles laying their eggs at Ras Al Jinz, are highlights which are easily accessible.
From the ancient city of Nizwa and the towns dotted along the coast, to the charm of the capital Muscat and the old capital of Salalah; all are steeped in history and visitors will be amazed at just how different Oman is to the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.
Aside from talking to Tourism Oman for inspiration, the website
www.sidetripofalifetime.com.au is a great vehicle for PCOs and conference groups to actually go in and view some of the “real life” activities that can be done in Oman for incentive groups.
But be warned. Once you see what’s available combined with the high level of accommodation options you’ll be jumping up and down to get yourself and your group there in no time flat!