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The Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) in Musandam is planning to launch a water taxi service to attract more tourists into the governorate. Around 250,000 tourists visited the Musandam governorate in the first nine months of 2018. And, OCCI is aiming to increase the number to give a big boost to the local economy.

Speaking exclusively to Muscat Daily, Raed bin Mohammed al Shehhi, chairman of OCCI's branch in Musandam said, 'We call on firms to invest in this project which aims to develop tourism services in Musandam. Our goal is to provide a safe maritime transport and attract more tourists from within and outside the sultanate.'

He said that OCCI has started the registration process for anyone who wants to invest in this project. 'However, there should be a serious desire on part of the investors to fund the project.'

The maritime taxi route will be from Khasab to Kumzar and pass through the villages of Khor Sham and Lima. 'We cooperated with several bodies such as the Ministry of Transport and Communications to study the economic feasibility of the project. Oman Development Bank and Al Raffd Fund will provide technical support and funding for the project. Musandam Governor's Office and OCCI in the Musandam governorate will supervise and market this project.'

Top priority to attract more tourists to Musandam: MoT

A senior official in the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has said that increase in visitor inflow to Musandam (around 250,000 in the first nine months of 2018) is because of the presence of various tourism offerings in the wilayats of Khasab, Dibba, Bukha and Madha.

'The cruise tourism season began in October and 72 ships will be visiting the Khasab port till May.

'These figures are a clear indication of the popularity of Musandam among tourists. The comprehensive tourism facilities in the governorate are a result of the agreements signed by the Ministry of Tourism with some countries including Russia, Iran and India. Twenty-six travel and tour companies are operating in the governorate.

'They organise trips for tourists from the Arab world, Europe, US, Asia and Canada. These companies also organise activities such as safaris and visits to historical sites and forts.'

The official said that MoT is making Musandam governorate a key in the sustainable tourism development strategy.

'This is in accordance with the Omani strategy for tourism as well as the comprehensive strategy for economic development, with the private sector as partners. Several plots in the governorate have been offered for tourism investments. Also, there are proposals to improve tourism offerings in the area as part of the diversification process.'

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Publication:Muscat Daily (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Jan 6, 2019

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