MUSCAT : As per a press release on the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism website, the value of projects under implementation (OMR 4.376 billion) is in addition to OMR 3.120 billion worth of other licenced projects that are in the pre-implementation phase.
The Ministry stated that it has granted 19 licences for integrated tourism complexes that include a number of projects in the governorates of Muscat, Dhofar, Al Sharqiyah South, Al Batinah South, and Musandam. These projects comprise of 81 hotel facilities with 16,576 hotel rooms, 2,552 apartment hotels and villas and 42,617 housing units, in addition to golf courses and a number of harbours, restaurants, cafes and shops.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism pays great attention to the integrated tourism complexes as it provides a qualitative addition to the tourism sector and ensures value-addition to the society as well as direct and indirect job opportunities.
H.E. Azzan bin Qasim Al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Tourism at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, affirmed that integrated tourist complexes are modern style of tourist cities that provide all services and facilities on one floor, where the resident can live without the need to leave the boundaries of the complex. It establishes the integration of residential, tourist, recreational, sports and commercial facilities, he pointed out.
He also stated that ITCs provide opportunities for non-Omanis to own property, which constitutes a mixture of different cultures; it provides an opportunity to attract capital and businessmen to reside in the country as well as offers supportive base for national efforts to attract investment.
Regarding the tourism aspect of ITCs, His Excellency explained that the success of any tourism complex requires provision of tourism, commercial, entertainment, residential and sports components, as the complex must be designed to provide a unique living experience that is in harmony with the topography of the place in which the project is located. He noted that the Ministry is focusing on paying special attention to adding more recreational and tourism facilities along with other components.
The ITCs are integrated with the diversity of Oman in terms of the diversity in the terrain of the beaches, mountains and valleys, to constitute an attractive factor for the local and foreign investor in order to invest in the field of tourism and real estate, in addition to the facilities available for investment in the integrated tourism complexes, where foreign owners are allowed to obtain a residence visa.
This is an additional advantage with appropriate financial facilities, as most banks operating in the Sultanate of Oman allow foreign investors to obtain a mortgage at a flexible interest rate.
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