Muscat: Oman is preparing itself to become “one of the major gateway” to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the CEO of the Oman Air, Abdulaziz Al Raisi said.
Speaking to Times of Oman, the CEO of Oman Air said, “Oman is getting ready to welcome the football fans from all over the world from 21 November to 3 December 2022.”
With free 60-day multi-entry visa to Oman and 24 daily Match Day Shuttle Flights, Oman will ferry spectators from Muscat to Doha every day.
“It will be easy for the entire family to stay in Oman and catch all the football excitement in Qatar,” the national airline said on its twitter handle.
The Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, on Wednesday unveiled the details of its joint programme for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and its preparations with public and private establishments.
Azzan Qasim Al Busaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism and Head of the Steering Committee for the management of the programme, affirmed that the Sultanate of Oman supports the efforts of Qatar in hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 through several areas of cooperation.
Al Busaidi added that the objectives of the programme focuses on promoting Muscat as a major city chosen to receive the World Cup fans, and to provide an easily accessible and exceptional experience for the fans visiting the Sultanate of Oman.
Al Busaidi highlighted the main components of the programme, which include a World Cup fan visa to enter the Sultanate of Oman (Hayya card holders), daily flights between Muscat and Doha, a programme for airport and transportation facilities, a programme of hotels and tourist packages and a programme of events and activities, as well as accompanying promotional campaigns.
Lt.Col Ahmed Said Al Ghafri, Director of Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Directorate General of Passports and Civil Status at the Royal Oman Police (ROP), said the exceptional advantages of ‘Hayya card holders’ are represented in a free multi-entry visa, with the feature of obtaining the visa upon arrival and a validity period of up to 60 days.
Al Ghafri further said the visa holder can bring first-degree relatives to enjoy a stay in the Sultanate of Oman and can change the visa category while staying in Oman (conditions apply).
Eng. Abdulaziz Saud Al Raisi also said that Oman Air has offered ticket packages that include accommodation and special fares at more than 120 booking outlets worldwide.
In his turn, Dr. Khalid Abdulwahab Al Balushi, Senior Manager of Government Affairs at Oman Air said the fares for booking one-day flights start from OMR 99 for economy class and OMR 305 for business class, during the World Cup matches from 20 November to 3 December 2022.
He added that to encourage citizens, special fares have been provided for them, starting from RO 49 for economy class and RO 155 for business class.
Shabib Mohammed Al Ma’amari, Managing Director of the National Travel Operator representing Omran Group, pointed out that tourism products offered under the programme exceed 20,000 hotel rooms and more than 200 tourism products through 35 local operators and 10 land transport companies. Those companies struck partnerships with 52 airlines from around the world, which operate flights to the Sultanate of Oman.
He said that the programme will include events and activities, most notably the World Cup Fans Festival, which will be held in the gardens of Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) on an area of more than 9,000 square meters. This event aims to provide a festive atmosphere for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. An official site for the Fan Village will also be launched.
Mohammed Ahmed Al Amri, Director General of Sports Activities at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, said a continuous coordination is maintained by Oman Football Association (OFA) to host the international teams in the Sultanate of Oman. He affirmed that sports facilities in the Sultanate of Oman are ready to host the trainings of the team.
Meanwhile, Saud Nasser Al Hubaishi, Acting Chief of Operations highlighted Muscat International Airport’s preparation to ensure smooth flow of fans at the airport. The preparations include special routes for inbound and outbound flights through gates designated for aircrafts carrying fans of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, outlets dedicated to verifying fans, identification devices for customs inspection and an integrated crew of the customer service team to guide travelers through the designated routes.
Khaled Al Mawlawi, Deputy Director General for Marketing, Communications and Event Experience at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said that Qatar has been keen to cooperate and form broad global and regional partnerships for the World Cup, including the fan-hosting cities programme, which includes Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.
Al Mawlawi stressed that the Sultanate of Oman’s programme to support the State of Qatar in hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has been beyond expectations.
Moreover, Said Al Kuwari, Executive Director of the Hayya platform in the State of Qatar, gave a presentation on the official platform tasked with managing the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 cards and the facilities it provides to the fans according to organized and easily accessible mechanisms for all.
The Sultanate of Oman’s Programme for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 seeks to provide an exceptional experience for the spectators who would like to visit Oman through the visa issued for Hayya Cards holders. Those fans will enjoy a set of packages including competitive flight offers and transport services.
The programme is run by a joint team under the purview of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism. The team includes various government and private units, namely, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth; Royal Oman Police; Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran); Oman Air and Oman Airports.
The programme provides accommodation services and tourism experiences in the form of accommodation offers, tourism products, experiences and tours. These services will be rendered by tourism management companies and SMEs.
It also includes a festival and events for the fans, activities to attract visitors, offers and incentives for business partners and package options at competitive prices.
The joint programme also includes exceptional promotional campaigns, coinciding with the World Cup 2022, through the implementation of two plans for marketing and promoting for the unique tourism features enjoyed by the Sultanate of Oman.