Oman woos World Cup fans with ‘free’ visas, eyes economic boom

MUSCAT: From offering free multi-entry visas to identifying over 20,000 hotel rooms, Oman has announced a sumptuous plan to woo FIFA World Cup fans, as it looks to reap an economic boom from the global event to be held from November 20 to December 18.

The Sultanate, whose jewel is its tourism, follows neighbouring UAE and Saudi Arabia in opening its doors to supporters arriving for the first football World Cup to be held in the Middle East.

Fans with the Hayya Card issued to ticket-holders will be eligible for the 60-day visas along with their first-degree relatives and enjoy their stay in Oman.   

National airline Oman Air is offering 24-daily match day shuttle flights with prices starting at OMR 99. 

Speaking exclusively to The Arabian Stories, His Excellency Azzan Al Busaidy, Undersecretary of Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MOHT) said the World Cup spectacle in Doha is expected to be an economic boom for Oman. “Our aim is to promote Oman to the world and there is no bigger opportunity for that than the World Cup,” Al Busaidy said. 

Omran Group said more than 20,000 hotel rooms along with 200 resorts are geared-up to welcome the visitors from all over the world. A 9,000, square meter football fan park will be opened at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre to watch the greatest football tournament in style. 

Football fans have so far snapped up 2.45 million tickets to November’s World Cup in Doha, FIFA reported earlier this month, which plans to make 3 million spots available in total.

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