Muscat: This hive of activity is the latest piece in the giant jigsaw that is Oman's five-star tourism future. The Times of Oman gained exclusive access to the sprawling site at The Wave where construction of Kempinski's first luxury hotel in the Sultanate is being ramped up.
Scheduled to open its doors to guests in 2015, the project will bring hundreds of jobs to the capital as well as a host of leisure facilities for residents and tourists.
Peter Willmott, Project Director for Faithful+Gould on the Kempinski The Wave site, said: "The resort will have a beach club with recreational and health facilities including tennis courts, a spa and swimming pools, plus a six-lane bowling alley."
As big as the Kempinski project is, it is simply one aspect in a five-star revolution taking place across Oman that could create up 73,000 jobs for the country.
With several major players building large hotels and resorts, the number of hotel rooms of different categories in the country is expected to surge by 8,000 to 20,000 rooms by 2015.
A major chunk of these hotel rooms are being built by two leading tourism infrastructure developers – the state-owned Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and its joint venture partner Muriya. These two groups are developing at least 18 hotels, which will add over 4,200 rooms, in the next four years across the country.
Abdul Wahid Al Farsi, vice president external affairs of Omran, said: "There is a high demand for hotel rooms, especially during peak season between November and April. There has been a tremendous growth in inbound tourist arrivals, both by air and by cruise ships."
And, this all comes as yet another luxury hotel chain revealed it was eyeing the Sultanate. Paramount Hotels & Resorts - a Dubai-based hotel chain with the licensing rights for properties using the Hollywood producer's brand, says it too is negotiations to come to Oman.