Muscat: Three five star hotels – Rotana, Club Med and Movenpick – with a total room strength of 1,158 are at different stages of construction and planning at Salalah Beach Resort. This is in addition to the already existing 65-room Juwaira Boutique Hotel, two other proposed five-star hotels and other tourism facilities at the mix-use development, promoted by Muriya Tourism Development.
Muriya Tourism Development is a joint venture of Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and Orascom. Rotana Hotel, which will have 396 rooms, is under construction now, while construction work for building 396-room Movenpick Hotel will start by the end of the year, said Christa Diener, vice-president – Design, Engineering and Planning, Muriya Tourism Development.
Making a presentation on Salalah Beach Resort at the pre-focus day of Oman Construction Summit here yesterday, she said Club Med will have around 366 rooms. Club Med will organise specialised activities, including biking and horse riding, to attract tourists from abroad.
Abdul Wahid Al Farsi, vice-president, External Affairs, Omran, said that Juweira Boutique Hotel, which had a soft opening earlier, had 50 per cent occupancy rate in August 2012. "200 Berth Marina is in the final stages of completion," added Al Farsi.
Diener said two more five star hotels are planned at the resort, but it is not contracted at the moment. "We are developing 15.2 million square meters of land for the tourism facility." Other facilities at the mix-use development include a golf course, club house, luxury villas, apartments, Marina and Marina Town, restaurants and school.
The plan is to develop a town with all supporting facilities, and not just standalone hotels.
She said that 156 apartments have already been built at the Marina Town with a combined built-up area of 28,000 sq metres and 22 of these units have already been handed over to the owners.
Diener said real estate component of the project is aimed at Omanis and expatriates living in the country, who can own it as free-hold property. She also noted that it is a challenge for the hotels to bring tourists to Salalah.
Elaborating on the attractions of Salalah, Diener said that Salalah (with approximately 172,000 people) is known as the 'Switzerland of Oman' due to its climate. The agricultural richness, tropical fruits and vegetables, endless beaches, richest sea life, diving and sailing are all other attractions for tourists.
She said that the mix-use development will create job opportunities for locals and around 10,000 to 15,000 people will live in the town, which include 8,000 people in five star hotels.