Muscat: A total of 128,953 people visited Jabal Al Akhdar (the Green Mountain) in 2013.
Among these, there were 57,485 Omanis, thus representing 43.1 per cent of the total visitors, an increase of 5.2 per cent, compared to 2012 when 54,658 people had visited.
A total of 57,007 expats and tourists visited Jabal Al Akhdar in the same period, accounting for 42 per cent of the total number of visitors. Citizens from the GCC countries numbered 14,461, an increase of 10.8 per cent when compared to 2012.
"Throughout the year, Jabal Al Akhdar attracts an increasing numbers of visitors from all over the world. The efforts made by the Ministry of Tourism to promote the destination as an ideal choice for individuals and families, especially during the summer, have resulted in attracting more visitors to the cold and naturally wonderful destination," said Musa bin Issa Al Reyami, director of Tourism Administration at the Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.
What makes the rugged Jabal Al Akhdar Mountains a destination with an amazing tourist appeal is a mind-blowing combination of charming landscapes, verdant terraced gardens, and a cool, Mediterranean climate.
The enchanting Jabal Akhdar is located in the Al Dakhiliyah governorate and forms the central section of the Al Hajar mountain range. The range has three other peaks, namely, Wadi Bani Auf, Jebel Shams and Sharaf Al Amayn.
According to Al Reyami, it is expected that Jabal Al Akhdar will attract more than 150,000 people in 2014.
Encouraging domestic tourism was an effective factor in encouraging people to come to Jabal Al Akhdar, a strategy supported by showcasing some natural factors, such as the low temperature throughout the year.
Jabal Al Akhdar is known for its Mediterranean climate. Temperatures drop during winter to below zero degree Celsius, with even snow fall at times, and rise in summer to 22 degree Celsius," Al Reyami further added.
The ministry of tourism spared no effort to promote investment at Jabal Al Akhdar. "Thanks to the efforts made by the Ministry of Tourism to attract governmental and private sector investments, we now have five hotels — some of them under construction — and two hotel apartment projects to match the developments in place.
The ministry itself supported a number of tourism projects, including a tourism restaurant at Al Fayadeiah which is one of the most fantastic and beautiful locations. While these have been completed, a centre for tourism services that includes tourism information office, a coffee shop, souvenirs and gift shop and prayer room has been executed," Al Reyami explained.