Muscat: With the Al Jissa beach not accessible to local visitors and tourists, many of them have been turning to the local beach in the Qantab village.
While the Qantab beach is pristine and beautiful, the lack of facilities is irritating the visitors and boat owners.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, boat owner Issa Juma said, "What is happening is that local visitors and tourists who come to Qantab beach don't hang around because of lack of facilities. This has been affecting our business."
Most of the boat owners have requested that the Qantab beach be equipped with parking and also berthing facilities for the boats.
Issa Juma explained, "At the Al Jissa beach, it was very easy and safe for people to get on to a boat. The beach was safe for the boats, too, since it was covered by the surrounding mountains. But my boat sank in the Qantab beach in the first month we moved here. I lost a lot of my business."
Ayub Mohammad suggests that the approach to the small beach on the north side of Qantab should be constructed.
"This will benefit both the visitors and boat owners," he said, while urging government to build a "harbour" for the boats on this beach and car parking for visitors.
Omar Al Noaimi, who loves visiting beaches with his family during the weekends, said, "I recently tried the Qantab beach but was terribly disappointed. I could barely find a space to hang around hence this beach is mostly occupied by fishermen's gear and boats."
A frequent visitor to the Qantab beach, Yaseen Al Mahrooqi feels that developing this beach was important as it would bring in more Omanis, expats and even international tourists.
"The Al Jissa beach was simply a breathtaking beach visited by people all through the day and even at night, and even during winters. We hope the authorities try and develop the Qantab beach so that more people can enjoy the view," Al Mahrooqi said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Ahmed Al Batashi, a friend of Yaseen said, "Qantab beach is a heaven. It is an ideal spot for those who want to take a break after a long day's work. But visitors don't really have many options when visiting Qantab since there is not enough space for picnic or even to take a walk."
Observers feel that the Jissa beach where a project is being developed will contribute to the tourism industry in Oman along with other tourist projects that are mushrooming across the country.
"It is important to attract more tourists. Tourism is a large part of the Omani government's diversification plans. The country must cater to the interests of a wider range of tourists by putting the necessary infrastructure in place," he added.
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