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    Duqm popular pit-stop for Khareef Salalah tourists

    More tourists are stopping over in Duqm before proceeding to Salalah during the ongoing Khareef season, according to hoteliers.

    Hoteliers in Duqm said the port city’s perfect placement midway between Muscat and Salalah meant that tourists travelling by car from within Oman and from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries find it convenient to make a pit stop at Duqm before proceeding to Salalah.

    Vijay Handa, cluster general manager at City Hotel-Duqm, said the 2018 Khareef season has seen significantly more tourists checking into his establishment compared with the same time last year. “In Duqm, we have three kinds of hotels – luxury, mid-level and affordable,” he said. “Occupancy rates have jumped 15 to 20 per cent in ‘affordable segment’ hotels in Duqm, and City Hotel falls under that category.”



    “On the coastal road, it is a detour of 30 to 40km,” he added. “If you are driving from Muscat to Salalah, that’s over 1,000km. One needs an overnight rest on such a journey to avoid fatigue-related accidents.”

    “This is due to the fact that Duqm is the best mid-way option for tourists and there is greater awareness about the city,” remarked Handa. “It’s much more visible now.”

    Duqm popular pit-stop for Khareef Salalah tourists
    Crowne Plaza manager Michael Jabbour said location was key to Duqm’s success as a business and tourist destination. “Most of the tourists we receive stay for a short duration, and Duqm is a place where they can stop over as it is between Muscat and Salalah,” said Jabbour.

    “Couples and families enjoy their visits. It’s a perfect coastal retreat for them.” Jabbour remarked that most people were not aware of the tourist spots near Duqm, despite the fact that there were quite a few of them. “The wilayat of Duqm has a rich tourism potential, he said. “The wilayat is known for its golden sands, green cover, and rock climbing, among others. Duqm and Ras Madrakah have geological importance.”

    “We have witnessed some improvement in domestic and foreign tourism in Duqm, which is on the way for those using the coastal road to travel from Salalah to Muscat,” he added.

    “Duqm is a new place for tourists. Most tour operators are not yet familiar with its scenic beauty. The new airport in Duqm and its connectivity with Salalah may attract more tourists to Duqm.”

    “Duqm is known for its rock garden, which is home to a very old rock formation,” remarked Jabbour. “The Oryx reserve in Ja├íluni, the Ras Madrakah beach, the Ras Markaz beach and fishing village, and Khaluf with its white sand dunes and beach are some of the key tourist attractions, and these are all very close to Duqm.”

    The hotel manager said the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) has been doing a remarkable job in attracting businesses and tourists.

    “SEZAD is playing a big role in attracting foreign investors, not only for industrialisation but also to make Duqm a popular tourist destination,” said Jabbour.

    “The opening of the Crowne Plaza in Duqm by the Oman Tourism Development Company was a very important step.”


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