The 2009 edition also marks the fifth anniversary of this colourful A4 size publication that was first published in 2004, the year in which the Ministry of Tourism also came into existence.
Reflective of the Oman’s long and glorious maritime heritage, the 2009 edition has a picture of Masirah Catamaran of Oman Sail on the cover which is a bold new tourism initiative by the ministry of tourism.
“The Oman Sail initiative is bound to be a success,” says DestinationOman founder Deepak Nair in an introduction.
The book which is a pictorial treatise features some spectacular photographs from the collection of Bait Al Zubiar foundation. Acclaimed photographer and Oman resident Jaap Croese has also contributed with some stunning pictures, along with others like Paulo Bizzaro and Italian traveller Cristian Li Gregni and of course Deepak Nair, the founder, who is a keen photographer himself. Writers to the current edition include Britisher Sarah White, a long time Oman resident, celebrated artist and writer, and also the arts advisor of Bait Al Zubair museum.
Others writers include Mary Philip and Neha Ghosh and Cristian Li Gregni. In a foreword to the publication Dr. Rajiha says, “The keen interest in Oman tourism is due to the country’s veritable wealth of unique and amazing scenic sites. Adding to the scenic splendour are famed historical forts and castles, ecological-ornithological marvels, all nestled in pristine environs.”
“Then there are amazing seaside views with an abundance of aquatic sea-creatures, canyons, valleys, caves, barren desert wilderness’ dotted with beautiful oasis’ and, of course, how can we forget Oman’s ever-present silent sentinels – the magnificent mountains. The natural habitats here are a home for bird and wildlife, replete with an ecological biodiversity that is unique. All of this, coupled with a coastal shoreline of 3,165 kilometres dotted with azure blue beaches and adjoining seas, which harbour a wide variety marine-life and exquisite coral formations, has created a buzz for the Sultanate’s tourism drive,” Dr. Rajiha added.
Underlining the growing importance of tourism in Oman, she further says, “Today, various developers are currently working on different project developments that have been targeted for the ’7th Five Year Development Plan for 2006-2010′. Of these projects, some are located in the capital area, some in the Batinah (coastal) region, some at Jabal Al Akhdhar in the Al Dakhiliyah (interior) region, some in the Al Sharqiyah (eastern) region, some in the Al Wusta (central) region, some in the Musandam (northern)region – in Khasab and Diba and also in the Dhofar (southern) region.”
“There are numerous internationally acclaimed newly opened resort-hotels – the Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay resort, in Musandam and the Crowne Plaza, in Sohar; new upcoming hotels, such as the Kempinski, in The Wave beachfront development zone,” Dr. Rajiha said.
“Adding to the list is the soon to be opened Royal Tulip Resort & Spa, Mirbat, in the Dhofar region and there are also a number of ambitious and expansive residential-cum-tourism development projects – including The Wave, Al Madinat A’Zarqa (with hotels, residential units, golf courses, marinas, shopping malls, souqs and parks), the Yiti Resort and several other integrated tourism projects – together with established luxury hotels and resorts – tourism generated demand, along with associated employment opportunities, is being well catered for,” she concluded.
DestinationOman is widely distributed and made available at international exhibitions and forums too, that promote Oman tourism. In addition, it is retailed through a chain of bookshops in Oman, UAE and other parts of the world. The website www.destinationoman.com too enjoys enormous popularity as is evidenced from the high visibility the website enjoys in all the search engines on the web, when a search is fired for Oman travel or related categories. The site also won an award at the Oman Web Awards.
Wednesday, March 18- 2009 @ 13:19 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.