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Oman Ministry of Tourism to preserve and transform ancient homes into tourist hotspots

Heritage inns, green cabins, and guest houses will serve as a unique style of accommodation for the growing number of tourists

The Oman Ministry of Tourism says that significant investments will go towards transforming ancient houses into heritage inns and guest houses. The move aims to boost tourism and promote the sultanate’s local heritage.

According to a statement, the preservation of ancient houses – which are considered architectural treasures that show Oman’s archaeological character – are central to national initiatives showcasing the unique heritage and rich history and civilization of the sultanate. The drive is said to be one of the ministry’s top priorities.

Saleh bin Ali Al Khaifi, director of Promotion and Marketing Department, Oman Ministry of Tourism, said that preserving heritage houses and building greenhouses aligns with the sultanate’s intensified tourism initiatives that are responsive to the rapidly changing global tourism community and to the international environmental sustainability calls. Oman also aims to sustain its top position on the list of the best cultural and heritage tourist destinations for 2019, he notes.

Ancient local neighbourhoods are already said to have been restored using innovative engineering and architectural techniques to turn them into attractive tourist destinations. The Ministry states that tourists can visit these communities, among others, to get a glimpse of the Omani way of life during ancient times, as well as gain a rich cultural experience by immersing themselves into activities that define authentic local traditions.

The ministry’s announcement is expected to result in higher tourist arrivals to meet the government’s goal of attracting 11m local and international visitors by 2040. Boosting domestic tourism will also lead to new job opportunities for citizens and a diversified national economy, the ministry says.

Al Khaifi adds, “Investing in heritage homes is a step in the right direction amid our continued efforts to entice more tourists from all over the world to come visit Oman. Therefore, we are moving forward with our mega tourism projects aimed at transforming old traditional homes into heritage inns with the best services, while preserving and protecting the old structures and the atmosphere of the neighbourhoods in our ancient areas.

“We will observe the highest standards in these projects, keeping sustainability and the finest hospitality in mind. We look forward to bringing the Oman experience of all tourists to new heights in conjunction with us promoting sustainability and heritage tourism, a sector that is fundamental to the sultanate’s development and global positioning.”

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