The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism and the OMRAN Group sign an agreement for the management and operation of the fort and the oasis of Bahla
Muscat: The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has signed an agreement with Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN Group) for the management and operation of Bahla Fort and Oasis in Al Dakhiliya Governorate.
This step is part of efforts to enrich the development of sustainable tourism in the Sultanate, in line with the orientations of the National Tourism Strategy 2040.
The agreement was signed at the ministry headquarters by His Excellency Eng. Ibrahim Said Al Kharusi, Undersecretary for Heritage Affairs, and Eng. Mohammed bin Salim Al Busaidi, Chairman of the Board of OMRAN Group. Senior officials from both sides were also present at the signing ceremony.
Under the agreement, OMRAN Group will manage the Bahla Fort and Oasis for a period of fifteen years, including the internal and external areas of the site.
Commenting on the occasion, His Excellency Eng. Ibrahim Said Al Kharusi, Undersecretary for Heritage Affairs at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, said: “Bahla Fort holds a unique place in Oman’s rich history. It is the first historical monument in the Sultanate to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987. The site is considered one of the main cultural and heritage destinations that attract visitors and tourists from all over the world.
“This agreement will contribute to the growth of the tourism industry in the country, enabling it to be a key contributor to the national economy. Based on the position of Bahla Fort as a unique cultural and historical landmark, the collaboration with OMRAN Group is a step that will further support the management and promotion of key historical and cultural sites. It will enhance tourism experiences and products by celebrating cultural heritage at the highest standards, in addition to attracting more visitors from inside and outside the Sultanate,” Al Kharusi added.
Speaking of the deal, Eng. Mohammed bin Salim Al Busaidi, Chairman of OMRAN Group, said: “This agreement complements the ongoing cooperation and successes achieved by OMRAN Group in the management and operation of numerous heritage, geological and environmental sites. The Group plays a strategic role in the creation of new tourism experiences and products in collaboration with the private sector. The aim is to maximize economic and social returns as well as promote Oman’s cultural and natural treasures in innovative ways.
“This collaboration should improve the operational aspects of this remarkable historic site. Accordingly, the OMRAN Group will collaborate with SMEs to take over the operational tasks of the Bahla Fort and Oasis facilities and will work closely with them to develop the potential tourism landscape of Oman in line with the Group’s efforts to improve the value in the country. The operational scope of this partnership will be to provide tourism experiences of the fort and the area surrounding the oasis through the development of facilities and services, as well as to integrate the well-known rich heritage and cultural characteristics of the Wilayat of Bahla. Al Busaidi added.
OMRAN Group oversees and manages a number of cultural, environmental and geological sites including Nizwa Fort, Al Hoota Cave and Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. The group works tirelessly to stimulate investment for the operation of these leading sites in partnership with the private sector. The OMRAN Group aspires to increase value in the country by providing direct and indirect work opportunities to local talent, as well as the purchase of local tourism products and services through collaboration with SMEs. In addition, the group supports economic diversification through various initiatives that preserve nature, culture and local communities.