The Sultanate of Oman has chosen the prestigious international showcase of Expo to present the ancient traditions of the country and its future plans for sustainable development. As a strategic meeting point between Asia and Africa, Oman is among the richest countries within its region when it comes to historical, cultural and environmental backgrounds. As part of a shared development, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Oman which commissioned the Oman Pavilion, joins forces with the Oman Ministry of Tourism and Oman Air as major players in the promotion of the country in Italy.
“The choice of the Sultanate of Oman to participate in EXPO Milano 2015 emanates from the awareness of the importance of the theme “Feeding the planet – Energy for life” as well as the recognition of the special relationship between the Sultanate of Oman and Italy at all levels,” comments HE Mohsin Khamis Al Balushi – General Commissioner of Oman Pavilion at Expo 2015 and Advisor of the Oman Ministry of Commerce and Industry. “Expo is an important opportunity to introduce our country, its history, its peculiarities as well as highlight Oman’s interest in many of the topics that gain regional and international concern, in particular those related to the central theme Expo. “Expectations are high,” concludes Al Balushi. “We, in the Sultanate of Oman, expect that the Expo Milano 2015 event may record a historic success in terms of Italians and International visitors.”
Under the prosperous era of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Sultanate of Oman has achieved an ambitious development with the diversification of its gross domestic product, focusing on the oil sectors as well as on other economic sectors, currently marginal. This is one of the main themes included in the Vision 2040, a planning document that, starting from the current economic conditions of the country, focuses on future generations, laying the foundations for a development that will involve different areas such as Agriculture, Fisheries, Culture, Transport and highlighting Tourism as a strategic sector of the Sultanate’s economy.
“Expo is probably the greatest opportunity in the world whereby we can simultaneously show the main assets of our Country,” says Salim Bin Adi Al Mamari Director General of Tourism Development, Ministry of Tourism. “The theme of the exhibition, and especially the special bond between food and the environment, is the best way to present a tourism destination that has made sustainability and respect of nature one of its main strengths. In our Country, tourism is currently worth about 2% of GDP, but is increasingly playing a key role in the economy and triggering an impulse for development of the area. Oman attracts interest in the international tourism arena and has recorded a steady growth of visitors, with an increase by 7.5% in 2014 with 1,471,736 international arrivals. Many projects are in the pipeline that will be developed between the needs of industry and the full respect of locations and landscapes. We expect to reach an availability of 32,000 rooms by 2017 and achieve the expansion of the Muscat International Airport. In 2016, the first phase of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre will be completed, a unique venue dedicated to conventions and trade shows which will be developed on 22,000 m2, eventually reaching a capacity of up to 3,200 seats and three hotels with a total of 1,000 rooms.”
For more information on tourism in Oman visit www.omantourism.gov.om