The evening was attended by approx 700 employees of the resort as well as by several invited dignitaries, including H.E. Mohammad Al Zubair, Chairman, The Zubair Holding, H.E Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrazi, Minister of Tourism, H.E Mohamed Hamood Al Tobi, the previous Under Secretary of Tourism, and Mr. Rashad Al Zubair, Chairman, Zubair Corporation.
The evening commenced with a variety of performances from employees representing key milestones and events throughout the 10 years since the resort opened. These performances included representations of the first General Manager, Desmond Hatton, through to the current General Manager, Mark Kirk, and events such as the Tom Jones, Ed Sheeran and Sterophonics concerts as well as Jimmy Choo’s fashion show and the breakthrough into the Indian wedding market.
After the performances, 145 members of staff that were also working at the resort when it opened in 2006 were invited on stage for a special recognition.
Mark Kirk, Area Manager and Hotel General Manager, later addressed his employees with a compelling speech highlighting how much pride he feels to be part of the resort, 10 years after he joined as part of the pre-opening team.
During his speech he also conveyed many interesting facts about the resort over the past decade such as employing nearly 2,000 Omani colleagues since opening, with some now holding key positions at the resort and at overseas Shangri-La hotels. He highlighted since opening the resort has had over 1.4 million rooms occupied, bringing approximately 1.1 million international visitors to Oman and contributing approx OMR 23 million in municipality fees and tourism tax.
Special recognition and thanks was given to a particular guest of the resort, Ms Laurence Brisbois from Luxemburg, who, in 2015, completed 500 room nights at the resort. Ms Brisbois was also present as an honorary guest at the celebrations.
Mr Kirk emphasized the importance of the environmental work that the resort undertakes and that the Turtle Ranger has assisted over 50,000 turtle hatchlings (from just over 1,000 nests) make their way to the ocean.
He was also very proud to highlight how Shangri-La Muscat has always been a key contributor to Oman’s tourism sector and have also indirectly created employment for approximately 60 Omani taxi drivers and tour guides with an average of 85,350 independent transports per year.
To conclude his address to the employees of the resort, Mr Kirk offered his thanks for the support and drive received from the resort’s owner H.E. Mohammad Al Zubair, the Ministry of Tourism and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said for his vision for developing tourism in Oman.