Ministry of Heritage & Tourism and OMRAN Group Sign Management and Operation Agreement of Bahla Fort and Oasis
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has inked an agreement with Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN Group) for the management and operation of Bahla Fort and Oasis in Al Dakhiliya Governorate.
The step is part of the efforts to enrich the sustainable tourism development in the Sultanate, in line with the directions of the National Tourism Strategy 2040.
The agreement was signed in the Ministry’s headquarters by His Excellency Eng. Ibrahim Said Al Kharusi, Undersecretary of Heritage Affairs, and Eng. Mohammed bin Salim Al Busaidi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OMRAN Group. Senior officials from both parties were also present in the signing ceremony.
Under the agreement, OMRAN Group will manage 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 of 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 landmark in the Sultanate to be inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1987. The site is considered as one of the main cultural and heritage destination that attracts visitors and tourists from across the world.”
“This agreement will aid the growth of the tourism industry in the country, by 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 major historical and cultural sites. It will enhance tourism experiences and products by celebrating the cultural heritage to the highest standards, in addition to attracting more visitors from both within and outside the Sultanate.,” Al Kharusi further stated.
Speaking on the agreement, Eng. Mohammed bin Salim Al Busaidi, Chairman of OMRAN Group, said: “This agreement comes to complement the current cooperation and the successes accomplished by the OMRAN Group in managing and operating many heritage, geological and environmental sites. The Group plays a strategic role in creating new tourism experiences and products in collaboration with the private sector. The objective is to maximize the economic and social returns as well as promoting the cultural and natural treasures of Oman innovatively.”
“This collaboration is expected to improve the operational aspects of this remarkable historical site. As a result, the OMRAN Group will collaborate with SMEs to take over the operational tasks of the Bahla Fort and Oasis facilities and work closely with them to grow Oman’s prospective tourism landscape in line with the group’s efforts to enhance in-country value. The operational scope of this partnership will entail providing tourist experiences of the fort and the area surrounding the oasis through the development of facilities and services, as well as incorporating 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 the Nizwa fort, Al Hoota cave, and the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve. The group works relentlessly to stimulate investments for the operation of such prominent locations in partnership with the private sector. OMRAN Group aspires to increase In-country value by offering direct and indirect work opportunities for local talents, as well as the procurement of local tourism products and services through collaboration with SMEs. Additionally, the group supports the economic diversification through the various initiatives that conserve nature, culture, and local communities.