Speaking to Muscat Daily, Raed bin Mohammed al Shehhi, member of the Board of Directors of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and head of its Musandam branch lauded the directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said regarding tax exemptions for new tourism investments in Musandam. He said these directives showed the continuous special care of His Majesty the Sultan enjoyed by the governorate.
He said that the tax and duty exemptions were a qualitative leap stimulating investments in tourism in the governorate. These investments encouraged by this Royal Directive would not be limited to the hotel projects, but it will extend to all tourism activities. Now, a significant improvement in the tourism services and activities, as well as entertainment facilities, is seen around the corner. All this will eventually improve the living standard in the governorate. It is expected that this major decision will help increase the number of tourists coming to the governorate and support the efforts to achieve the objectives of strategies of Musandam 2040. It will have a positive impact on the local economy of the governorate.
Shehhi said that Musandam has more than ten hotel establishments of various classifications as an accommodation facility for the tourists. However, the governorate needs different varieties of these hotels, tourism services, and products to make it an integrated tourist destination which meets all the requirements of citizens, residents, and visitors. If this is achieved, it will be an added value for the local communities.
He pointed out that tourism investments were long-term investments and needed some time to achieve its objective and bring returns. The Royal Directive has come to encourage investments under these text exemptions.
He added that these exemptions were a wonderful opportunity for investors to play their role in tourism development of the governorate.
According to feasibility studies, the governorate needs more tourism facilities and services to be started to strengthen the sector in all its wilayats. Shehhi said that the Musandam branch of the OCCI supported all economic investments in the governorate and worked seriously for capacity building for the local private sector.
It plays a role in formulating policies which add value to various economic activities. Due to the geographical location of the governorate, the idea of giving on arrival visas to all nationalities on sea and air corridors should be looked into. It would increase tourism and encourage air carriers and shipping companies in this sector. A joint visa facility with the UAE can also be an idea to encourage joint tourism.
About the regional events and its use for growth in tourism, Shehhi said that the strategic location of the Governorate of Musandam should be used in the interest of tourism.