Tuesday, 9 May 2017

OMAN: Al Baleed Resort Is Hotel Of The Year

Salalah’s Al Baleed Resort, one of the Sultanate’s newest hotels on the block, added to its fast-growing reputation as a premier tourist destination when it won the National Award for Hotel of the Year category at the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) Awards for 2017.

It is a recognition that has been well received by Cyril Piaia, the CEO of Musstir LLC, one of the major shareholders in Al Baleed.

We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our latest resort in Oman. We truly believe that team effort and constant desire to reach perfection were the drivers for Musstir to achieve this milestone and appreciation at the GCC level.

This award also reflects Musstir’s long-term commitment, which aims at developing sustainable properties blending local Omani culture and traditions, as well as offering modern and high standard amenities for our guests travelling locally or from abroad.

Having opened in November last year, the resort gets its name from the historic Al Baleed Unesco World Heritage archaeological site, which still bears the hallmarks of an ancient settlement from where traders in Oman put the country on the map, as they became the nexus point for some of the world’s best frankincense.

Salalah is different from the rest of Oman, because it has a tropical atmosphere and a unique history of its own, added Piaia. When tourists think of Oman today, it is not just Muscat that they think of, but Salalah as well, and sometimes, people actually mention it first, ahead of the Sultanate’s capital city.

I want to thank everybody at Musstir who made this possible, because this was an amazing effort from everyone,” he added. “We are not in this to invest for a few years and then leave, but add to Oman’s quality of tourism over the next 40 or 50 years.

The construction of resorts such as Al Baleed is part of the Sultanate’s Tanfeedh policy, directed towards economic diversification and employment opportunities in the country.

Al Baleed was established to focus on areas outside Muscat, and we are proud to play a part in His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s plans for economic expansion for the future, said Piaia. “Tourism is a big plan for the country’s vision for the future, and I believe we are an integral part of that.

Tourists who come here can see what made Oman such an important place in the past, when they look at the historical sites such as Khor Rori and other places around the resort.

Iran’s Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places has inked a memorandum of understanding with the Spanish hospitality company Paradores in a bid to refurbish some historical structures across Iran and repurpose them into lodging facilities.

Signed by Iranian fund’s director Mohammadreza Pouyandeh and the Spanish company’s president Angela Alarco Canosa, copies of the agreement were exchanged in Tehran on Monday, with Spanish Ambassador Eduardo Lopez Busquets and Juan Carlos Sanchez Gálvez, an official with Paradores in attendance, Saabta reported.

Based on the MOU, the sides agreed to encourage Iranian and Spanish tourists to travel to each other’s country. Organizing workshops, conducting inspections, and consulting over restoration projects were other issues the two sides agreed upon.

The Spanish firm runs a chain of luxury hotel accommodation in castles, palaces, convents, monasteries, fortresses and other historic buildings.

Other European investors have recently expressed their readiness to fund the restoration and repurposing of historical houses in the cities of Kerman, Kashan, and Isfahan.

To help restore ancient buildings and make them profitable, an initiative by the fund provides opportunity for the private sector to cede historical buildings as long as they are repurposed into hotels, restaurants or lodging places.

Iran is home to a large number of old mansions and buildings, which can contribute to its budding tourism industry if managed appropriately and restored carefully.