MUSCAT, 9 June 2019
The Misfat Al Abriyeen tourism project that was jointly launched by Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Al Misfat Al Ahlia company is progressing well with more than 40% of the project now complete according to a review by bank officials and external consultants. The landmark tourism development project in Misfat Al Abriyeen in the wilayat of Al Hamra was initiated by the Bank in line with its vision ‘To serve you better, everyday’ and commitment to partnership in sustainable development. The agreement is part of the bank’s Imprints CSR programme and was signed earlier in January this year at the Bank’s Head Office.
The project involves the development of old Misfat village, which is one of the most important Omani villages for heritage and cultural tourism, and it is currently being implemented by the Al Misfat Al Ahlia company. The signing of the agreement to launch the tourism development project falls within the framework of sustainable development. The project will create a unique tourism experience centred on the old Misfat village, highlighting Omani tourism strategy based on a sustainable development model that benefits local communities with preservation of the environment and cultural heritage.
The Ministry of Tourism conducted a comprehensive study in 2015 on the cultural heritage of the village and investment potential to develop a sustainable tourism project in cooperation with stakeholders in the private sector and the local community. The Ministry of Tourism and Bank Muscat had earlier commissioned a study by the University of Liverpool, UK, based on which the project is being launched.
The main components of the project include restoration of the main gate of Misfat Al Abriyeen, preserving its original features. Restoration of some old mud houses will be done to set up a restaurant and bakery serving authentic Omani cuisine for tourists and visitors. Vehicle parking facility, tourist information centre and office, souvenir shop and signage leading to the tourist spot will be developed. The project is expected to be completed by the last quarter of this year.
Al Misfat Al Ahlia company which has been set up by Omani entrepreneurs has been entrusted with the project, which will serve as a long-term investment benefit, creating new employment opportunities for local youth and business opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the area. The project will give a significant boost to heritage tourism as well as sustainable development in the wilayat of Al Hamra.