Oman is aiming to take a bigger share of the cruise industry in the region with efforts under way to persuade cruise lines to offer "fly and cruise" packages out of Muscat for the first time.
The cruise industry has grown rapidly in the region over the past few years, led by Dubai.
Abu Dhabi also has ambitious plans for the sector, and last October MSC Cruises became the first cruise line to sail out of the capital. Oman's plans will mean it will compete with its Gulf neighbours.
"We are working with Oman Air to attract people to fly directly to Oman and join the cruise, from Europe or [elsewhere]," said Haitham Al Ghasani, the director of tourism promotion and awareness at Oman's ministry of tourism.
He said the ministry was pitching its plans to major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Aida, and Costa.
"We as a ministry have to convince the cruise company to come to Oman. You have to go to present to them what facilities you have, what visa facilities you have, port facilities, air connectivity."
Having a ship based in a destination brings greater benefits than if that city is simply a port of call. A "home port" gains the economic benefits of having passengers fly into the city to pick up the cruise and passengers often stay in that destination before or after the cruise.
The cruise ship MSC Lirica, the first to use Abu Dhabi as its base, is expected to bring an Dh80 million (US$21.7m) windfall to the emirate this season, according to Abu Dhabi's tourism authority.
Other economic factors include fuel, food and beverage supplies for the ship.
Dubai, where most of the regional cruises are based, is investing in the sector as it strives to increase the number of ships sailing out of the emirate.
The emirate is working on building a new cruise terminal building, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The facilities will be able to accommodate five ships at a time, whereas its existing facilities can handle only two ships concurrently.
In 2001, Dubai received just 6,900 passengers on a handful of cruises that stopped there.
Last year, the emirate received about 135 cruise ships with 375,000 tourists, according to figures from the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Hoteliers in Oman said that its tourism industry was being negatively impacted by economic woes in Europe, the country's main market for tourists.
Oman's ministry of tourism has said tourism last year accounted for 2.6 per cent of its GDP and it was hoping to grow the sector's contribution to the economy.
Its tourism plans include the study of about 30 locations across the country including Al Hoota, Majlis Al Jinn and Suhoor Caves for potential tourism development. It is also constructing an archeological park and a museum at the Friday Mosque in Qalhat.
Work is underway on a $1 billion conference and exhibition centre in Muscat.
Last year, Muscat's Royal Opera House opened. It has attracted tourists from Europe and around the region.
The country's tourism industry was negatively affected by protests that took place in Oman last year, but efforts have been made to restore the sector.
"What we did was increase our awareness campaigns in the European market," said Mr Al Ghasani.