Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Oman tourism sector expected to create half million jobs by 2040

The vision aims to move the country away from its long-standing dependence on oil and gas as sources of revenue

View of the harbor, waterfront and skyline of Mutrah in Muscat, the capital of the sultanate of Oman.Corbis
View of the harbor, waterfront and skyline of Mutrah in Muscat, the capital of the sultanate of Oman.Corbis

Oman’s tourism sector is expected to create more than half a million jobs by 2040, Omani officials said on Thursday.

Tourism is one of Oman’s key areas targeted by the government through its Tanfeedh program for economic growth.

“We have a national priority for the diversification of the economy, and one of the key pillars of diversification is tourism,” Peter Walichnowshi, CEO of Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran).

Omran works very closely with the Ministry of Tourism in executing the “Oman Tourism Strategy” as part of Vision 2040.

Apart from the creation of half a million jobs the vision also sets out to increase investment in the country to approximately 19 billion Omani riyals.

“We also aim to increase tourism’s contribution to Oman’s GDP from six to 10 per cent which is closer to what the international norms are,” Mr Walichnowshi said.

Oman’s airport is also expected to increase its job opportunities by 2040.

“We had 75,000 people in this sector in 2016, and hopefully in 2040, we will have half a million staff. This number will also serve job seekers,” Aiman Al Hosni, the CEO of Oman’s airport.

The vision aims to move the country away from its long-standing dependence on oil and gas as sources of revenue.

Oman’s private sector is also needed to help increase the chances of a successive plan.

The government has plenty of investment opportunities in the tourism sector, Mr Walichnowski said. “There needs to be a move in this sector from an entirely government run enterprise towards a rise in private enterprises."

Oman is also attempting to boost its renewable energy sector. Last month, the Arabian Gulf’s first utility-scale wind farm, the 50 megawatts scheme in the country’s southern Dhofar region, began generating power.

The wind farm, funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, produced its first kilowatt-hour of electricity and was successfully connected to Oman’s electricity transmission grid.

Updated: September 19, 2019 03:04 PM

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