Muttrah Corniche, Muscat, Oman taken in 2015


Dr. Syed Mehboob

Senior Economic and Political Analyst



OMAN is a country with many attractions, a country rich in cultural, historical and religious heritage. Oman has one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East with various tourists’ attraction and is particularly well known for adventures and cultural tourism. Muscat, the capital of Oman, was named the second-best city to visit in the world in 2012 by the travel guide publisher “Lonely Planet”. Oman’s tourism sector is experiencing a surge almost fifty percent growth in the number of tourists visiting the country in 2022.The Industry is expected to active compound annual growth rate of 6.3 % between 2022 and 2026. Oman aims to earn over US$ 22.5 billion a year from tourism by 2040 up from US$ 3.1 billion in 2019.  With the aim of boosting international as well as domestic travel the government has established a cluster of tourism related investments across the country.

With its scenic wadis, natural caves, beaches, mountain ranges, and known for known for its ancient culture and hospitality , Oman has a lot of attractions for tourists. Its expanding economy and its reputation for stability also draws visitors for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions from the region and beyond. A steady private investment in the hospitality sector is contributing the improved services. All of these activities are reflected in the rising number of tourists visiting Oman. The National Centre of Statistics and information states that 625,000 people visited Oman last year. 847,000 visited in 2020. Pre- Pandemic 3,506,441 people visited Oman in 2019 and 3,241,457 in 2018.

Oman Tourism Attraction includes: –

  • Safety and Security
  • Authentic Arabian Experience
  • World Heritage
  • Untouched diverse landscape and high natural values
  • Modern Cities with high standard of services
  • Hospitality

There are more than 500 forts, towers and castles, few converted into Museum. Since the priority action plan for tourism 2000 and the ministry of tourism formation in 2004, a nature of strategic marketing plan has been launched with the last being in June 2009. The Oman brand will be highly valued and recognized throughout the world and the growth in tourism receipts will consistently outstrip global and regional performance. Tourism will be a major contributor to the Oman economy, with Omani all over the country being proud of their tourism resources and benefiting from the resulting employment and economic opportunities.


Tourism Activities

  • Attending local festivals/fairs
  • Cultural Activities
  • Shopping for Craft work
  • Getting to know the locals
  • Learning a new language
  • Visiting friends and family
  • Visiting local sites
  • Visiting geological sites
  • Visiting museum and exhibition
  • Visiting Natural Resources
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels/Resort visits
  • Ecological visits
  • Camping
  • Walking Tours
  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Scenic drives
  • Photography
  • Research Expedition


If one has time for a short visit, then exploring the capital Muscat can give a flavour of what Oman has to offer. Muscat is a unique blend of old and new traditions. The city is one of the greatest examples of harmonization of Arab traditions and modernization, thanks to the low-lying white buildings that characterize most of its urban landscape.

Only a short distance from the city Centre, crystal clear waters and scenic, unspoilt, sandy beaches stretch out against a backdrop of the dramatic western Al Hajar Mountains that dominate the landscape of the capital. Attractions in Muscat include historic forts and castles, traditional souqs (markets), various museums (including the prestigious National Museum), the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House. The capital also offers modern shopping malls, a variety of accommodation facilities, including five-star resorts and hotels, and fine dining choices, as well as golf clubs and sports facilities. Within easy reach of Muscat, one can enjoy fishing, diving, and dolphin watching experiences, and explore wonderful sinkholes, caves and hot springs. The capital Muscat can give a flavor of what Oman has to offer.

One of the economic pillars of Oman’s 2040 Economic Vision is to increase revenue from tourism. The contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product was 2.4% in 2021, the country aims to increase it to 5% by 20230, and 10% by 2040. The goal is to increase the number of visitors to 11.7 million by 2040 by investing US$ 51 billion. It is calculated that such an investment will generate more than 9 billion Omani Riyal equal to UIS$ 22.5 billion a year from tourism by 2040.

Oman has all the criteria, features, and characteristics to be a sustainable tourism destination. Adventure tourism, for example, could be a very interesting segment in this new operational scenario. How can Oman according to its different landscapes, geographies, and ecosystems be considered an experiential destination? In 2019 the Sultanate had the potential to reach 3.5 million tourists as inbound international tourism. These inbounds were supported by cruise

ships and also by land and flight connectivity.





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