Oman eyes major golfing event after 2014

Officials aim to make new Almouj course among best 100 golf destinations in world
The Wave Muscat golf course was designed by Greg Norman.
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 14 Oct 2012 06:26 PM

Officials at a new golf course in Oman have said it will take at least two years to achieve its aim of stage a major PGA Tour event.

The new Almouj course, part of the $3.5bn mixed-use Wave development in Muscat, the capital of Oman, has officially opened.

The 18-hole course was designed by Australian golf legend Greg Norman and officials aim to make it one of the best 100 in the world.

In comments published by Golf Course Architecture, The Wave deputy chief executive Abdullah al-Shidi said he hoped the course would host a major professional tournament in the next few years.

“Although we aim to host international golf tournaments here at Almouj, it wouldn't be realistic to expect a major PGA event here at least for the next two years," he told the magazine.

"However, there are a host of other kinds of golf tournaments that we are well equipped to handle in the meantime,” he said.

Sultan al-Harthy, chairman of the Wave, added: “Almouj Golf aims to be one of the 100 top golf courses in the world.

"In creating this world-class vision, the development process stayed true to the principles of sustainable environmental design and responsible tourism, taking utmost care to protect the indigenous Omani flora and fauna on the development site itself.”

Oman is ramping up its investment in tourist attractions as it aims to draw 12 million tourists to the country by 2020.

Several projects, including a $1bn resort in Salalah and a $1bn conference centre in Muscat, are nearing completion.

Tourism last year accounted for 2.6 percent of its GDP. Tourism operators in December said a record number of visitors flocked to Oman during the first two months.

The Gulf state said in February it is studying 30 locations around the country to look at their potential to be developed into tourism resorts and attractions.

Locations such as the Al Hoota, Majlis al Jinn and Suhoor Caves are being looked at for potential tourism development, Haitham Mohammed Ghasani.

Earlier this month, The Wave, a luxury housing project in Oman’s capital city, said it had launched its first waterfront apartments for sale.

The state-backed project in Muscat, which includes 4,000 residential units, was the first in the sultanate to allow 100 percent foreign ownership of freehold property.

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