By Andy Sambidge
CEO says Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments is entering its final stage of development
Dubai-based Hospitality Management Holdings (HMH) has announced that its new Omani hotel project is entering the final stage of development.
The operator said that Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments is likely to welcome its first guests by the third quarter of this year.
Laurent A Voivenel, CEO, HMH, said: "Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments is a flagship property for HMH and is on track to welcome its first guests by the third quarter of 2014. We are thrilled to see the progress on site and expect the Coral sign to go up shortly."
Owned by Mustafa Sultan Enterprises, Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments will offer an alcohol-free environment.
Abdulredha M Sultan, managing director, added: "Despite being the diplomatic and commercial centre, Qurum continues to be underserved by hospitality options and Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments is poised to fill this need for first rate accommodation."
The hotel will feature 88 rooms and apartments. On site is an international all-day-dining restaurant, pool deck, terrace lounge, meeting venues as well as leisure facilities.
HMH said Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments is a "very significant project" and signals a strategic expansion for the group in Oman.
Voivenel said: "Oman is certainly a very promising market and it is very exciting to be here. Visitations are likely to increase exponentially from 2015 once new Muscat airport is operational and we are definitely keen to take advantage of this massive opportunity by expanding our footprint here."
The Omani government’s Vision 2020 plan aims to increase its room count to 20,000 rooms by 2015 and welcome 12 million visitors annually by 2020, an increase well above 2,184,000 visitors in 2013.
Large sums are being spent to boost visitors to the Sultanate, such as $6.1 billion into the expansion of its international airports.
Muscat International Airport’s new terminal will be able to handle 12 million passengers when it opens next year, with plans to expand annual capacity to 48 million passengers.
To meet the growing demand the number of hotel rooms in the Muscat governorate could reach between 5,000 and 6,000 by 2015, ranging from three- to five-stars. The ministry of tourism forecasts 3,000 rooms to open by end of 2014.
The World Travel & Tourism Council expects the tourism sector to contribute 9.9 per cent by 2019 to the Sultanate’s gross domestic product, up from 6.7 per cent in 2009.
Founded in 2003 in Dubai, HMH was the first hotel chain in the Middle East to offer alcohol-free hotels. Its brands include The Ajman Palace, Coral Hotels & Resorts, Corp Hotels, ECOS Hotels and EWA Hotel Apartments.