Hospitality Management Holdings was recently in Muscat to see the progress at Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments that is in advanced stages of construction and is due for completion by second quarter of 2014.
It is one of the five properties scheduled to open this year under the HMH banner and will be a flagship hotel for Coral Hotels & Resorts in Muscat.
Pleased with the progress, Laurent commented, “The construction has really picked up pace over the last few months and it is wonderful to see the building taking shape. The developers have done a fantastic job and we are confident Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments will turn out to be a preferred address for both corporate and leisure travelers to the city”.
Owned by Mustafa Sultan Enterprises LLC, Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartmentsis conveniently located in Qurum merely 20 minutes-drive away from Muscat International Airport and enjoy sclose proximity to diplomatic and commercial city centre offering easy access to major corporations and ministerial buildings. Other attractions in the vicinity include Sabco Shopping Centre, Royal Opera House, Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Sultan Ahmed Forces Museum, Sultan Qaboos Mosque, Qurum Beach, Port Sultan Qaboos and Muttrah Souq.
Giving details of the facilities, Laurent said, “Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartment is being developed to be a deluxe 4-star property and is part of a shopping arcade and multiplex. The hotel features 88 beautifully furnished apartments including 56 two-bedroom & 32 one-bedroom units. On site will be an international all-day-dining restaurant, pool deck and lounge, terrace lounge, superb meeting venues for small to medium sized conferences as well as excellent leisure and fitness facilities such as a fully-equipped gymnasium, aerobics room and swimming pool”.
Laurent stressed, “Muscat is one of the most promising destinations in the GCC and has the strongest performing hotel market in Oman, with occupancy rates exceeding 60 per cent in H1 2013, closely followed by Musandam and Dhofar. We are truly excited to be here and the property represents the success of our brand expansion in the GCC”.
There is a near parity between the impact of domestic and foreign tourism in Oman, with just over half of spending in 2012 coming from locals, a split the World Travel and Tourism Council said would be maintained over the next 10 years.
Oman is a major tourist destination for UAE residents – travellers from the country make up about 40 per cent of all tourists to Oman every year.The Asian market is the next largest source of international arrivals in Oman, as the region accounts for 34.4 per cent of overall visits, and forecast says that arrivals are to further rise to 41.3 per cent by 2017. Indian nationals account for 72.3 per cent of the total Asian visitors. After Asia, follow the European, Russian and other CIS, Middle Eastern, Egyptian and North American markets respectively.
The number of hotel rooms in the Muscat governorate is set to double over the next five years from a current stock of about 3,750 to about 7,750 as the country finally realises long-held plans to quadruple the number of tourists it receives each year to 12 million by 2020.
Room rates in Oman are some of the highest in the world too. A 2011 survey by the hospitality website Hotels.com ranked Muscat the most expensive city in the world to visit with five-star room rates reaching US$344 a night – ahead of Monte Carlo, which charged US$290 a night. Since then Muscat rates have fallen to a still respectable average of about $260. Traditionally the small stock of hotels in Oman has meant the country has enjoyed high hotel occupancy rates. Returns on four and five-star hotels in the country currently stand at between 16 and 17 per cent due to a scarcity of stock.