Oman tourism: Nizwa Fort to become world-class tourist destination

Residents in Oman and tourists who visit the Sultanate will soon be able to witness Nizwa Fort in all of its restored glory, with a new agreement signed between the Ministry of Tourism, and developers Omran, looking to make one of the country’s cultural treasures a national icon and world-class tourist hotspot. Under the agreement, Omran will handle the management of Nizwa Fort, and will undertake the promotion and maintenance of the 17th century structure, which has foundations that go back all the way to the 12th century AD. It is the first of many public-private partnerships, which will see the company handle several prestigious monuments dotted across the Sultanate. “This agreement will enhance the Sultanate’s tourism industry, stimulating it to become a key player and contributor to the nation’s economy,” said Hassan Al Lawati, advisor to the Minister of Heritage and Culture for Cultural Affairs. “Building on Nizwa Fort’s appeal as an historical place of interest, Omran’s support with the management, marketing and maintenance will create a new visitor experience that will celebrate local culture and heritage at the highest standards and quality.” One of Oman’s most visited heritage monuments, the new era Nizwa Fort is going to embark on was welcomed by Mohammed Al Mahruqi, board member for Omran, who said, “With the Sultanate’s aims of diversifying the economy, Omran plays a strategic role in creating new destinations and experiences that will benefit the social and economic growth of the Sultanate. This collaboration marks a new era for one of Oman’s treasured sites, and demonstrates the Sultanate’s commitment to finding innovative ways to promote Oman’s unique tourism offering. “The management and rejuvenation of historical sites such as Nizwa Fort will create a unique experience in the region,” he added. The signing of the agreement, which was overseen by the duo in the presence of senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Finance, is also part of Oman’s Tanfeedh initiative to diversify its economy, with tourism being earmarked as one of the standout areas for growth and development. “Today’s announcement paves the way for the successful investments and the utilisation of Oman’s historical assets to help increase cultural tourism in the Sultanate,” said Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Omran. “At Omran, our aim is to preserve nature, culture, and communities while delivering economic benefits to the country. Job creation “Job creation is inherent across all of our projects and we remain committed to engaging the private sector and Omani SMEs, therefore, Omran intends to outsource the day to day running of the fort to a local SME to provide enhanced facilities and experiences, in support of its intrinsic values of engaging Omani SMEs and encouraging them to play a key role in developing the Sultanate’s flourishing tourism sector,” he added. Located in the city of Nizwa in the A’Dakhiliyah Governorate, Nizwa Fort is one of the country’s oldest and most well-preserved forts, and is a source of pride to locals in the surrounding areas. It is located 160 km from the capital, Muscat, and will take about 90 minutes to reach from the capital.