Rotana Salalah: Transport to tranquility
Salalah, Oman, May 22, 2014
Rotana, a leading hotel management company in the region, has opened a stunning new resort in Oman's Salalah. The 400-room waterfront resort is set on the Arabian coast near the Salalah beach.
The luxury rooms and suites are positioned directly on lagoons and an elaborate network of manmade waterways connecting the property to the Indian Ocean.
The resort is fully integrated with its natural surroundings including the white sandy Indian Ocean beach and coconut palms. It can transport the guest to a unique tranquil place, says Rotana's president and CEO Omer Kaddouri in an interview.
The resort will make a major contribution to the community by providing employment opportunities for Omanis and strengthening the local supply chain, says Kaddouri.
Excerpts from the interview:
Why did Rotana choose Salalah for their first hotel in Oman?
Oman has always been a key growth market for us to expand into. We pride ourselves in identifying new and upcoming travel destinations people wish to visit and Salalah is growing in popularity. The opening of Salalah Rotana Resort not only takes us one step closer to reaching our ultimate vision but it has strengthened the company’s standing as the leading hotel management company in the region.
What is your vision for the resort?
Being the largest resort in the area, we have positioned it as a landmark in setting the tone and standards of hospitality in Oman. We look forward to retaining that position and leading hospitality trends.
What are the main feeder markets for Salalah Rotana Resort?
Oman and GCC (Oman 25 per cent, UAE 25pc, Saudi Arabia 25pc, Kuwait 10pc, Qatar 10pc and Bahrain 5pc). The region is also very popular amongst German speaking countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Austria followed by the UK, Russia, Scandinavia and France.
In which ways do you want to contribute to the Salalah region?
The resort is the largest stand alone hotel in the country and will serve the region by meeting the growing demand for high-quality accommodation as tourism continues to grow in the city. The Resort will make a major contribution to the community by providing additional employment opportunities for Omani nationals and strengthening the local supply chain in support of the country’s developing tourism industry.
Who are the key stakeholders for Rotana in Salalah?
The main stakeholders for Rotana in Salalah are Orascom Development, a leading developer of fully integrated destinations; Muriya, a joint venture between Orascom Development Holdings and Omran; Oman Air and the Oman Tourism Board.
How do you see the future for tourism in the region?
All indicators (infrastructure and investment activities) show that the travel and tourism sector in the region will experience exponential growth. An estimated over 3,000 hotel rooms are due for completion by the end of 2014 and Port Sultan Qaboos’ expansion and transformation into tourism and cruise ship precinct is also expected.
In 2013 alone, 435,000 visitors from the Gulf region visited Salalah during the Khareef season, an increase of over 80,000 on the previous year as visitor numbers continue to rise year on year. The new Salalah Airport is expected to be completed in 2014, with the capacity to handle one million passengers. Future expansion is planned to extend capacity to six million passengers.
What is unique about Salalah Rotana Resort?
The property is fully integrated in its natural surroundings with the waterways which connect the property to the Indian Ocean, stunning white sandy beach coupled with the banana and coconut palms. It has a unique effect of transport guests’ mindset to a tranquil place.
What is your favourite thing to do in Salalah?
Relaxing on the warm sandy beach at the resort watching the dolphins and feeling surrounded by nature. There are also many natural attractions in the nearby mountains and abundant frankincense trees lining mountain wadis. Guests will be able to spot turtles and dolphins from the resort. Other attractions include: Unesco World Heritage Site of Al Balid and other archeological sites and monuments; Museum of the Frankincense Land; and Wadi Darbat, its lush greenery and eerie mist during Khareef.
What is the best time of year to visit Salalah?
Salalah boasts near perfect weather all year round, rarely going above 30 deg C but the most popular months are July–Sept following the Khareef Season; the landscape blooms with the lush green vegetation adding to an already spectacular view. The climate is cooler than surrounding countries due the pleasant breeze from the Indian Ocean.
Is Salalah Rotana Resort family friendly?
Yes, the accommodation caters to children of all ages, our F&B outlets offer children’s menus and there is a kids club for their entertainment. With over 450 sq m of indoor and outdoor play areas, Flipper’s Kids Club features two designated areas which cater specifically to two age groups, one for ages between 4-7 years and the other for 8-12 year olds. Each area has been designed in a variety of fun colours and filled with games, arts & crafts and lego stations to inspire imaginations whilst LCD televisions and play stations promise plenty of indoor excitement.