Sur: The Wilayat of Sur in the South Al Sharqiyah Governorate is preparing, for its celebration from tomorrow, January 1, as Sur won the title of Arab Tourism Capital for the year 2024. The Office of the Governor of South Al Sharqiyah, in coordination with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, partners and relevant authorities, is preparing a package of events, activities and programs and implementing many projects that enhance the tourism, aesthetic and development infrastructure of the Wilayat.
His Excellency Salem bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism, said, “The selection of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism at its 26th session, which was held in Doha in mid-December, as the state of Sur as the capital of Arab tourism for the year 2024 is a unique experience for this ancient state to enhance the state’s tourist attraction, organize various events, and ensure that this occasion will be useful and will highlight the potential, create a tourist flow and revitalize the region and its surroundings.”
He added in a statement to the Oman News Agency that the state of Sur is rich in historical and tourism components, cultural and heritage components, and infrastructure, which enhances the tourist attractions and contributes to attracting tourism from inside and outside the Sultanate of Oman, expressing his hope that “we will add positive successes that strengthen the status of this state.”
There is a trend to develop areas adjacent to the city that will be announced in the next near future after the issuance of the ministerial decision to designate the Wadi Shab area in the Tiwi Niyabat of the Wilayat of Sur as a tourist area based on the approval of the Council of Ministers, and the advisory and scope work in this area is now being developed. “The work will be assigned to create many facilities and different tourist experiences.” His Excellency said, “During the next two months, coinciding with the celebration of the state of Sur as the capital of Arab tourism, consulting services will be assigned to the Maritime History Museum in Sur, and we hope that it will be completed within two years. Work will also be assigned to establish the visitors’ center at the archaeological site of Qalhat, registered on the World Heritage List, and develop… This site, and there is a continuation of archaeological surveys, excavations at the site and restoration work, in addition to surveys related to submerged antiquities, and the archaeological surveys program is continuing in the archaeological sites of the Wilayat of Sur, including the Ras al-Hadd and Ras al-Jinz sites.
Dr. Yahya bin Badr Al-Ma’awali, Governor of South Al Sharqiyah, said, “Choosing the state of Sur as the capital of Arab tourism came from the premise that this state has great capabilities that made it impose itself on the map of Arab tourism due to its great historical, cultural and social heritage, and the abundant elements it possesses.” Diverse, whether in the maritime aspect or in other aspects, in addition to being one of the tourist destinations currently, and this choice employs an opportunity for this ancient city to deepen its presence on the Arab tourism map.
Coordination has begun with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, partners and relevant authorities to prepare a good package of events and activities that It reflects the historical and cultural heritage that characterizes the state of Sur, indicating that the office of the Governor of South Al Sharqiyah will hold a press conference in the coming days during which a set of details related to the celebration of the state of Sur as the capital of Arab tourism will be discussed.”
In a statement to the Oman News Agency, His Excellency stressed that “the selection of the Wilayat of Sur as the capital of Arab tourism came due to the capabilities and components it possesses in accordance with the controls on the basis of which these cities are chosen, and this will certainly push the Governorate of South Al Sharqiyah and the relevant authorities at the tourism level and other parties to promote tourism projects.” And the improvements and aesthetic aspect, which we hope will improve over the next 12 months and the development of services that tourists need,” noting that “there is continuous coordination with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism to enhance the housing aspect and some beautification projects that serve the tourism sector.”
Regarding the beautification projects in the city of Sur, His Excellency explained that the second phase of the Sur Souq beautification project, which represents a combination of heritage and modernity in design from an architectural standpoint, is about to be completed, and there is a path in the city center that extends for more than one kilometre, and the completion of the state market will soon be completed. The design of the city center improvement project has also been completed, including the construction of parking lots, a bus station, and additional paths to form a tourist attraction site. His Excellency explained that financial approval has been made for the implementation of the Maritime History Museum in the state of Sur, which was adopted by the Balarab Bin Haitham Award for Architectural Design, and the consultant has begun the design stage.
The cultural center project has also been approved and is currently in the design stage after the financial item was approved, and it includes a library and a youth center. He expressed his appreciation for He hopes that the project will be implemented during the year 2024, in addition to the tourism development project for the village of Mebam and the city of Qalhat, and there is a project to beautify the Tiwi district. The second package of the development of Wadi Shab will be launched, and it will form the Sur Public Park, which has begun its implementation stages, on an area of more than 150 thousand square meters.
A prominent landmark in the entertainment and tourism sector, a hotel, a tourist restaurant, chalets and a water park will be established next to it, which will constitute an addition to the tourist attractions in the Wilayat of Sur. His Excellency stated that the program to celebrate the Wilayat of Sur as the capital of Arab tourism for the year 2024 includes many “cultural and social celebrations and events, highlighting the traditional arts for which the Wilayat of Sur is particularly famous, and there is space for civil society associations, including the Omani Society of Writers and Authors, to participate in this program to highlight its efforts and establish Cultural and artistic events in which writers, writers, poets and others participate, and the holding of art exhibitions and other events that enhance the tourism aspect.”
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