The number of people who visited wilayat Wadi Bani Khalid in North Sharqiyah governorate increased to 220,230 in the year 2019, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT).
The stunning desert oasis is the most popular site in the governorate which is frequented by both Omanis and foreigners in large numbers.
Statistics show that the highest number of visitors to the area last year comprised Europeans (88,662) followed by Omanis (65,476). Among the other Gulf nationals, the Emiratis comprised the maximum number (171) followed by Bahrainis (161). Other Arab national numbers for the period reached 7,245.
Other nationalities that visited Wadi Bani Khalid included Asians (54,634) and Americans (3,688).
Figures also show that the first and last quarters of the year 2019 witnessed the highest number of travellers. In November, there was a significant increase in the number of Omani tourists (10,529).
Talal al Shuaibi, director of tourism in North Sharqiyah governorate, said, “The beautiful Wadi Bani Khalid is one of the most prominent tourist attractions. The mountainous nature of the wilayat has the potential to offer a range of activities and events. This is why the inflow of tourists to the area is always on the increase. The Maqal cave, located near the pool in Wadi Bani Khalid is one of the most important attractions,” said Shuaibi.
MoT is looking for citizens who can invest in some projects near the tourist site so that the area can be developed further. “The project should not be harmful to the environment, but should be able to generate additional income.”
Shuaibi also said that the Ministry of Tourism has given approval to a citizen for investing in a commercial plot overlooking the water pool. “The project seeks to build a tourist rest house consisting of 12 rooms and a parking area. The parking area would have a mobile restaurant which will also be owned by an Omani.”