Muscat – To provide better services at tourist and heritage sites, specially World Heritage Sites, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) has invited bids for a design and supervisory consultancy service for construction of a visitor centre and ancillary building at the Qalhat archeological site in the wilayat of Sur.
The ministry has also invited bids for a design and supervisory consultancy service for construction of a visitor centre at Bat in the wilayat of Ibri. Qalhat and Bat, both are designated as Unesco World Heritage Sites.
The last date for submitting bids is November 9, 2021.
The ministry started an archaeological renovation programme for Qalhat city in 2008. In June 2021, the ministry signed an agreement with Oman LNG to finance a project to restore Qalhat archaeological city (Phase I).
The ancient city of Qalhat was an important port on the Sea of Oman along the East Arabian Coast, which allowed for trade with the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean and hence functioned as a trade centre between India and through it East and South East Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.
The pre-historic archaeological complex of Bat is one of the most complete and well preserved assemblies of settlements and necropolises in the world from the third millennium BCE. The core site is a part of the modern village of Bat, in Wadi Sharsah, approximately 24km east of the city of Ibri in Dhahira governorate.
The ministry also continues to restore and maintain castles and forts that are distinguished by their architecture.
The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) stated that as many as 426,500 people visited forts and castles in Oman in 2019, registering an increase of 16.4 per cent on the previous year’s figures. Of the total visitors, 251,080 were tourists from different countries, according to MHT statistics.
According to NCSI, 366,360 people visited forts and castles in 2018, compared to 319,163 in 2017 – an increase of 14.8 per cent.