Muscat – Over 480 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) benefited from tourism initiatives in Dhofar in 2022.
A statement issued by Dhofar Municipality said that the total value of contracts awarded to these SMEs in 2022 was RO3.5mn, signalling the significant impact of the initiatives on the local economy.
The municipality also offered lease and rental contracts for 84 sites on its land, with 51 sites being allocated through usufruct contracts and 33 sites through rental contracts.
Of the 84 sites, 60 are located in the Uptown Salalah project and ten in the Muqshin Rest Area. In addition, the Nawafeth site in the Atteen plain was allocated, equipped and prepared with all operational requirements so that SMEs registered with the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (ASMED) could showcase their products and provide their services to visitors.
Dhofar Municipality, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour, appointed nearly 500 young men and women on temporary as well as permanent work contracts, and prepared temporary sites for entrepreneurs.
The municipality confirmed that SMEs set up several traditional and non-traditional activities at these locations, including retail activities, amusement centres and games, cafes and businesses offering digital solutions and modern technologies.
SMEs have stood out in the last few years as the key driver behind economic development in the sultanate with the sector contributing about 25 per cent or RO8bn to the GDP, according to ASMED.
The latest statistics show that the total number of SMEs registered in the country till September 2022 was 210,877, while the number of SMEs registered with the ASMED till December 2022 was 104,141.