MoT planning comprehensive development of Wadi Darbat in Dhofar and Jebel Akhdar
The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is planning a comprehensive development of Wadi Darbat, one of the most visited tourist sites in Dhofar, and Jebel Akhdar, the jewel in crown among hill retreats in Oman.
The ministry stated that it has completed studies on development of Wadi Darbat and Jebel Akhdar as well as an action plan to study the manpower and training needs of tourism sector. The Wadi Darbat development study is an environmental, social and management study, which aims to prepare a general masterplan taking into consideration all these elements.
“As a result, it will help to achieve sustainable tourism goals and protect the nature and the wealth of the area with the participation of the local community,” the ministry said. Wadi Darbat has been selected as a destination that the ministry aims to develop as an eco-tourism destination in order to conserve the natural environment of the wadi and to improve the well-being of the local community.
The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), through its Regional Office for West Asia, is working with the ministry to draw up a vision, masterplan and management plan for Wadi Darbat, based on three main themes: Environmental sustainability, Heritage conservation and Community engagement, the study stated. The study on Jebel Akhdar focuses on the social and economic dimensions of tourism development in the area.
“The study aims to develop tourism in Jebel Akhdar and to achieve the planned goals for the area in a balanced and responsible manner. This in turn will help contribute to meet the needs of the local community without harming their basic values while providing economic benefits to them,” the ministry said. The ministry has also undertaken an action plan to study manpower and training needs in the tourism sector.
“The study aims to develop a new mechanism to raise the level of Omanisation in the tourism sector at the national level and to raise its profile as an attractive sector to work in.”