Omani SME to operate Harat Al Bilad heritage site  

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OMRAN hands over management of Harat Al Bilad heritage site to local firm, Reconstruction of Traditional Architecture Company

Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN), the government’s executive arm for the development of the tourism sector, announced the official handover of management of Harat Al Bilad heritage site in Wilyat Manah to local Omani firm, Reconstruction of Traditional Architecture, which has recently been appointed to run the operations of this historic landmark and support the growth of domestic and international tourism in the Sultanate.

The site handover ceremony was held during an official tour to Harat Al Bilad by Peter Walichnowski, CEO of OMRAN and executives from both companies.

‏The appointment of Reconstruction of Traditional Architecture to manage Harat Al Bilad’s day-to-day operations comes from the fruitful collaboration between active taskforces from The Ministry of Heritage and Culture, The Ministry of Tourism, Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (Tanfeedh) and OMRAN. The aim is to contribute to the government’s diversification agenda and introduce new tourism products and experiences, by working closely with the private sector and small and medium enterprises to play an important part in accelerating the growth of Oman’s tourism industry in the region.

Peter Walichnowski, CEO of OMRAN, said: “Historical monuments around the world always leave an unforgettable experience in the tourist’s mind and Harat Al-Bilad is undoubtedly one of Oman’s perfect historical jewels that captures the attention of heritage tourism enthusiasts. The rejuvenation of this rich historical site will indeed improve the domestic tourism and attract more tourists from around the globe.”

He added: “As part of OMRAN’s local development investment program, we are determined to continue investing in community development and giving opportunities to the local private sector.  OMRAN has been continuously focusing on this approach to build strong business ties with local SMEs. Over the past two years, OMRAN also appointed two local companies to manage operations of Al Hoota Cave and Nizwa Fort, after being transferred to the company by the government – an initiative that reflects our relentless efforts towards working hand in hand with the private sector and enhancing the visitors’ experience across these unique tourism attractions.”

Dr Haitham Najeem Sulaiman Al Abri, managing director of Reconstruction of Traditional Architecture said:” We are delighted to be appointed as the official operator of Harat Al-Bilad, which was recently renovated by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. We will work closely with OMRAN to add a new touristic essence to this historic monument in Wilayat Manah in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate. The soft opening of the site has already started by offering guided tours to the visitors and we are looking forward to upgrading the facilities and services and officially opening it in the coming few months.”

Harat Al-Bilad in Wilayat Manah is considered as one of Oman’s most popular and oldest historical sites. It dates back to the 5th Islamic (Hijri) century and has been preserved well by previous generations.

Earlier in May this year, OMRAN signed an agreement with The Ministry of Heritage and Culture to manage Harat Al-Bilad project as part of the government framework in which OMRAN has been tasked to execute the tourism development plans.