Oman eyes golf tourist dollar

The Middle East state of Oman has one golf course. Even this is a sandy nine-hole facility in badly in need of maintenance.

However, in a few more years time, Oman will have at least 10 luxury golf courses, all with the aim of luring the tourist dollar.

The recent three-tournament Gulf Swing in the Middle East, where the European Tour played events in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai, proved that golf is a viable form of entertainment in the region.

And Oman is hoping to jump on the growing role golf tourism is playing in the countries west of the Persian Gulf.

Falling oil prices and the shift towards alternative power are more reasons the Omani government are looking at other forms of revenue.

According to a Reuters report, 10 golf courses are at various stages of planning or construction, including the US$400 million Muscat Golf Course. This is addition to projects in Blue City, Salam Yiti and Murya, all totally more than $10 billion.

Another one is The Wave project, which is a 18-hole course designed by Australia’s former two-time British Open champion Greg Norman.

Cyril Piaia is CEO of the Murya project, which is located in the southern port city of Salalah. He said:

“Golf is seen as one sure way to attract wealthy European tourists to the country, besides the beaches and the sun.”

Dubai is leading the way in terms of golf tourism in the region, and now Oman believes that it will have to make major investments into the industry if it is to keep up with the game.

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