Rich in nature, culture and emerging good facilities and services, Salalah is making strong ground for an emerging conference tourism destination in the region. The trend, which had started some 10-15 years ago with some annual regional and national events, set its foot this monsoon (Khareef) season with different halls of the city becoming the venues of a large number of international conferences. The city hosted about 200 small and big conferences this year with more than 50 happened only during the Khareef season.
Some events drew participants from Eastern Mediterranean Region’s (EMR) health ministers, while others saw attendance from international medical experts in Otolaryngology and vestibular problems; Smart City Conference and Intelligent Sustainability Conference. Events like Arab Entrepreneurs Forum, Smart City Conference and Intelligent Sustainability Conference offered an overall boost to Salalah’s tourism potential. Since most of the participants were drawn from the region’s hot climate zone, Salalah’s greenery, serenity and cultural authenticity made a lasting impact on them.
A few participants who came from Europe and US were surprised over the beauty of Salalah and its very strong tourism potential.
Dr Richard E Gans, Founder and CEO of the American Institute of Balance, called his visit “wonderful in terms of conference venue for which I had come, food, culture everything. I will recommend Salalah’s hospitality to everyone.” “This is my first time in Salalah. I live in one of the greatest tourism destinations in the world, Orlando, Florida, which is famous for Disney World. After visiting Salalah, I will tell that everyone needs to know Salalah, the city with the sea, mountains, waterfalls and deserts. It is truly amazing. I can’t think of any city in the world that can offer someone everything all in one,” he said.
Nema F Hamid, Clinical Specialist at Med El, Middle East, based in Dubai, was in Salalah to attend a conference. She liked Salalah as venue for the conference and thanked the organisers for choosing Salalah for the conference.
“I lived in most of the GCC countries and found Salalah a natural and cultural city. Dubai is an artificial city, where you get everything, but Salalah is very natural, you find peace here. I am looking forward to coming again to spend more time in Salalah, may be in the next season,” she said.
Birgit Schulze, an Austrian national, was also in Salalah to attend a conference. She found the city very well organised and well suited for conferences.
“I could not see much of Salalah due to fog, but I found the people very friendly. I will definitely come to Salalah again, may be in March or April next year to undertake a tour.”
Casper Jensen and his colleague Leigh Martin came as representatives of a company called Interacoustics to take part in one of the health conferences held in Salalah. They liked the destination as friendly and natural.
“My first impression when I landed Salalah was about its people whom I found very friendly and welcoming. The destination is good for conferences as people get to see a very charming culture and nature, which is stored in Salalah. I wanted to visit the mountains but could not due to heavy fog. Will try to make it again to Salalah,” he said.
-Oman Daily Observer