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Salalah Rotana Resort Q&A with Omer Kaddouri, Rotana's President & CEO

Why did Rotana choose Salalah for their first hotel in Oman?
Oman has always been a key growth market for us to expand into. We pride ourselves in identifying new and upcoming travel destinations people wish to visit and Salalah is growing in popularity. The opening of Salalah Rotana Resort is an exciting one for us, not only does it take us one step closer to reaching our ultimate vision but it has strengthened the company’s standing as the leading hotel management company in the region.

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In which ways do you want to contribute to the Salalah region?
The resort is the largest stand alone hotel in the country and will serve the region by meeting the growing demand for high-quality accommodation as tourism continues to grow in the city. The Resort will make a major contribution to the community by providing additional employment opportunities for Omani nationals and strengthening the local supply chain in support of the country’s developing tourism industry.

What is your vision for the resort?
Being the largest resort in the area, we have positioned it as a landmark in setting the tone and standards of hospitality in Oman. We look forward to retaining that position and leading hospitality trends.

What are the main feeder markets for Salalah Rotana Resort?
Oman & GCC (Oman 25%, UAE 25%, KSA 25%, Kuwait 10%, Qatar 10%, Bahrain 5%), the region is also very popular amongst German speaking countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Austria followed by the UK, Russia, Scandinavia and France.

Who are the key stakeholders for Rotana in Salalah?
The main stakeholders for Rotana in Salalah are Orascom Development, a leading developer of fully integrated destinations; Muriya, a joint venture between Orascom Development Holdings and Omran; Oman Air and the Oman Tourism Board.

What is your favourite story from Salalah’s history?
The Roman Emperor Nero was said to have burned an entire harvest of frankincense during his wife’s elaborate funeral.

How do you see the future for tourism in the region?
All indicators (Infrastructure and investment activities) show that the travel and tourism sector in the region will experience exponential growth. E.g.
•An estimate of over 3,000 hotel rooms due for completion by the end of 2014
•Port Sultan Qaboos’ expansion and transformation into tourism & cruise ship precinct

In 2013 only, 435,000 visitors from the Gulf region visited Salalah during the Khareef season, an increase of over 80,000 on the previous year as visitor numbers continue to rise year on year. The new Salalah Airport is expected to be completed in 2014, with the capacity to handle one million passengers. Future expansion is planned to extend capacity to six million passengers.

What is one thing guests at Salalah Rotana Resort can enjoy nowhere else in Salalah?
The property is fully integrated in its natural surroundings with the waterways which connect the property to the Indian Ocean, stunning white sandy beach coupled with the banana and coconut palms. It has a unique effect of transport guests’ mindset to a tranquil place.

What is your favourite thing to do in Salalah?
Relaxing on the warm sandy beach at the resort watching the dolphins and feeling surrounded by nature.

What is there to see in Salalah?
•The beautiful Indian Ocean beaches and coastline along with the natural attractions of the nearby mountains and abundant frankincense trees lining mountain wadis. Being able to spot turtles and dolphins from the Resort.
•UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Balid among various other archeological site and monuments.
•Museum of the Frankincense Land
•Wadi Darbat, its lush greenery and eerie mist during Khareef

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1.What is the best time of year to visit Salalah?
Salalah boasts near perfect weather all year round, rarely going above 30 C° but the most popular months are July–Sept following the Khareef Season; the landscape blooms with the lush green vegetation adding to an already spectacular view. The climate is cooler than surrounding countries due the pleasant breeze from the Indian Ocean.

What is Salalah famous for?
The comfort and kindness provided by the famous Arabian hospitality. The traces of Salalah’s rich history throughout the city; and the breath-taking natural setting in the Sultanate between spectacular mountains, fresh water springs and tropical scenery where wildlife and frankincense trees can be marveled.

What time of year is Frankincense season?
The resin is harvested during the spring, from March till May and again during autumn, from late September till October. The fall is better known as Al Khareef season which produces the more precious resin that is white in colour.

What is the richest part of Salalah’s history?
The frankincense’ role in creating Salalah as the global trade hub in the past and how it played a part in historical figures’ lives, like the Queen of Sheba, Nero, Marco Polo, T.E. Lawrence etc… But what is fascinating is how integrated it still is in all things Salalah. It drives the local souks economy, brings tourists from around the world, is globally recognized as a UNESCO Heritage site and there is a museum dedicated to it.

What can you buy from Al Husn Souq that you cannot find anywhere else in the world?
The Husn Souk is known for its array of rare types of local Frankincense, bukhoor and attar (perfumes).

Is Salalah Rotana Resort family friendly?
Yes, the accommodation caters to children of all ages, our F&B outlets offer children’s menus and there is a kids club for their entertainment. With over 450m2 of indoor and outdoor play areas, Flipper’s Kids Club features two designated areas which cater specifically to two age groups, one for ages between 4-7 years and the other for  8-12 year olds. Each area has been designed in a variety of fun colours and filled with games, arts & crafts and lego stations to inspire imaginations whilst LCD televisions and play stations promise plenty of indoor excitement.  For nap times, relaxation areas have been included to offer a peaceful space for kids to rest.

Salalah Rotana Resort also offers two designated outdoor play areas for children, one located outside the kids club, the other next to the swimming pool and beach area. Both areas include a shaded sandpit designed to protect children from the sun and allow a cool shady play space.

All children’s activities at Salalah Rotana Resort are fully supervised by trained staff and Flipper’s Kids Club is designed not only to meet international safety standards, but also to ensure that your children have plenty of fun and both indoors and out. 

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Posted by : Dubai PR Network Editorial Team
Viewed 46586 times
PR Category : Travel & Tourism
Posted on : Thursday, June 19, 2014  11:17:00 AM UAE local time (GMT+4)
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