Oman’s Visionary Road Project to Unlock the Beauty of Al Jabal Al Akhdar
In a significant development aimed at enhancing accessibility and boosting tourism in the picturesque region of Al Jabal Al Akhdar, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MoTCIT) has taken a major step forward. On Monday, they floated a tender for consultancy services to design a road that will connect Al Jabal Al Akhdar to South Al Batinah, marking a significant stride in realizing this ambitious project.
Tender Details and Scope of Work
The official tender notice, posted on the ministry’s website, invites interested parties to submit their bids before October 15, 2023. The tender specifically pertains to the preparation of tender documents for the design and construction of the road linking Al Jabal Al Akhdar with South Al Batinah. Starting from September 17, the tender documents will be available for purchase. The scope of work encompasses various critical aspects, including the evaluation of financial and technical bids, offering clarification support to bid inquiries, preparing the contract document, and conducting value engineering exercises for the submitted offers.
The road project’s primary objective is to provide easier access to Al Jabal Al Akhdar, one of Oman’s most popular and scenic destinations, without the need for four-wheel-drive vehicles. This strategic move is expected to significantly enhance tourist traffic to the lush green mountains and valleys of Al Jabal Al Akhdar.
Feasibility Studies and Future Plans
Earlier this year, the Ministry had completed a preliminary feasibility study for an alternative route from South Al Batinah to Al Jabal Al Akhdar. This study laid the groundwork for the current tender and subsequent development plans. Additionally, there are ongoing plans to construct a 32-kilometer road to Jabal Shams, another prominent hill station in Oman. This initiative aims to further promote tourism in the region.
Tourism Growth and Al Jabal Al Akhdar Festival
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the total number of visitors in 2023 until the end of June reached around 79,034. This figure includes 28,406 Omanis, 3,848 visitors from Saudi Arabia, and 45,302 from the rest of the world. The government’s commitment to promoting tourism activities in Al Jabal Al Akhdar was recently highlighted through the successful Al Jabal Al Akhdar Festival.
Rich Cultural Heritage and Natural Beauty
Al Jabal Al Akhdar, known for its pleasant summer weather and various hotel facilities, is a favorite tourist destination. Tourists flock to the region to engage in activities such as mountaineering, hiking, and enjoying the mild weather. The area is also renowned for the cultivation of pomegranates, walnuts, apricots, black grapes, and peaches, with local farmers specializing in the extraction of rose water, a practice passed down through generations in the terraced villages.
The MoTCIT’s move to float a tender for the construction of a connecting road to Al Jabal Al Akhdar signifies a significant stride toward enhancing accessibility to this natural gem. As Oman continues to prioritize sustainable tourism, the road project promises to unlock the full potential of Al Jabal Al Akhdar, allowing more visitors to experience its cultural heritage, natural beauty, and welcoming hospitality.
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