Swiss-Belhotel International has opened its sixth hotel in 14 months in the Middle East. Owned by the Al Batnah Hotels Company SOAC and managed by Swiss-Belhotel International, the Sohar Beach by Swiss-Belhotel in Oman
opened early January following a takeover and rebranding of the former Sohar Beach Resort.
“We have an ambitious expansion plan for the Middle East and I’m delighted with the results, closing deals on six properties in 2007,” said Mr Gavin Faull, President, Swiss-Belhotel International.
In July 2007, Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait became the first operational hotel in the Middle East for the group, which went on to secure properties in Jordan, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates in the same year.
“2008 promises to be a very busy year with soft openings planned for three of our properties, representing a combination of both city hotels and leisure resorts” added Mr Faull.
The low-rise (two level) four star, beach resort property, features 41 guest rooms, suites and chalets, extensive facilities including four restaurants and lounges, temperature controlled outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness centre, business centre and meeting facilities.
A variety of food and beverage outlets ensure there is something for everyone. Al Sallan Coffee Shop is the resort’s all day dining outlet, open 24/7, serving international cuisine. Al Jizzi Lounge is ideal for enjoying sundowners or an informal beverage, while Al Tarrif Lounge offering live music and refreshments is the ideal location for people watching. For those who enjoy dancing into the night, Al Zarfan the Arabian Night Club offers live music and dancing, with a menu featuring mezzeh, seafood and grills.
The resort’s meeting and conference facilities can accommodate up to 70 people (theatre style) in the Salalah Hall (1,3400 sq ft) making it an ideal venue for small to mid-sized gatherings.
According to Mr Edgar Solenthaler, Vice President Operations & Development - Middle East, Swiss-Belhotel International, the resort is already under refurbishment with the addition of a new seafood restaurant, banquet & conference hall and guest rooms.
“...construction has commenced on the resort extensions which will result in a total of 89 rooms, by the last quarter of 2008.” said Mr Solenthaler.
The resort hotel attracts a combination of leisure and corporate business. originating from neighbouring countries. Europe is a growing source market for ‘inquisitive’ travelers who enjoy exploring the secrets of a destination and learning about Middle Eastern history and discovering the natural beauty the Sultanate of Oman enjoys.
Located on the lush Batinah coast, Sohar was the Sultanate’s ancient capital. Today Sohar is the second largest city, after Muscat in Oman. The destination is known for its beaches lapped by the calm waters of the Gulf of Oman and its proximity to historical attractions, archaelogical sites and nature reserves (including Ra’s Hadd Turtle Reserve and The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary).
Oman is home to more than 500 forts, castles and towers which represent some of the Sultanate’s most striking cultural landmarks. Nearby to Sohar, visitors will enjoy a trip to the historic copper mines, the foothills of Jebel Akdar (Green Mountain) and the fortified towns of Ibri, Nakhl, Rustaq and Nizwa.
The city of Sohar features some ‘must see’ attractions for visitors including: the early morning and late afternoon action at the Fish Souq when local fishermen unload their catch; and Muttrah, the traditional Arabic souq situated on the Corniche, with its labyrinth of narrow streets and old fashioned charm, it is the place to find an abundance of wooden carvings, traditional ornaments, spices, gold and silver jewellery. Despite household items dominating the souq, browsing through the smaller shops may uncover some highly sought-after treasures such as silver Khanjars (the traditional Omani dagger).