29 March 2009

Tourism Minister launches new Crowne Plaza Sohar

Her Excellency Dr. Rajha bint Abdul Amir Ali, Minister of Tourism, officially launched the new five-star Crowne Plaza Sohar Hotel at a gala ceremony this morning. The event was also attended by His Excellency Hilal bin Bader bin Ali Al Busaidi, Wali of Sohar, His Excellency Ali bin Ahmad Al Shamsi, Wali of Liwa, Mr John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Hotels Group and dignitaries from the Government, Diplomatic and Corporate sector. The ceremony marked the beginning of a new standard of hotel accommodation and facilities to cater to Sohar’s ever-growing business and leisure market and local community.

“Oman’s tourism has consistently grown, hosting up to 1 million tourists annually. Having built its reputation as a holiday destination, the focus has now turned to developing its MICE sector that now accounts for 60% of travel into the Sultanate,” said John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer, IHG MEA, “The opening of Crowne Plaza Sohar, with its extensive meeting amenities, will further facilitate this market segment’s growth.”

Mrs Hannah Macki, Deputy Managing Director of Samco Hotels and Resorts, said the new Crowne Plaza Sohar offered business travellers and locals alike a luxury oasis that is unparalleled in the Al Batinah region.

“Sohar is increasingly becoming a true business destination as a result of the tremendous developments in the Port of Sohar, Industrial Estate and the Special Economic Zone. In addition to serving the Sohar business community the Crowne Plaza is conveniently located half-way between Muscat and Dubai. The hotel is a five-star attraction on its own and has already begun welcoming guests from all over the world who want to explore the Al Batinah region’s undiscovered delights” she said.

The official opening ceremony was followed by a tour of the hotels facilities and a VIP lunch in the Ballroom, amid displays by some of Crowne Plaza Sohar’s leading industrial partners and business houses, including Sohar Aluminium, the Sohar Industrial Port and many others.

“The event was a huge success and we look forward to welcoming our distinguished guests back to the Crowne Plaza Sohar to enjoy our accommodation, variety of dining experiences and recreation facilities” Mrs Macki said.

Situated on the Sohar-Buraimi Highway, just 2km from Falaj Al Qabail, the majestic façade of the Crowne Plaza Sohar fronts a truly five-star experience that includes gourmet restaurants, a gym, a bowling alley, a swimming pool and luxury spa centre, as well as deluxe accommodation. It is the first internationally-branded deluxe hotel in the Batinah region.

The Crowne Plaza Sohar is the 6th property in Oman managed by InterContinental Hotels Group and is owned by Samco Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of Samco Trading LLC.

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