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"Oman is an exciting destination"- GM of Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah

altMark Kirk, the General Manager of  Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, spoke to Irhal about a myriad of things including his perspective on the Arabian Travel Market, the exciting state of tourism in Oman and, most importantly, the happenings at his hotel.

Here are some of the things we asked him:


Where are the travelers who visit the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah mainly from?

Our biggest market is the UK, followed by Germany and then the GCC.


What percentage of total travelers are coming in from the UAE specifically?

We have 30% of the vacationers coming in from the UAE, some of whom are just travelling down for the weekend and some are corporate travellers as well. 


What kind of visitors does the resort attract?

We accommodate mainly leisure travellers but some business travellers do come in as well. We have some corporate events and seminars that take place in the city so regional travellers usually stay with us for that.


Do you visit ATM (or WTM London) often? Why do you consider your participation at ATM to be important? What do you hope to achieve by attending this year?

Shangri-La Barr al Jissah has been at ATM for the past 6 or 7 years, we were here pre-opening and then we’ve been represented every year since. I think it’s very important us being here, we come here we meet new clients and we also service the old clients – update them with the new things that are happening at the resort and in Oman- things like that. Oman is at a more sustained pace of development so the news that we get is always exciting each year. We have this beautiful Opera House now and we have a new golf course opening in Oman. So the destination is good.

Are you offering anything different/special this year at ATM?

We’re offering some summer promotions particularly for the GCC market this ATM – some exciting stay-pay deals. We’re also here to tell ATM visitors about the two new restaurants we’re opening at the hotel in July. One of them is a Lebanese restaurant, which will be the first proper Lebanese in the whole of Oman with entertainment. The other is an Asian restaurant.

Are there specific things you offer at your hotel for the benefit of Islamic travelers or travelers from the GCC (e.g. Women's only or separate spa's)

At the spa we have two areas for females and males separately. The treatment rooms are private and the way the hotel is split up as well, I think it’s very friendly towards the Islamic families.


What tourist attractions do you recommend to anyone visiting Oman? 

My personal favourite is Dolphin watching- I think we’ve got fantastic dolphin watching. Oman is a great diving destination as well. The golf course – The Muscat Hills particularly compared to regional golf courses, gives you the feel of being in the Middle East. It’s built amongst the wadis so you get some great views while you play. Of course you’ve got the normal tourist hotspots like the trips to Niswah and trips to the caves. I think it’s a very, very interesting destination 


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