Photo: The Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat. Great facility. Its management decided to kill off what few struggling Omani Tourist Operators there are.
The Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, the only decent wet marina in Oman right now and mainly owned by the Ministry of Tourism (plus the omni-present mega-conglomerate Zawawi Trading) have just decided to double the rents charged for large commercial tourist & charter boat operations based out of MBR.
A large dhow operation is now being charged 10,000 rials for a berth [USD$26,000], up from an already not inconsiderable 5,000 rials. Indeed, other tourist ports in Oman like Sur, Khasab and Sohar, charge nothing from similar outfits, and many of their staff are not even Omani, while in Muscat a vast majority are Omani locals. A similar place in Europe would be 50% of this, and this is hardly the Adriatic or Med.
Nice one team! What with the
But no. One can only assume that with the Management of Marina Bandar Al Rowdha struggling to make a profit (despite being pretty full), and the collapse of the cunning plan to force the next-door Capital Area Yacht Club members to move there (oh, and requisition their land too), the commercial boats were a soft target as they can't go anywhere else.
For now. There is hope that they could move to Bar Al Jissa or The Wave later, but that could be a long time coming and the Marina Bandar Al Rowdha will probably set the bar.
Mr Saleem Q. Al Zawawi, Chairman of Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, and with vast experience successfully running an international standard Marina business, clearly is not a supporter of the plucky and predominantly Omani water-based tourist businesses operating from his establishment. These businesses are all pretty new, have very high Omanisation numbers, and were already struggling. His short-sighted decision could only have been made with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, who one might think actually knew something about the tourism industry and were tasked with supporting it. LMAOFOFL.
Score: Wasta - 1, Omani SMEs - 0