(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Oman is developing its marine infrastructure rapidly to tap yacht tourists from across the world, according to Erwin Bamps, chief operating officer, Gulf Craft. Bamps was speaking on the sidelines of an exhibition on yachts and leisure boats, where he expressed his optimism for Oman as a marine lifestyle destination.
''I believe the sultanate has a lot to offer. The country not only has a coastline of over 1,000km but has stunning natural beauty compared to other Gulf countries. The country is developing rapidly in terms of marine infrastructure.
''The government has not only made efforts in creating protection areas for fishing boats along the coast, which pleasure boat owners can use, but there is also an increasing number of private developments which include marinas.''
He said that developers have understood that adding marinas and yacht harbours add exclusivity and value. ''Oman has not yet been explored globally, but the groundwork is being set to welcome an increasing number of yacht enthusiasts from the Far East, Europe and America,'' Bamps said.
''If you take the top yachting destinations in the world today, such as Nice, Cannes and Miami, besides boasting top marinas, these destinations also cater to the non-bating tourists. Oman scores very high among Gulf countries as the authorities are aware that expanding the marina infrastructure will result in a superior all-round destination.''
Bamps said that UAE and Qatar too have understood the importance of a sturdy marine infrastructure.
''The development in Kuwait, which has about 10,000 pleasure boat owners, has been stagnant for a couple of years, as it stopped developing marinas.''
According to Bamps, 40 per cent of pleasure boats in Oman have been manufactured by Gulf Craft.
''We have grown with this market. This is our market. We understand the local sensibilities and we maintain the flexibility to cater to customer requests. As a leader in this market with a heritage that is rooted in the Gulf, we are keen to capitalise on this advantage to encourage more wealthy Omanis to discover and appreciate the joys of yachting lifestyle in their home waters.''
During the three-day event which concluded on Saturday, some of Gulf Craft's largest and most popular luxury superyachts such as the Majesty 135, Majesty 121 and Majesty 105 were on display, as well as a number of new yacht models and vessels from its Oryx sport cruiser and Silvercraft leisure boat ranges were on display at Almouj Marina, The Wave, M