In the past, the Middle East as a region was often avoided for meetings & events, with organisations fearing the extreme cultural diversity, logistical uncertainties and security complexities. Since then, often driven by the central location and expanding infrastructure, companies have embraced Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with these cities being popular business travel and event locations.
However, when it comes to the rest of the Middle East, there is as much hesitation and wavering as there ever was, yet audiences are seeking new and exciting destinations to fuel their incentives and activities.
With the vast expansion of Middle Eastern Airlines, this region is exceptionally convenient for international travel. Places such as Doha, Qatar, have come into their own and can challenge Dubai for experiences. However, most often an event is not about ‘seeing another Dubai’ or ‘just another city’, it’s about immersing oneself into a culture, into an experience that brings the intent to life.
Rebecca Martin, a Solterbeck Events Account Director, frequently delivers programs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Last month she went further afield to assess Oman as a destination.
The hidden treasure of Oman, by Rebecca Martin
“I think many Australians have now enjoyed the extravagance and grandeur of Dubai or Abu Dhabi. However, in my opinion, it is Oman that is the jewel in the crown.
What you don’t know about Oman:
1- Omanis are exceptionally kind.
While we often say the human connection makes an experience stand out, it has never been truer than in Oman. The generosity and hospitality of their citizens is quite literally worlds apart to your standard Middle East exchange and brings a personal feeling to all events.
2- There is an incredibly rich heritage.
Omanis are proud of their ancient history and ingrained traditions, whether it be the clothes they wear in daily life or their local festivities and social norms. They are considered as one of the oldest civilisations in the world.
3- It’s all about the striking natural beauty.
Unlike its neighbours, architecture in Oman is simple and does not try and detract from the natural surroundings. Mountains spread across the land and host numerous caves and water holes. There are also plentiful palm trees that produce the country’s famous dates, reaching as far as the 3,000 km of coastline that surrounds ¾ of the land.
4- Oman is one of the cleanest countries in the world.
Which speaks back to the pride that Omanis have in their incredible home.
5- The smell of frankincense is everywhere.
I can not express enough how Oman creates a sense of calm wonder as you navigate the city of Muscat, the pristine beaches or the stunning mountain ranges. It has not been what I expected, it’s been so much better. While it is still an emerging destination for large groups, I believe it offers the perfect combination of activity and learning, with peace and relaxation that suits a small, high-end incentive.”
Want to hear more about Oman and how we can help you with your next event? Contact Solterbeck Events now or call us +61 3 9949 5900.