Cave dining

The largest multi-cuisine cave restaurant in the Gulf region, located in Darsait village overlooking Qurm Heights, is all set to open its doors on June 2, writes Muhammed Nafie .

The interiors of Oman abound with caves, fortresses and various antique sites of archeological significance. But residents in Muscat need no longer drive into the interiors to visit a cave. This is not because a new cavern is discovered somewhere inside the capital area, but a mammoth man-made cave, designed in exquisite tastes, modelled on over 20 caves the world over, and with an exterior of Oman’s mountainous landscape with uneven curves and cracks, is all set to allure the visitors, not just by quenching their archeological thirst but also offering the culinary delights of eight international cuisines.

The Cave Muscat, arguably the largest five-star, multi-cuisine cave restaurant in the Gulf region, located in Darsait village overlooking Qurm Heights, is going to be the next showpiece in Oman’s tourism landscape. A project by Falcon Tourism Company, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, The Cave Muscat will open its doors for visitors and gourmets on June 2 with eight restaurants offering Italian, Brazilian, South American, Asian, Omani and continental dishes, as well as Mediterranean sea food.

Elaborating on the concept and evolution of this unique project, Salim Nasser al Siyabi, chairman, Falcon Tourism, said, “This prestigious project was driven by the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to take Oman’s tourism development to new heights. We have a lot of caves in the interiors of Oman. But naturally caves are not where we stay and dine. Since it is an artificial cave, the construction and design was pretty challenging and the whole process was very complicated as we need to arrange all the facilities required for a dwelling place, without comprising on the original ambience of a cave.”

Al Siyabi adds the massive three-floor project built at a cost of RO7mn has been an architectural challenge, with international design and architectural experts contributing to make it a unique showpiece. “It took us three years to build it. The Cave is built with heat absorbent material and has been made earthquake-resistant. We have also attached more importance to natural lighting. It has two levels called lower ground and second lower ground. We have multiple types of buildings and the construction has gone through different stages. Elements from significant caves around the world have also been imitated. We have visited almost 20 caves around the world to ensure original feel and look of a cave, and modelled the exterior of the structure on the mountainous landscape around it.”

The Cave Muscat features eight cosmopolitan state-of-the-art restaurants of which five are managed and operated by Falcon for Tourism Investment while three are leased under FTI’s supervision and all surely following the international HACCP standards, adds Siyabi. The restaurants are named Al Manjur (Omani); Harbor (seafood); Asiana (Indian & Asian), Clouds, the garden & Clouds, the terrace (Lebanese & Mediterranean), Espeto Gaucho (Brazilian), Rumba Latina (Argentinian) and Rossini (Italian).

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