Cruising in style

The Almouj Marina is home to Oman Sail, which uses sailing to contribute to the tourism development of Oman. Oman Sail Charter’s divisions conduct day and overnight trips along the Muscat coastline, from Musannah in the north to Jebal Sifah in the South, reports Oommen John P .

Almouj Marina, a premier marina facility and flagship yachting destination at The Wave, Muscat, is fast turning out to be an ideal hotspot for sailing enthusiasts.

The Marina, which currently accommodates yachts from 10 to 40 metres, boasts state-of-the-art facilities and a wide choice of amenities that help make it one of the region’s leading yachting destinations. The Marina is home to Oman Sail, which uses sailing to contribute to the development of Oman and its people. It provides an ideal venue for sporting events whilst creating a magnificent social hub for the local community of Oman and The Wave, Muscat’s residents.

Recently, the press corps of Muscat were invited to the Almouj Marina to experience sailing along the coast of Muscat aboard Oman Sail’s luxurious 44-foot catamaran Orana, which offered spectacular views of The Wave, Muscat’s beachfront, the Athaiba coastline as well as the Fahal Island of Mina Al Fahal in Qurum. Perfect for day trips, overnight stays or relaxing one or two week cruises, the air conditioned luxury yacht has four plush en suite double cabins with private showers and heads. The yacht comes with Wi Fi and iPad, GPS, short wave radio and entertainment dock, snorkelling and fishing equipment, a stand up paddle board and more to ensure a memorable cruise.

Less than 15 nautical miles away lies the Damaniyat Islands. The Damaniyat Islands are home to marine life including more than 100 species of tropical fish, dolphins and the rare Hawksbill turtle. The islands make an exciting cruising destination – secluded bays fringed by white sandy beaches and glittering waters offer snorkelers the chance to unwind in complete tranquility. With 21 dive sites on offer, the islands will also delight even the most seasoned divers as they enjoy the chance to get up close with nature and experience Oman’s famed marine life.

The marina is supported by eco-friendly facilities including extra wide walkways and on-water lounge areas with contemporary shade structures. A purpose built two kilometre breakwater protects the harbour and yachts. A resident five-star concierge service, 24-hour dock master assistance and fueling facilities complement the waterfront facilities and, together with Mourjan Marinas’ global experience in creating signature destinations, makes it the place to berth yachts in Oman. Almouj Marina is managed by Mourjan Marinas which offers innovative development and management solutions for marina lifestyle destinations worldwide. A number of other yachts and powerboats specially selected for cruising in Omani waters are also available for charter.

Says Wayne Shepherd, General Manager, Mourjan Marinas, “The Sultanate is continuing its growth within the boating sector, which has been spurred by the increased number of marine facilities opening – facilities that encourage boating and the ultimate, memorable experiences that the activity of boating can create. In recent years, the shortage of marina berths within the Muscat region was addressed by developers, such as The Wave Muscat with its Integrated Tourism Development, to include marinas within their developments.”

“The Wave, Muscat development is testament of the boating sector growth with a number of boat owners choosing Almouj Marina as their home marina for their boats. Almouj Marina provides a range of berth sizes from 10 to 35 metres. The marina occupancy is strong with the presence of boat sizes up to 11 metres and mega-yachts above 30 metres. Mourjan Marinas foresees growth in all boat sizes at Almouj Marina as the marine industry in Oman further develops, and as The Wave Muscat continues with its Integrated Tourism Community development,” he says.

Almouj Marina had an exciting 2013 year with the opening of its purpose built on-water fuelling station to service the marina’s customers and general boating public. 2014 will see the completion of the marina’s shaded on-water lounge area – the first of its type in Oman – which will be designed as on-water break-out areas for marina customers and their guests. Guests will be able to access the lounge along the marina’s impressive wide walkways with planter beds built into the pontoons, he says. The inclusion and introduction of a range of water sports activities, that will be operated within Almouj Marina, are well into the planning stages, and discussions with operators have commenced. Activities will include a myriad of water sports, from motorised activities such as jet-skiing, wakeboarding, charter and boat hire to non-motorised activities such as kayaking and paddle boating. Additional mega-yacht berths are in the development stage to accommodate the increasing number of mega-yacht owners choosing Almouj Marina as their home marina, he adds.

Khalil AbuJaber, Marina Manager, Almouj Marina says “121 of 400 modern floating berths have been opened at the Al Mouj Marina. We plan to open the remaining berths in a phased manner.”

Caroline Wing, Charter and Powerboat Co-ordinator, Oman Sail says, “Oman Sail Charter’s divisions target segment is mainly residents of the Sultanate, both local and expatriates. We also see a lot of business coming through international tour operators, mainly in Italy and France.”

“We offer skippered and bareboat charters on all 3 of our boats, Orana 44 (sailing yacht), Dragonfly 29 (sailing yacht), and Sapphire 28 (motor yacht). We do day trips and overnight trips along the Muscat coastline, from Musannah in the north to Jebal Sifah in the South,” she says.

“We also do Dolphin watching, waterskiing, wake boarding, banana boats and ringo rides from our Yamaha ski boat. These activities can be booked privately or as part of a corporate day. Last September, we opened an RYA powerboat training centre, offering internationally recognised Level 1, level 2 and safety boat certificates for powerboats up to 10 metres,” adds Caroline.


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