Al Hoota Cave, Oman’s most popular natural tourist destination, will reopen to the public on September 5, 2016. The first tourist cave to open in the GCC, the facilities at Al Hoota have undergone significant improvements and will be open for visitors ahead of the Eid Al Adha holiday.
The cavesystem is one of Oman’s true natural wonders, with Al Hoota experiencing around 75,000 visitors a year before it closed for renovation. The enhanced Al Hoota experience will enable people to get the most from their visits. The ability to plan a visit online means people can book the elements of the visit they want, creating a bespoke experience.
Before even reaching the cave, visitors will get to experience Oman’s only electric train which runs from the visitor centre right into the cave.
A completely refurbished visitor will improve visitor flow throughout the attraction, as well as enabling visitors to discover more about the history of the caves at an interactive geological museum. Families are well catered for, with a children’s play area and a gift shop on site. A new restaurant adds to the well-rounded experience.
Eng Khalid Mirza, director of projects development at Omran, said: “Al Hoota is the first tourist cave to open in the GCC, first opening to the public in November 2006. It was critical that maintaining such an important and precious natural attraction was done comprehensively, especially to address areas of the cave that’d been affected by floods. Omran has worked closely with the Ministry of Tourism to enhance the natural assets of the cave to create a top class tourist experience.”
He added: “International, regional and Omani visitors will all enjoy a truly authentic and memorable experience, and we are really proud to reopen one of Oman’s incredible natural assets to the public. We’re expecting a lot of visitors to come and discover the caves during the Eid Al Adha weekend, whether for the first time or for a return visit!”
The cave system stretches more than 4.5km, with only 500m publicly accessible, however visitors can discover a lot of the systems’ history and features in the geological museum which showcases of over 150 items of rock, wood, corals and other unique materials. The exhibition also provides four interactive stations with a live show of each phenomenon to allow visitors to learn about the formation of this stunning natural phenomenon.
Responsibility of the development was handed over to Omran by the Ministry of Tourism on June1, 2015. Since the handover, Omran has invested in broad enhancements of the site to enhance visitor experience, and to improve facilities at one of the GCC’s most breathtaking tourism attractions.
The Al Hoota Cave will open to the public on September 5, 2016, with a new website launch on the day featuring online bookings and prepaying for tickets. Opening times are Saturday-Thursday from 9am-6pm and on Fridays from 9am-12pm and 2pm-5pm.