Muscat upped its game in the meeting stakes in June with the opening of its new convention centre. We check out the venue, and the Omani capital’s other top places to meet…
Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC)
The long-awaited OCEC, opened in June, is part of the new Madinat Al Irfan urban development in Muscat, which is being developed by Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN).
The purpose-built centre now offers two ballrooms (including the largest ballroom in Oman), a 456 tiered-seat theatre, and 22 meeting rooms in addition to the already opened exhibition centre. The Junior Ballroom can accommodate 540 guests for a banquet or 1,000 guests theatre style while the Grand Ballroom can seat 1,200 people for dinner or up to seven breakout areas for a convention.
These new areas complement existing five exhibition halls that feature 22,396sqm of column-free exhibition space and 10 hospitality suites. With the new areas spanning 4,576sqm, the total current event space has now reached 48,632sqm. In a few months’ time, the final part of the jigsaw; the 3,200-seater theatre will open its doors for the first performance.
The precinct also includes a JW Marriott Hotel (five-star) linked directly to OCEC and the Crowne Plaza Muscat-OCEC that opened last November.
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Located on Muscat’s coastline, this luxury resort is well-equipped to accommodate events of all styles and formats, from intimate boardroom gatherings to a large gala with hundreds of guests. The hotel offers 44,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including an auditorium for 628 and the Majan Ballroom, for up to 1,200 theatre-style and 2,000 for a reception.
The hotel is currently enhancing all guest rooms and suites, lobby lounge, restaurants and meeting spaces, and will reopen in October 2018. Owned by The Ministry of Tourism, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, remains one of Muscat’s most prominent historical landmarks and a jewel in the hospitality landscape. It has been a symbol of the nation’s emergence as a destination for global travellers since it was built in 1985. This ambitious project will strengthen the luxury hotel’s positioning as a leader in the hospitality market in the Gulf.
Another good option for meetings in Muscat, the InterContinental has six event spaces, able to accommodate 400 theatre style, 200 classroom, 700 for a reception, and 450 for a banquet.
Located on beach front and with a view of the Hajjar Mountains, this five-star resort is located in the heart of the city’s residential, government and diplomatic quarter. The hotel’s Palm Beach Club offers two floodlit tennis courts, a 25-metre Olympic size pool, a leisure pool, a fully equipped fitness centre, sauna, Jacuzzi and easy access to the beach.
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