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In the January 2018 issue of LEADERS we reported on the unique culture, stunning natural landscapes and some of the other attractions awaiting travelers to the Sultanate of Oman. According to Richard Bangs, the upscale experiential travel veteran and founder of Mountain Travel Sobek, Oman seems to be the new smart destination among those who have experienced the world. “Part of its appeal,” says Bangs, “is that it is an island of peace in an unsettled sea. I think we all quest for understanding… and this is one place where we can safely venture to get a bead on the swirling currents and the cultures and experience the beauty and traditions of a world apart.”

According to statistics from the country’s National Centre for Statistics and Information. Oman saw a year-over-year 22.1 percent increase in visitors in 2017 The re-introduction in 2018 of a classic Ritz-Carlton property, along with the introduction of the Kempinski and W brands, will likely lead to more increases.

Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, is undergoing an extensive restoration process, which is expected to be finished by April 2018. Al Bustan Palace is one of Muscat’s most prominent landmarks and a symbol of the nation’s emergence as a destination for global travelers since it was built in 1985. The renovation builds on the luxury resort’s positioning as the premier destination for affluent travelers, including royalty and heads of state. The property also houses a Six Senses Spa..

The Kempinski Muscat is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2018. Although in the city, it will very much have the feel of a resort, with white sandy beaches, a Greg Norman-designed golf course, and multiple food and beverage outlets. The W Muscat will open in the fourth quarter of 2018 and will focus on design, fashion and music

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