Young Omanis go electric for Nizwa tourist boost

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Muscat: Young Omani entrepreneurs have launched an innovative tourist project in Nizwa that sees visitors being ferried around historic landmarks in eco-friendly electric cars.

Omar bin Sulaiman Al Sabahi of Nizwa Tours Office told Times of Oman: “ We have two eco-friendly electric cars that take visitors on a tour around Nizwa’s most prominent landmarks. The electric vehicles are like golf carts, each accommodating up to six people. This project was launched with the idea of Omani youth acting as non-hotel visitor hosts. This is an Omani project that is 100 per cent without foreign contributions,” he added.

Al Sabahi said, “Since we launched the service, 15 tourists of different nationalities have been taken on trips that start next to Nizwa Fort. We go along the lanes in the village of Al Oqur, pass through one of the old Nizwa mosques there, and then on to the Al Shawathna Mosque which is also a historic landmark in Nizwa. Finally, the tour goes to an old gate called Sabah Abi Al-Mu’other. The trip is led by a tour guide, who gives a brief history of all the monuments to visitors.

Zaher Suleiman Al Abri, general manager of Bawarik Nizwa International Investment Company, told Times of Oman: “There are four electric cars in all; two cars can accommodate six people and two cars can accommodate nine people. We use two routes which have been certified by the Royal Oman Police. One route runs around the village of Al Oqur, starting from the front of the central market to the castle of Nizwa. The other route is for Al Oqur Lanes and narrow streets, so we use small electric cars to pass through these tight turns.

“This initiative has been started by Omani youth in Nizwa to support the local tourism sector. We are now in the pilot phase of using these cars to gauge the success of the project and to analyse the reactions of people and take their suggestions at the end of the tourist trip. This project is a first in Oman for electric vehicles and we are awaiting approval from the municipality and the Ministry of Tourism,” he said.

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