GERALD CHEVASSON

Oman 2020 | TOURISM & RETAIL | INTERVIEW

The Sultanate's outdoor adventure offerings, rich heritage, and hospitable culture felt like a natural fit for W's unique take on life, luxury, and travel.

Gerald Chevasson

What are the key characteristics of the Omani market that have been incorporated into the hotel?
Oman is a beautiful country with a strong emerging tourism market. The Sultanate's outdoor adventure offerings, rich heritage, and hospitable culture felt like a natural fit for W's unique take on life, luxury, and travel. Moreover, the Sultanate's geographical location suits us; it is only a seven-hour flight from continental Europe and Asia. As a hotel that seeks to fuel a lust for life, W Muscat further fitted the local market by bringing a bold and original element to luxury hotels in the Sultanate, attracting a diverse and vibrant clientele base. We follow a lifestyle philosophy—centered around fashion, design, music, and food—that we find reverberates with many aspects of the fun-loving local culture. Omani culture has been a reference point for us at every stage of the journey. The architectural components and W Muscat's entire design narrative are based on Oman's history and draw inspiration from the country's natural beauty, historical significance, and strong social culture. That's evident from the 9-ton frankincense tree in our entryway, star-lit ceilings, and mashrabiya patterns throughout. Our B&F menus are developed by teams who look to local produce and cuisine for inspiration. And our location on the coastline of Shatti Al Qurum's turquoise waters continues to inspire our day-to-day activities, such as sunrise yoga and freshly grilled lobster lunches. We ultimately aim to provide a luxury hotel experience that complements Oman's incredible surroundings.

What key elements should the government and private sector work on to give the tourism industry an extra push?
Oman's natural landscape and beautiful locations are unparalleled around the world, and provide a completely unique angle for the country to leverage. The picturesque coastline and abundant marine are also hard to beat and one of Oman's greatest gifts to guests. These are areas where the tourism industry can find immense opportunities. The government's investment in adventure and sports tourism is a perfect example of this.