MUSCAT: The sultanate, represented by officials from the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), is taking part in a four-leg European city tour to promote its potential as a key business destination.

A series of exclusive events, that began in London on August 29, are being hosted to promote capabilities of Oman and OCEC as a promising international congress venue.

Next events are scheduled in Paris on Wednesday, Geneva on October 1 and Brussels on October 2. “OCEC is being developed in a unique setting that very few convention centres in the world can match. We will be able to offer four hotels, a shopping mall and commercial business park in the surrounding areas, just four kilometres from the newly-expanded Muscat International Airport,” Gillian Taylor, director of business development, OCEC said in a press release.

“The road shows have become an annual fixture in our calendar and are designed to market OCEC as a world class venue to an audience in Europe, which is home to headquarters of more than 58 per cent of the world’s international associations. This is part of a two-year pre-positioning plan to ensure the venue secures business before the opening in 2016.”

Salim al Mamari, director general of tourism promotion in MoT, said, “Oman has been approached in the past to host many of the world’s most prestigious congresses, but has not had the venue to accommodate the needs of large groups. The road shows will enable us to meet with more than 100 clients in key European markets who together can bring thousands of convention delegates from a wide range of sectors including healthcare, horticulture, industry, sport and culture to explore everything the country has to offer.”

The centre will have a 3,200-seat auditorium, an additional 450-seat auditorium, 13 meeting rooms, ten hospitality suites, two ballrooms and an 22,000sq m area to meet the demands of global conference and exhibition organisers.